Lighting a boiler room

mkgrady

Senior Member
Location
Massachusetts
I need to replace light fixtures in an old large boiler room in an apartment building. The room is about 35' by 40' and 23' tall. I'm looking at led fixtures with options for 12,000, 18,000 and 24,000 lumens. These fixtures will be hung 20' above the floor. I have no idea how many lumens I need. The owner wants the room to be well lit. The room has a lot of pipes running around. The walls and ceiling will be painted white. Could anybody help me figure out which lumen output and how many fixtures I should install?
 

mgookin

Senior Member
Location
Fort Myers, FL
Lighting manufacturers and their reps will help you with that. Your supply house can turn you on to them.

First thing I'd want to know is what obstructions exist and how much shadows you're willing to tolerate. A sketch will help.

What's there today? Anything "more" is going to be an improvement. So how many times what wattage of what technology is in that room today? Sketch that out on your plan.

Sounds like a good job to get. Have fun & make some $$$.
 

mkgrady

Senior Member
Location
Massachusetts
Lighting manufacturers and their reps will help you with that. Your supply house can turn you on to them.

First thing I'd want to know is what obstructions exist and how much shadows you're willing to tolerate. A sketch will help.

What's there today? Anything "more" is going to be an improvement. So how many times what wattage of what technology is in that room today? Sketch that out on your plan.

Sounds like a good job to get. Have fun & make some $$$.
Almost none of the existing lights work. They started out years ago with pendent mount incandescent and have since added a few 4-8 foot fluorescents but almost none of it works. This place was never well lit. They have probably been using flashlights for years to do anything more than walk around.

There are lots of pipes criss crossing the room. They can live with a lot of shadows. Even the shadows will be brighter than most of the place now. They are just looking for a big improvement not perfection. If we can't get the light levels high enough near the floor I will add some below the maze of pipes later on. Because there is staging set up 8 feet below the ceiling throughout the whole room I plan to put the lights up before the staging comes down.

My gut tells me I need 4-6 fixtures in this upper level. I just don't know if each should be 12, 18 or 24,000 lumens. That is a difference of 48,000 to 144,000 lumens.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
You mentioned this is a boiler room, please consider what effect ambient temp possibly has on the life of whatever you select for luminaires if this room has a high ambient temp. With 23' ceiling it may not feel as warm on the floor but it will be warmer at the ceiling.
 

mkgrady

Senior Member
Location
Massachusetts
You mentioned this is a boiler room, please consider what effect ambient temp possibly has on the life of whatever you select for luminaires if this room has a high ambient temp. With 23' ceiling it may not feel as warm on the floor but it will be warmer at the ceiling.
The fixtures are rated to operate up to 104 fahrenheit and the owner claims temp at ceiling will be about 90 max. The piping will be well insulated and they are putting in new boilers that don't heat up a boiler room like the old ones do
 

Fitzdrew516

Senior Member
Location
Cincinnati, OH
I need to replace light fixtures in an old large boiler room in an apartment building. The room is about 35' by 40' and 23' tall. I'm looking at led fixtures with options for 12,000, 18,000 and 24,000 lumens. These fixtures will be hung 20' above the floor. I have no idea how many lumens I need. The owner wants the room to be well lit. The room has a lot of pipes running around. The walls and ceiling will be painted white. Could anybody help me figure out which lumen output and how many fixtures I should install?
Can you elaborate on what you mean by "well lit"? Roughly how many footcandles at 2.5 ft off the floor were you thinking?
 

Fitzdrew516

Senior Member
Location
Cincinnati, OH
Also... how high are the pipes and other things that could potentially block the light? I would probably try to suspend them below those obstructions if possible.
 

mkgrady

Senior Member
Location
Massachusetts
Thanks for all the responses. I decided getting this designed correctly is too time consuming. The pipes are all over the place but especially at about 8-10 feet off the floor. That is why the original 100 watt pendant fixtures were dropped so far from the ceiling. But that left everything above the pipes really dark. The owner wants to see bright shiny lights up above to show off the clean walls, ceiling and newly painted pipes. He already told me what he wants (six high bay LED) so I'm just going to do that using the 12,000 lumen fixtures. If there are dark areas down low I will add lights below the pipes later on after a lot of new equipment is installed. This may seem like a poor way to design a lit room but I'n not a lighting expert and the owner wants the upper level lights done yesterday so they can get rid of the staging.
 

Fitzdrew516

Senior Member
Location
Cincinnati, OH
Just to give you an idea - This is Lithonia's IBH with the 12,000 lumen package in a room with the dimensions you gave. Lights are at 20' AFF. Keep in mind this doesn't account for shadows and obstructions.
 

Attachments

mkgrady

Senior Member
Location
Massachusetts
And this is the 18,000 Lumen package with all the same info as above.
Thanks for that. What are the readings? Foot candles? I don't know how to interpret. Let's assume the room had nothing in it. Would either set of readings be good for a boiler room? I went with the 12,000 lumen fixtures, hung them 20 feet aff and laid them out as shown on the form you provided.
 

Fitzdrew516

Senior Member
Location
Cincinnati, OH
Thanks for that. What are the readings? Foot candles? I don't know how to interpret. Let's assume the room had nothing in it. Would either set of readings be good for a boiler room? I went with the 12,000 lumen fixtures, hung them 20 feet aff and laid them out as shown on the form you provided.
Yes, they are foot candle readings. Again, so I don't know what is meant by "well lit" as far as fc levels go as it is completely subjective, but if I were designing it I would say the 12,000 lumen package would be plenty for a boiler room with no obstructions. It's hard to say if they pipes and other things would be a big issue because I don't know how many/how much of the room they cover.
Also, it seems like your client has a specific idea as to how they want the room to look or be lit. I would probably try to gain more of an understanding of what light level they were thinking. If you can get your hands on a light meter maybe walk around with them to different areas and see which light level they would most closely like to match.
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Professional Engineer, Fire & Life Safety
X2, will also make maintenance easier
Yes, but it looks like he has two lighting levels, one at about 20' AFF and the other 8-10' AFF. I'd start with the higher level and then when the new equipment is in install local "task lighting" to facilitate maintenance.
 

mtnelectrical

Senior Member
Boiler room or furnace room light fixtures

Boiler room or furnace room light fixtures

is there any building code related on what king of fixture, open or closed, temperature rated, about the light fixtures in this room?
 

steve66

Senior Member
The IBH is only rated for 40 deg C (104 deg F). That's been a problem in the past - people didn't realize its basically made for air conditioned environments. I wouldn't put them in a boiler room.

They had another model (I forgot the number) that was made for higher temps.

But Lithonia's new IBG will handle 55 deg C, and has a ton of options and features.
 

gadfly56

Senior Member
Location
New Jersey
Occupation
Professional Engineer, Fire & Life Safety
ok, but what about residential boiler room, Does anyone have been asked by building inspector to put a covered light fixture, and not just a keyless?
What is a "residential" boiler room? In a single or two-family home, or something serving an apartment building (which would still be considered commercial)?
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
ok, but what about residential boiler room, Does anyone have been asked by building inspector to put a covered light fixture, and not just a keyless?
If so probably has more to do with location of the light and potential physical damage and very little to do with the fact it is a "boiler room".
 
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