Ireland's Publication for the refinishing & associated Industries

The right light for car repairs

The importance of professional lighting in a bodyshop cannot be underestimated. Vehicle owners associate bright premises with reliability and expertise, while employees find it easier to work in a well-lit environment. Standox offers practical tips and advice to bodyshops to ensure their lighting gives them the very best results.

Jodie Henly, Standox brand specialist explains, “each area – customer reception, vehicle acceptance, preparation, the spray booth and vehicle finishing– has its own special requirements. As a general rule, the lighting must meet the needs of the visual task taking place, the items being processed and the type of room. Moreover, it should come from a low-flicker, low-flare, non-glare light source which avoids reflections.

“As most of the information we perceive is accessed via the eyes, and as light serves as an information carrier, it is important to match natural and artificial light in the bodyshop. The colour of the light also has a direct impact on employees and their work, as colour perception changes depending on the white, red or blue content of the light available.

“Lighting is also extremely important when it comes to calculating the cost of a repair, enabling damage to be correctly assessed so that the amount of work involved can be more properly calculated. The vehicle should be evenly lit, avoiding hard shadows. For accurate colour matching, ideally the light needs to be as close to natural daylight as possible, exposing the true colour of the vehicle. It should have a colour temperature of between 5,300 and 6,500 Kelvin and a spectral composition that corresponds to natural light. Bodyshops normally use fluorescent lamps in colour 965 (daylight white). A good lighting system not only helps to avoid mistakes and costly rework but can also help prevent accidents and health hazards.”

Just like everything else, lighting systems age and should be serviced regularly. Although it is usually not noticed immediately, the illuminance gradually decreases due to wear and tear, contamination or simply because individual lamps fail. To prevent a loss of output, fluorescent lamps should be replaced after about 10,000 operating hours (approximately every five to ten years). The quality of the light can be improved by relatively simple means, such as using fluorescent lamps with reflectors. Where portable lamps are used these should be good quality and checked regularly, as they also help to determine colour matching and the overall quality of the repair.

Finally, there is the cost issue, which is important to every bodyshop operator. A detailed cost-efficiency calculation is difficult, as any mistakes, rework, accidents and/or health problems caused by poor lighting cannot be precisely quantified. Well-equipped workplaces are designed to ensure safety and help protect employees’ health and performance while at the same time reducing costly downtime or expensive rework. There are also new developments in the lighting sector such as new generations of electronic ballasts, modified lamp designs and more energy-efficient lamps. These have increased the efficiency of lighting systems, making them even more cost-effective today than they were a few years ago.

For more information on Standox and its products and services contact your local distributor or visit