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Medical Support Structures:  Exam Lights versus Surgical Lights

Now and then, we receive contractor inquiries about pricing for overhead lighting support systems.  In many instances, the contractor is working from drawings supplied by an architect and they are looking for pricing information on design and installation services.   We are always eager to help, but when a drawing has generic references to “surgery/exam” light details, we need additional clarification before moving forward and here is why…..

Most exam lights are relatively small and lightweight. Unistrut supports used to suspend exam lights usually consist of a single vertical member with two braces as shown in the photographs below:

exam-light-support-system

unistrut-exam-light-supports

Surgical lighting systems are much larger (most are in the 24” diameter range), and of course, much heavier. Unistrut support structures surgical lights typically consist of four vertical members and up to eight braces as shown in the photo below:

urgical-lighting-support-system

What may seem like a minor detail is rather significant because an exam light and requires a different support structure than a surgical light. 

Now that you understand the difference let’s talk about a few scenarios where a lack of drawing clarity can cause some problems. This first potential problem is confusion during the quotation process.  It’s possible to end up comparing a quote for an exam light support system with a quote to build a surgical light support structure

The surgical light support system will come in much higher and the owner won’t be able to make an apples-to-apples comparison. It's also worth noting that a much sturdier surgical light support system is overkill for an exam lighting application.  To be a good steward of the owner's resources, you'll want a support structure that fits the application. Ultimately, we'll need to know the manufacturer of the lighting system (e.g., Steris, Stryker, etc.) because there are slight nuances to each brand that must be accounted for during design.

When requesting a quote for a Unistrut support structure, it always important to supply accurate and detailed information.  Sometimes this may seem like an unnecessary extra step, but doing so will ensure that your support structure is appropriate for your application, and you may even save some money too.  To learn more about overhead medical equipment support structures, request a quote, or discuss your application, contact Unistrut Service Company for further assistance.