Lighting solutions for hazardous environments are unique from general industrial lighting in a number of important ways that makes them suited to locations where the threat of explosive, or combustible substances such as liquids, gases or ‘flyings’ are present or can be. As a result, these fixtures must meet class and division rating for each defined application. For a brief discussion of Class, Division and Group ratings, be sure to check out this site. The complete hazardous locations standards are available from the NFPA in the NFPA 497 or consult Article 500 of the National Electrical Code.
Where general lighting fixtures are often ‘hardened’ to meet the demands of the dirty, dusty environments, and sometimes wet or damp applications, hazardous environment LEDs go a few steps beyond merely durable, dust or dirt proof fixtures as we’ll see.
What does the code say about hazardous locations
The National Electrical Code (NEC) and the Canadian Electrical Code (CEC) defines hazardous areas as the following:
An area where a potential hazard (e.g., a fire, an explosion, etc.) may exist under normal or abnormal conditions because of the presence of flammable gases or vapors, combustible dusts or ignitable fibers or flyings.
Many manufacturers solutions for hazardous environments will meet more than one of the class and division requirements. The key is knowing what your facility requires and matching the fixtures to that rating or ratings depending on the applications at your location.
One facility may easily have multiple classifications. An example would be a grain handling facility. The area where grain is loaded or unloaded would have combustible dust (Class II) which under normal conditions would be Division 1, or where combustible dust is not normally in the air but may be a result of malfunctioning equipment the application is a Division 2. In another area of the same facility – such as a warehouse – the above ratings would not be appropriate. Check with EECO or the lighting manufacturer for the ratings each fixture meets, and most important, know what your facility requires. Knowing this information is the first step to specifying hazardous location fixtures.
Solution for Extreme Environments
In our experience dealing with these applications, we have learned that for some locations, a highly rated fixture is the best solution. A fixture that can be ordered from the manufacturer with the class/div rating your application requires. For these type applications – petroleum refineries and storage facilities, gas terminals, coal yards, power plants and other extreme environments, the best solution may also be the right solution.
We have been recommending Dialight lighting for these applications for a number of reasons:
- Customers want to remove the worry of failure because of the criticality of the application (lights must always be on), or where failure is unacceptable due to fixture location (highbays, coal yards, power plants).
- Where efficiency counts, Dialight offers the highest lumens/watt – up to 140lm/W on select models and commonly 125lm/W.
- Where high-temperature ratings are needed, the Dialight solution is rated to 65 degrees C, 149 degrees F.
- Longevity counts. With a 5 or 10 year no questions asked, “no small print” warranty Dialight offers assurance of reliability.
- If retrofitting an application, the weight of the fixture is a consideration. Dialight is half the weight of other solutions, which is important if you are hanging floodlights in highbay locations.
- A smaller fixture size is also an advantage found in the Dialight line, offering greater flexibility in fixture placement.
Dialight has been a totally LED supplier since the early 1970s. With more than 40 years of R&D in their designs, the fixtures are designed for the purpose, rather than re-using existing fluorescent or HID housings that were converted to LED. This approach assures better heat dissipation which is also a reason the company can offer such long warranties.
For customers whose application demands the most durable, longest lasting solution, we have been recommending Dialight and stocking these LED fixtures, which are typically built to order for the application.
Do an assessment of your lighting and determine what type of lighting is appropriate for your application. If your lighting applications are extreme as indicated above, taking a look at Dialight; it might be a good decision.
To discuss your hazardous location lighting needs, contact EECO at 800.993.3326, or email at AskEECO@eeco-net.com
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