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.
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.
Key elements to consider a vivarium specific lighting and more importantly a full control & monitoring platform:
Features only to be found in Vivarium based system:
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.