Recommendations for Making your construction site lighting as efficient as possible.

For your site to work effectively and safely, the site must be well-lit, either by natural or artificial lighting. Choosing the right site lighting is the backbone of having a successful project that is both efficient and safe. This article aims to advise on how to achieve optimal construction lighting around the property.

When these areas do not meet optimal standards for on-site lighting,  they’re putting their workers, the public, equipment, and the project itself at risk. Appropriate light levels on construction sites can help everyone working on the site itself, and cutting corners will only lead to further headaches and higher expenses. Throughout the article, we will provide recommendations for the most appropriate lighting solutions to suit the need of construction engineering, building projects and archaeological projects.

In this article we will advise on:

How to Cover all Key Areas of the Construction Site

Health and Safety (HSE) guidance states that every part of a construction site that is in use should be well–lit. Working to protect staff, the public, and minimise disruption or unwanted side effects.

The lighting across the construction or archaeological site can be natural or artificial light, but If work continues as daylight decreases or is obscured, artificial light must be provided.

This also applies to work in indoor areas that are poorly lit or are not efficiently exposed to outside sources of light. This could be during the construction process or the renovation of an existing building, it is likely that the interior will not yet have access to sufficient lighting.

Tip: The same lighting that can be applied on external sites can be used for your interior spaces.

It’s common in the construction sector for shadows to form over previously illuminated areas as the day goes on. This of course obscures equipment, tripping hazards, and other potential dangers for your staff and the public.

To avoid any injuries, aim to carefully provide extra lighting around the construction site, accounting for how lighting levels will change in key areas across the day.

How Lighting Should Illuminate All Hazards

Alongside from allowing your staff to efficiently see their work across the construction site, consider how your site lighting can allow people to see hazards.

Lighting covering a large outdoor area needs to be in the range of 2,000 lumens and higher. Keep in mind that lighting in this range should never be directly in front of where your team will be working and floodlights should be angled downwards to avoid distracting the public around the site.

Bright Source Site Lighting Range

Examples of potential construction site hazards include; Static machinery, containers, sudden declines or drops, debris, falling objects, generators, and other large equipment. Consider how selecting the correct colour temperature can assist in helping your staff spot hazards. Lights should be at least 4000K, cool white, as it helps focus and functions as task lighting in areas where staff will be working for an extended period.

Relying on as little lighting as possible or natural lighting can easily place these areas into shadow, obscuring potential threats. As natural lighting will change and move across the day, it is important to continually assess any areas obscured by shadow. Move existing lighting to the counter or provide additional lighting to affected areas.

Construction Sites Must Have Emergency Lighting

An efficient emergency system activates in the event of a power cut, and by law must be operational for at least 3 hours. The lighting serves to guide the people inside of the building or worksite out to safety.

Where it’s not possible to provide lighting that comes on as soon as other lighting cuts out, it may be worthwhile to reschedule works to fit around when the site is both properly accessible and lit well enough by natural lighting.

Another solution is battery charged portable lighting, that also has emergency functionality. This also provides you with more dynamic options for lighting and more varied options for contracts you can accept.

The final options is to have easily accessible torches within the location. This allows for safe passage across exit routes and down from elevated work areas.

Designated escape routes should be lit efficiently in any emergency, which is why a fully functioning emergency light can operate with a battery for at least 3 hours. The light does not need to be bright, it just needs to be bright enough to allow a safe and quick retreat. The lighting must be activated for as long as the emergency is in progress, the building is confirmed to be cleared, or until normal activity resumes.

The purpose of these efforts is to ensure that your people are protected when using scaffolding or walkways in the event of an emergency.

Click here to view our range of emergency lights.

Choosing the Right Lighting for your Site

Different jobs require different work lights with the appropriate brightness for the task at hand. For accurate readings of light levels, use a light or lux meter. Use this measurement to judge if the light level is up to standard. The lux meter, also used in architectural projects, will help you compare your artificial lighting to its natural equivalent.

Example: 1,000 lux is the equivalent to ~100 footcandles, which is compared to an overcast day.

The goal is to be well above these measurements for an efficiently lit workspace.


Just as the colour temperature can help avoid hazards, you need to choose the most suitable effort to match your work. 4000K Cool White lighting improves alertness while your team is working while being a softer alternative to harsher tones.

Consider ways in which your construction project can avoid light pollution in surrounding areas. 

Construction lighting may be an inconvenience to local residents and could distract motorists driving nearby. Distractions or disorientation from bright lights could cause accidents. Correctly placing and setting up your lights ensures the site is properly illuminated, while causing minimal disruption outside of the site.

110v Festoon Kit

Quick Recommendations for Site Lighting

The above recommendations are our most purchased products from our 110v Site Lighting range. They have our seal of approval for quality and have shown to be the most popular with our customers. If you're in need of something different, you can browse our full range of Site Lighting options here.

Avoiding Lights That Pose a Health & Safety Risk

As you're selecting the lighting that's right for you, there are some risks that need to be considered.

HSE Guidelines are clear on the importance of protecting the public and recommend your project client provide all details about property boundaries and access. This allows you to carefully plan out both placement of equipment, and the placement of lighting. Avoiding health and safety risks should always be a priority across the construction industry.

Lighting that has been placed incorrectly, or lighting that is the wrong type, can create hazards. The light may end up being too bright for your work.

When the light is too bright, this can cause;

  • Visual impairment.
  • Discomfort.
  • Irritation and mood changes.
  • Distraction.

These issues caused by glare can both distract the worker from hazards and effect productivity.

There is several issues with outdated lighting that can have negative consequences for your team and the public.

Older fixtures using an alternating current can produce fluctuations in light output, causing a disorientating effect. This effect can cause machinery in motion to appear stationary, moving slowly or even moving a different direction.

Flickering low-frequency lights can also cause disorientation, fatigue and in some cases epileptic seizures. Damaged our outdated lighting suffering from this effect should be addressed immediately.

Surfaces lit by different types of artificial light at the same time can affect colour perception. For work that is colour-sensitive, such as electrical wiring, this could have inconvenient or dangerous consequences. The same warning applies to using monochromatic light sources.

Consider the following safety tips for your building project:

  • Don’t use diesel equipment indoors or in poorly ventilated areas.
  • Use an accurate foot candle chart for determining how many lights you need at your site.
  • Take care to position the towers correctly: Place the towers on flat, firm ground and away from overhead obstacles like power lines and trees.
  • Make sure the direction of the light will not impact the visibility of passing motorists.
  • Ground equipment whenever possible to minimize electrical safety hazards.
  • Disconnect battery cables before working on the engine of your equipment.

Further Advice on Commercial Lighting

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