Lighting Header

Keeping The Lights On

Many animal behaviors are strongly influenced by the amount of ambient light. Lighting is a critical factor in both circadian rhythms and breeding cycles. Knowing the importance of lighting in the vivarium, how do you select the best lighting solution? 

Lighting for vivarium use should be designed for animals and the staff that care for them. Energy efficiency is important, but it is secondary to reliability and verification of lighting. Animals cannot override the lights if the lights are not correct. Vivarium management must ensure proper light cycles for animals under their care and provide evidence that it is working correctly. Reliability means knowing what failures the system can detect and if these failures can be automatically recovered from by the system. Verification of lighting provides data to all parties on the lighting experienced by the animals. Finally, lighting schedules and allowed deviations must be controlled by vivarium management as they are held accountable for animal care.

Knowing how critical lighting is and knowing what makes a lighting system a good choice for the vivarium are the first steps in choosing a lighting system. The next step in choosing a lighting system is understanding the history, design, and capabilities of lighting systems.

Standard Lighting Systems

Building lighting systems have evolved in concert with theater lighting. Much of the terminology used in commercial lighting control reflects this intertwined history; the term “lighting scene” originally indicated the lighting required for a specific scene in a play. As new technologies were developed, the number of lighting choices grew and the technology became more sophisticated. With the advent of digital control systems, the possibilities for lighting rapidly expanded into most of the systems available today. As digital lighting control became more affordable, commercial lighting systems began to focus more on energy efficiency. Lights can be turned off automatically, dimmed if sunlight is available, and linked to occupancy sensors so that light is not wasted in unoccupied areas. Energy efficient automation paired with manual overrides is still a key feature of lighting systems. This combination works well for offices. Lights go off when not in use, and if a person needs light, they can use a controller or motion detector to override the lights to the desired level.

Vivarium Lighting System

Key elements to consider a vivarium specific lighting and more importantly a full control & monitoring platform:

  • System developed to aid and increase productivity based off FDA and AAALAC compliance standards
  • Have control of your research’s data.  Accessible data customized to your preference on reporting, notification and frequency.
  • Protect the animals and reduce variables within your research, by having the ability to remote control water, lighting and room access attributes specific to vivarium.

Features only to be found in Vivarium based system:

  • Provide simple schedule lighting for animal rooms in order to overcome the limitations and failures of timer-based light control
  • Independent light monitoring. Independent monitoring means that light records are based on an in-room photocell reading, and alarms will be generated if light levels in the room are incorrect, no matter what the cause.
  • Simple dual-level approach to vivarium lighting. Dual-level lighting provides on and off cycles in order to properly simulate daylight for animals and adds a work light for animal care staff to use when in the room. Vivarium management can control if normal lights can be activated during off times as well as how long they can be on.
  • “Blink warnings” notify staff before the lights are scheduled to go out. 
  • Optional night-lighting - providing greater flexibility for reverse day/night rooms.
  • Fail-safe lighting control which can detect and recover from relay failures (relay failures are a common cause of light system malfunction).

Avidity Science’s lighting has always been designed around the needs of the animal research industry. We continue to add new capabilities to our control and monitoring portfolio. CLICK HERE to learn more about our Watchdog EX™ platform for control and monitoring.   Now more then ever your research requires a cloud-based system to monitor and protect your advancements. Schedule a 15 min demo today!  CLICK HERE TO SCHEDULE.