Cleanroom Lighting Options Explained

Cleanroom Lighting Options Explained

Lighting is an often overlooked but critical part of the cleanroom design process. A poorly lit cleanroom makes work difficult, and a cleanroom with energy inefficient lighting is not sustainably designed and increases energy costs. When designing a cleanroom, choosing lighting options that work for your application can also help control contamination and promote temperature control. Here are the cleanroom lighting options explained to help you in your cleanroom design project.

 

Lighting types

The first lighting option to consider is the type of lighting to use: incandescent, fluorescent, or LED. The chart below briefly explains how each of these types of lighting work, as well as their costs and benefits.

Incandescent

Fluorescent

LED

Incandescent lightbulbs are the traditional lightbulbs. They contain a capsule inside that holds gas around a wire filament, which went electricity is applied, gives off light. They give off heat as well as light, which makes them an inefficient light source and an energy waster. In fact, incandescent bulbs are banned in several countries. In addition to their inefficiency, the light they give off is often not bright or consistent enough for cleanroom applications.  

Fluorescent lights work by ionizing mercury vapor inside a glass tube, which causes the gas’s electrons to emit UV light, which is converted to visible light by the coating of the glass tube. They’re available in the traditional long tubes as well as compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), which are shaped like incandescent lightbulbs. They are more efficient than incandescent bulbs without being much more expensive and are appropriate for many cleanroom applications.

LED lights, which stands for Light Emitting Diodes, are the most energy-efficient lighting option. They create solid-state lighting by converting electricity directly into light, unlike incandescents and fluorescents. They tend to have a higher initial cost, but their efficiency offsets that cost. LED lighting is often ideal for cleanroom applications, as they do not produce any heat.

 

Also worth considering is natural lighting—you may want to evaluate whether is it possible and practical to incorporate windows into your cleanroom design. Natural light is free, but windows may come with some inefficiencies in terms of temperature control.  

 

Lighting fixture options

There are a variety of fixture options for cleanroom lighting, including

  • Fluorescent ceiling modules — these fluorescent ceiling modules are similar to what you imagine when you picture fluorescent lights: modules that house long fluorescent light tubes. Modules designed specifically for cleanrooms are dust, corrosion, and water resistant and house up to for T8 light tubes.
  • LED light panels — LED light panels provide bright, optimal lighting for cleanroom spaces, without crevices or seams that can house particulate matter or contaminants.
  • LED light strips — LED strips attach directly to the T-bar of the ceiling grid, keeping them out of the way of ceiling filters and allowing for unobstructed air flow.
  • Teardrop lights — teardrop lights are designed for cleanrooms that require whole-ceiling filter coverage, and they minimize obstruction of airflow by hanging down from the ceiling. These are best in cleanrooms with plenty of overhead space since they do hang down from the ceiling.
  • Flow through modules — flow through lighting modules use fluorescent tube lights that are placed directly under the filter system, without blocking airflow. This is a good option when your application requires efficient use of overhead space.

 

No matter the lighting needs of your cleanroom, Angstrom Technology can design a cleanroom that meets all your requirements. Contact us to discuss all the design options for your new cleanroom.

 

How to Determine Your Cleanroom Design Budget

How to Determine Your Cleanroom Design Budget

Budget: the part of any major project that no one wants to talk about or deal with. Cleanroom design is no exception. Given the very specific and specialized nature of cleanroom design and the unique requirements of each type of cleanroom, it can be difficult to know at the outset of your cleanroom design project what your budget should be. Here are a few things to consider when determining your cleanroom design budget.

 

Type of construction

First of all, are there different types of construction? Yes, when it comes to cleanrooms, you can choose either traditional or modular cleanroom construction. (Read more on traditional vs. modular cleanroom construction here.) Depending on your cleanroom size and application, modular construction may be the more economical choice. If you go the route of traditional construction, you’ll need to include more room in the budget for that.

 

Wall type

For modular cleanrooms, there are a few different wall options, which come at different price points. Softwall cleanrooms are going to have a lower cost than Hardwall or Rigidwall cleanrooms, in most cases. They are a more curtain-like material as opposed to a more traditional wall, which is beneficial for impermanent, small, or lower-classification cleanrooms. However, if your cleanroom must meet a very stringent ISO classification, Hardwall or Rigidwall design may be necessary.

 

Equipment and special features

It comes as no surprise that special equipment and features cost money. If your cleanroom application requires a fume hood, hazardous materials storage cabinetry, a talk-thru panel, a pass-thru chamber, an airlock, an air shower, or any other feature that you wouldn’t find in a normal room, you’ll need to account for that additional cost in your budget.

 

Required classification

As a general rule, the higher the cleanroom class, the higher cost to build and maintain. A biotechnology cleanroom required to meet ISO Class 5 (Fed Std 209E Class 100) standards is going to cost more in terms of materials and equipment, to build and maintain than an ISO Class 8 (Fed Std 209E Class 100,000) storage cleanroom. The higher the classification, the more special features, like those mentioned previously, that the cleanroom will need, the more gowning and personal protective equipment that will be necessary for employees, and the more energy and filters that will be necessary to remove contaminants.

 

No matter your needs and budget, Angstrom Technology can design a cleanroom that works for your application. Get in touch today.

Modular vs Traditional Construction for Cleanrooms

Modular vs Traditional Construction for Cleanrooms

When it comes to building a new cleanroom, the biggest, and possibly first decision you’ll have to make is whether your cleanroom will be modular or traditionally constructed. There are benefits and limitations to each of these options, and it can be difficult to determine the right choice for your cleanroom application. Here’s our take on modular cleanrooms vs traditional construction.

 

Flexibility

For applications requiring flexibility, modular construction is your best bet. Traditional construction can’t be packed up and moved to another location. Nor is it as easy to expand as modular construction where adjustments are minor, such as detaching a few panels and adding more to them. Instead, you have to totally renovate, knocking out walls, etc. Depending on your cleanroom use and classification, you could have a super-flexible Softwall cleanroom, which has impermanent curtain-like walls or a Rigidwall or Hardwall cleanroom, with thicker, more substantial wall panels.

While it might seem like traditional construction is more impervious and more permanent that modular construction, Hardwall and Rigidwall cleanrooms are just as impermeable to contaminants as traditional walls, ceilings, and floors.

 

Cost

Depending on the size, budget, classification, and application of your cleanroom, modular construction may be less expensive than traditional construction. This is especially true of smaller cleanrooms or those that are impermanent. For applications like clean storage, which may require only a small space and adhere to the least stringent cleanroom classifications, a Softwall cleanroom may be the best option, as it typically falls at a lower price point than construction.

 

Installation

While traditional construction can take months from start to finish, modular construction is a much simpler process, as all the components are already manufactured. Instead of having to build walls from raw materials, with modular cleanrooms, the components simply need to be assembled to your specifications. Modular construction can take as little as a few days or weeks to complete, which is crucial to getting your operations up and running as soon as possible.

Additionally, while you’ll always need to hire pros for traditional construction, a modular cleanroom can often be assembled in-plant by your own staff, with the instructions provided by the manufacturer. The manufacturer may even offer installation services at a slight additional cost or as part of a modular cleanroom design package.

 

If you’re designing a cleanroom, get in touch with Angstrom Technology to see how our modular cleanroom designs are the right option for your cleanroom.

Why You Need a Cleanroom Design Company, Not Just a Contractor

Why You Need a Cleanroom Design Company, Not Just a Contractor

When beginning the cleanroom design process, it may seem like the simplest, easiest, most inexpensive route is to design the cleanroom yourself, then hire your general contractor to build it. After all, you’ve worked with your contractor before and trust them. But in reality, cleanrooms are complex, complicated, and delicate environments that require experience and specialized knowledge to design and build—knowledge and experience that cleanroom design companies have that contractors may not.

Cleanrooms have special design features

Cleanrooms are not regular rooms and have special design concerns. They need to be optimized for laminar air flow to control contamination, they need to be made of materials that are low particulate emitters, and they often have special features like air showers and pass thru chambers that must be specially designed to reduce the amount of contamination that enters a cleanroom. A poorly designed or integrated pass-thru chamber or other design feature will defeat your efforts to control your cleanroom environment and increase your energy cost and consumption, which is why you should leave those features to a specialist.

Cleanrooms require special equipment

Not only do cleanrooms have specialized features, they also require special equipment that must be seamlessly integrated with HVAC, filters, and other systems. Your general contractor might not have knowledge of fume hoods, hazardous material storage, or cleanroom HEPA or ULPA filtration systems, which, if those systems are not installed and integrated properly, could result in contamination or hazardous conditions in your cleanroom

Traditional construction isn’t always the best option

If you hire a contractor to build a room or suite of rooms for you, they’re going to build those rooms. But sometimes, you don’t need a room in the traditional sense—four permanent walls. With cleanrooms particularly, your company’s needs can change as you add or remove equipment, change your processes, or expand your operations.

Modular construction allows you to change your cleanroom when need be. Additionally, certain types of cleanrooms, like storage cleanrooms, may not require the space, control, or rigidity of a traditionally constructed cleanroom, and a softwall cleanroom may suffice. Modular construction can also be more cost-effective than traditional construction because it depreciates at a quicker rate.

We’re cleanroom design experts who design and build custom cleanrooms, not just general contractors. Angstrom Technology can design the perfect cleanroom for your application. Contact us today.

 

Everything You Need to Know About Cleanroom Design

Everything You Need to Know About Cleanroom Design

There are so many things to consider when designing a cleanroom, from the necessary classification to the equipment to the budget to the application, even down to the material of the walls and the furniture inside the cleanroom. Here are our best resources with everything you need to know about cleanroom design to make your cleanroom project a success.

Most Common Cleanroom Design Problems

Don’t get tripped up before you even begin! It’s not enough to just design a cleanroom that meets your ISO standard, it needs to be efficient in terms of your processes. Most cleanroom issues are the result of poor planning and design, and that can easily be avoided. Read more about the most common cleanroom design problems here.

New Trends in Cleanroom Design

If you’re designing a new cleanroom, you want it to be up-to-date and cutting-edge, especially when cleanrooms are such a significant, long-term investment. This post breaks down the biggest emerging trends in cleanroom design, like sustainability, and how you can apply that to your own cleanroom design project. Read more about the new trends in cleanroom design here.

What to Think About When Choosing Cleanroom Furniture

Furniture is probably low on your list of design concerns, but it’s a crucial consideration to achieve an efficient, well-designed cleanroom. This post will help you ask the right questions to determine what you’ll need for your cleanroom, based on the specific application, processes, tasks, materials, and other things that will be happening or used within the cleanroom walls. Read more about what to consider when choosing cleanroom furniture here.

How to Decide on the Right Wall Material for Your Cleanroom

There’s more to cleanroom walls than just how many there are. There are several different types of walls that your cleanroom can have, all of which have different characteristics that suit differing applications. This post can help you determine, based on factors like cost, flexibility, cleaning, and durability, the right type of wall material for your cleanroom application. Read more on how to select the right cleanroom wall material here.

Design Options to Reduce Your Cleanroom Budget

While a cleanroom may be necessary for your application, oftentimes, you have little money to work with when designing a new cleanroom, and you need it to go a long way to meet your required cleanroom classification. This post has several suggestions on how to cut down on the expense of designing a cleanroom, from cost-efficient lighting choices to design features like pass-thru chambers that can help keep contamination down and reduce energy costs. Read more on how to design a cleanroom on a tight budget here.

Angstrom Technology has years of experience in designing efficient, effective cleanrooms for a variety of industries and applications. If you’re designing a cleanroom, get in touch with the experts at Angstrom Technology.

Designing Your Food Microbiology Cleanroom

Designing Your Food Microbiology Cleanroom

Food microbiology labs have a variety of special considerations due to the sensitive nature of the work and its importance. Not only do they need dedicated laboratory space for testing, but the controlled environment of a cleanroom is also critical. Here are some things to consider when designing a cleanroom for food microbiology applications.

Location

Food microbiology cleanrooms should be located conveniently to the production area from which samples are being tested; however, it should be away from main transportation arteries, noisy areas, boilers, and other heavy equipment.

Setup

Depending on your company’s production needs or your specific lab’s application, your food microbiology cleanroom will likely include a chemical laboratory, bacteria laboratory, and office spaces. These areas will likely require multiple rooms. The bacteria lab will probably require a sterile room, examination and operation rooms, and media production studios. Biological testing should always and necessarily be separated from other cleanroom operations. The chemical lab may require a chemical analysis room as well as an instrument room. The offices will need to be accessible to lab personnel as well as other employees, and will likely require a different level of access and control than the rest of the cleanroom space, meaning separation from other cleanroom areas.

ISO Classification

Generally speaking, food manufacturing and food microbiology cleanrooms must meet ISO Class 5 or 6 (Fed-Std 209E Class 100 or 1,000). This means that recommended air changes per hour are between 150 and 600, with 25 to 70 percent ceiling coverage. (For more information on the maximum number of particles in air allowed per cubic meter of each particle size, check out our guide to cleanroom classifications & standards.)

Maintaining a controlled environment is critical for a food microbiology cleanroom. If you want a cleanroom that’s designed and built right, call Angstrom TechnologY.