How To Build A Lab In Your Home
Are you a budding scientist who needs a place to experiment? Perhaps you work from home in the IT field and need a workspace. Whether you work in laboratory science or computer science, you can build your very own lab at home.
Choose a Location in Your Home for the Lab
You’ll need an area that’s out of the way, with enough space to set up some furniture and other necessary equipment. For science-type labs, Science Explorers recommend using an area in a home office, the basement, or a bonus/playroom. The area you choose should ideally be near a window, for both lighting and ventilation purposes. Ideally, work in an area with hard floors rather than carpet for easier cleanup.
The Office of Information Technology explains that a computer-type lab or office will need to have some kind of power source to run computers or other hardware, such as a printer or scanner. Consider space-saving laptops as an alternative to desktop computers unless you need a higher level of processing power.
Buy Proper Equipment
While a laboratory-grade countertop, like those found at LOC Scientific, is the most ideal work surface in a science lab, you can also use a plain desk or folding table, provided you can set up your station near a sink.
Depending on the type of experiments you would like to do, be sure to stock up on basic lab staples like oil, vinegar, food coloring, salt, and cornstarch. Don’t forget safety equipment like goggles and gloves.
In a computer office setting, OIT suggests that it could be helpful to have some kind of audio/visual equipment on hand, as well as any software applications you might need for your work.
Set Up Your Equipment for Ease of Use
In any type of lab, you need to be able to move around and access equipment and other supplies. Science Explorers suggests having some kind of storage system such as cabinets, like those offered at LOC Scientific.
You can also utilize LOC Scientific’s online lab planner tool to make a workable lab within the space you have available.
It’s a good idea to invest in some kind of cord cover, or group computer stations together in a computer lab to minimize any falls. Adjustable height desks can also make working at a computer for long periods of time more comfortable, according to OIT.
Install Any Necessary Utilities or Hardware
Depending on the type of work you’d like to do, your science lab will need a source of water, like a sink. You’ll also possibly need things like droppers, beakers, vials, and portable sources of heat.
In a computer lab, OIT cites networking and storage software as essential equipment. It’s also a good idea to install some sort of antivirus software before starting work in your lab for peace of mind.
Check for Any Possible Safety Issues Before Getting Started
According to Science Explorers, making sure your lab is properly ventilated is of utmost importance. If you’re working with chemical fumes, they can quickly become overwhelming in a space with no airflow. Keep windows and doors open while working.
The main hazard in a computer lab is overloaded power circuits, says OIT. Check your power capacity before plugging several machines into a single power strip or outlet.
Wards World stresses the importance of working in a well-lit area to avoid spills or other visibility issues.
And finally, make sure you can move easily through your lab and reach the exit in case of an emergency.