Your paint finishes are your calling cards. When one car owner sees an excellent paint job, they’ll ask, ‘who did your paint job?’ You want the response to be the name of your auto body shop. The first step is using a top of the market Accudraft Paint Booth but equally important is the type of booth lighting you are using.
If you’ve had your paint booth for several years, it’s possible that you are still using ballast lights that aren’t energy efficient. The difference is extreme; filament and incandescent bulbs lose around 90% of light energy in heat while LED lights only lose 5%.
That’s not only a huge swing in energy savings; LED lights give your finishes a truer color. They are safer and don’t present the fire and explosion hazard that overheated bulbs do when coming into contact with paint chemicals.
Incandescent light produces a yellowing that you barely notice with your naked eye but affects the accuracy of your paint finishes. Here are another 6 must-know things about paint booth lighting.
As you read these 6 things, remember that the quality of your paint booth has as much of an effect on your paint finishes as your lighting. For more information about upgrading lighting fixtures for your paint booth, make sure to get in touch with your local Accudraft Paint Booths distributor.
#1: Some lighting gives off a tint that affects the quality of your paint color.
Unless you are using full spectrum white lighting, your paint finishes will not reflect the true color of the applied paint. It will look one way under your shop lights and differently under the sunlight.
#2: The degree of brightness of your paint booth lighting also affects the quality of your paint finish.
If you don’t use enough light inside of your paint booth, even using the right color bulbs could give you a bad finish. That’s because the lack of brightness on every part of the vehicle creates a dimming effect that distorts your perception of the color of the paint finish.
#3: Your paint booth lighting should produce a consistent brightness that covers every area to be painted.
If you have mounted lights at the front and rear of your paint booth but not overhead or on the sides, your paint finish will be imbalanced. The best finishes are produced in paint booths where the lighting is consistent over the entire vehicle.
#4: Where you place paint booth lighting has a big effect on the quality of your paint finishes.
Light placement is extremely important to providing a consistent finish. Your paint booth may have already come with fixtures installed in locations that do not give you the consistent brightness that you want. Besides using the right kind of lights, you have to think strategically about placing them in order to get the best results.
LED lighting is more accurate and reveals your paint finishes in fine detail. Plus, unlike standard paint booth lights, LED light can be focused directly on one area; Standard light spreads which loses brightness and affects the true color of your finishes.
#5: LED lighting is the only type of lighting that can truly mimic natural light.
When your patrons leave your shop, they will see their vehicle in its truest light: daylight. If you are using outdated yellow filament and incandescent bulbs, what your customer thought looked so nice under your lights may change when he or she sees it in the light of day.
Natural light emitted by LEDs is measured using the Kelvin scale and produces nearly twice the white light as incandescent bulbs. On the CRI scale that incandescent bulbs are rated on, LED lights have a rating of 80 to 100 while incandescent bulbs come in at the low end of the CRI. In other words, unless you are using LED lighting in your paint booth, you are not seeing the true color of your paint finishes.
#6: Switching to LED lighting costs more up front but pays for itself within three years.
You may have been holding off on investing in a total overhaul of your paint booth lighting because of the cost. True, LED lighting has been at least three times as expensive as standard lights, but those costs are coming down as more businesses and individuals switch to LEDs. Moreover, after only three years of use, LED lights will have paid for themselves. And they last up to a decade without needing to be replaced, even in high volume shops.