Written by: Jeremy Winters
As a former production painter for nearly 20 years, I’ve seen my fair share of the good and the bad as far as paint booth maintenance across many facilities. From ceiling filters being dark brown in color because they have not been changed in 2 years (yep, you read that right), to booths with so much grit on the floors you would swear you were walking on gravel. Yet, no matter what depth of cleaning is done, the most obvious part is the one that always gets overlooked. Lighting.
Booths with bulbs burned out, light lenses covered by overspray, or the worst offender at many shops, mismatched light bulbs. While going down to the local hardware store to get replacement bulbs may seem like a good idea, it isn’t the best solution all the time. Truly, you should have extra bulbs on hand much like you keep an extra roll of filters. If you look at your lights and you’re immediately seeing multiple colors, or multiple lights burned out, you are fighting to do your job and you don’t even realize it.
As painters, we adjust to our surroundings and continue working. Same as when you get a new paint gun, we are always amazed at how much bigger the fan is, how much fuller the fluid is. It is the same with lighting in the booth because burn out and are not changed or they are changed with inferior bulbs, so naturally we adapt to the conditions created. Too many times painters and/or shop owners want to just plug a bulb in because the correct bulbs are often labeled as “too expensive.” With a booth being one of the single most expensive pieces of equipment in any shop, cutting corners in this area never makes any sense and it should fall in line with everything else related to normal booth maintenance and upkeep.
Proper lighting should be one of the prevalent features you inquire about when looking for a new booth as well. Using a booth with proper lighting (as close to a 5000k bulb as possible to help color match and visibility) ensures the painter can properly apply the vehicle coatings and see/correct any defects. For this, multiple rows of lights (minimum in the upper corners angled down at a 45-degree angle, as well as a row down each wall) are needed with the correct color corrected(5000k) fluorescent or LED bulbs. Both of these options are available with ALL Accudraft booths. When you’re looking to order, you have the option of standard fluorescent bulbs or upgrading to a complete LED package, which will also help drive down overall replacement costs (due to a much longer working life) in addition to the reduced energy costs.
Ultimately, lighting is the first thing that draws your attention to the booth. Keeping it bright should be part of normal upkeep, and plays a huge role in overall day to day operations. For your booth lighting needs, reach out to Accudraft and see what options they have available to fit your booth configuration today.