Visually Control Intersections in the Factory with Multicolor Strip Lights
Why Multicolor Task Lights?
Lights play many important roles in the factory—from indicating machine status to allowing workers to see fine details during inspections. Traditionally, industrial lighting has been divided into two categories: illumination and indication.
Illumination devices light up a space to increase productivity and improve worker ergonomics and safety.
Indication devices use light to provide visual status updates—from letting a manger know he or she is needed at a station to alerting a machine operator that a machine has jammed or material needs to be refilled.
Until recently, these two categories have been distinct. But now, manufacturers are realizing the benefits of combining illumination and indication into a single flexible device. While most illumination products (such as strip lights) include only white LEDs, a device that combines illumination and indication also includes LEDs in multiple colors that can be programmed to represent different statuses. Typical color options include white, red, green, amber or yellow, and blue. The device can therefore be used for both ambient or task lighting (white light) and status indication (colored lights).
Multicolor Lighting Streamlines Traffic Flow in Factories
When people, forklifts, and other mobile equipment move around the same spaces, there is an increased risk of accidents. Intersections where visibility is poor—for example, when navigating around racking or other structures—can become hazardous. People on foot or operating mobile equipment may not see each other approaching, increasing the risk of collision.
Especially for areas with higher traffic, consider creating a controlled intersection or doorway with long multicolor strip lights, like the WLS27 Multicolor, that change color to indicate when it is safe or unsafe to proceed. The larger spread of light compared to other indicators makes it harder to miss a caution status.
For example, the WLS27 Multicolor can be turned ON constantly to provide general illumination and can be configured to turn RED when a forklift is approaching, indicating to people and other mobile equipment operators that the intersection is in use and help prevent collisions.
While safety and navigation devices can and often should be added to mobile equipment, creating visually controlled intersections can be a simple but effective way to improve traffic flow and streamline movement of people and mobile equipment within shared spaces.