Public toilets are often located in the vicinity of areas such as restaurants, theatres, casinos or shops. They should provide clean, safe, accessible, convenient and hygienic facilities for the public and an appropriate level of privacy.
Different areas on a ship require special demands on the lighting
Restrooms in public areas are highly frequented facilities that are used every day. However, there are also times of non-occupation. Lighting fixtures should be operated by movement sensors in order to detect the presence of people in the restroom. When people are not present, the light level should be dimmed down to a low level. Due to the high humidity and potential for water ingress, a restroom is a complex room with regards to the design of light fittings. As a result of the high demands placed on the quality and durability of its products, the Glamox Group operates modern assessment and testing laboratories in Norway and Germany for the simulation of a wide variety of environmental conditions including public restrooms.
Important factors when working with lighting solutions for restrooms:
- IP rating (water ingress resistance).
- Light quality.
- Mechanical/impact resistance and compact design.
- No maintenance and reduced power consumption (high energy efficiency).
IP rating (water ingress resistance)
The highest priority is the IP rating of the light fittings. The challenge here is to protect the lighting fixtures from steam and water (e.g. from hot water). An IP44 rating is essential for lighting installed inside public restrooms. This will ensure adequate protection from ingress of water and moisture.
Light quality is important in terms of distinguishing details and for the overall comfort of the users. The colour-rendering index (CRI) should be above 80 in order for people to differentiate between colours and to see true colours. To avoid shadowing and to reduce glare (UGR, unified glare ratio) a proper light calculation should be carried out and luminaires with homogeneous light distribution should be selected. The colour temperature preferred in a restroom should be 3000 - 4000 Kelvin. This will ensure a good balance is achieved between the light output and comfort for the human eye. The objective for a restroom design should always be to ensure a low glare ratio (UGR) despite the presence of mirrors and other reflective surfaces.
Mechanical and compact design
Modern and compact light fitting designs should harmonise with the overall design of the restroom. Glamox luminaires provide features such as trim rings, decors, diffusers and unique reflector designs in order to limit this glare.
Low ceiling heights in restrooms require low surface mounted or recessed luminaires that are designed to fit different ceiling thicknesses, which can vary between 0.6 and 50mm. Fire classifications of ceilings must be taken into consideration so as to avoid extra fire protection inside ceilings. Glamox recommends the use of dedicated downlights for B15 approved ceilings or surface mounted fixtures if possible. All plastic parts should be flame-retardant materials to prevent fire and toxic gases from spreading. The European standard IEC 60092 requires that luminaires for restrooms are designed for an ambient temperature of 45°C. As vibration can generate disturbing noise levels from the luminaire, it is important to choose marine-approved products, which are designed to mitigate the noise created by the ship’s engines. Loose internal wiring caused by excess vibration is dangerous and can cause short-circuits. Therefore, the luminaires should be designed according to marine standards. In order to avoid lengthy installation times and to reduce maintenance costs, Glamox recommends the use of quick plug-and-play connectors. Dust protection is also important during the ship construction/building phase to avoid dirt finding its way inside the luminaire, as well as later during normal ship operations to prevent dust and insects from getting inside the fixtures.
No maintenance and reduced power consumption
Maintenance-free, easy installation and various mounting options ensure flexibility and time savings, primarily because some lights may be located in areas that are difficult to reach or often with no access at all. The luminaires should consume as little energy as possible in order to reduce the size of power generators, to save energy and to reduce pollution/emissions. Therefore, LED lighting is recommended. LED luminaires are virtually maintenance-free, which means that cruise vessels with LED lighting will have lower operating costs compared to vessels with conventional luminaires. In addition, the reduced power consumption of LED lighting onboard has a positive impact on the cruise vessel’s Air Conditioning system, as less heat is emitted from the lighting, which means less AC power is needed and fuel consumption is reduced. The initial investment of the LED installation may be higher than a traditional lighting installation, but the reduced energy consumption and lower maintenance costs of LED lighting means that this price difference will be quickly recouped and payback on the investment is recovered quickly.
All lighting products in a public restroom should be designed in accordance with marine standards and regulations.