Addressing Vibration for Industrial Light Towers in Construction Sites

How does vibration affect industrial light towers? This article covers types of wind-based and environmental factors that contribute to vibration for poles supporting lights.

First and Second Mode Vibration

Vibration experienced by poles and masts is categorized under first mode and second mode. First mode refers to infrequent, but powerful gusts of wind encountered by the mast. During such occurrences, most of the movement or swaying is happening at the top of the pole. Compared to second mode, this type does not always contribute to damage, since most units are designed to address first mode vibration. Signs of first mode vibration includes the movement of light beams from side to side.

During second mode vibration, most of the shaking is happening at the center, foundational components of the mast. Winds are consistent and frequent, sometimes reaching 35 mph. Persistent pressure-shifting experienced by the unit results in stress and fatigue. Second mode vibration is difficult to detect because the equipment on top of the mast is unfazed by the shaking. Operators can detect such occurrences by listening for a humming sound from the pole.

Factors to Consider (Height and Location)

There are several factors that can either contribute to or reduce vibration for industrial light towers on construction sites. Masts taller than 25 feet are more prone to experiencing wind-based vibration. Furthermore, the load of the pole (when mounting equipment at the top) should never be exceeded, as it could cause unnecessary strain on the structure.

Lastly, the location of deployment could dictate the amount and type of vibration encountered by the light mast. Construction sites, airports, parking lots and bridges are locations that experience massive amounts of vibration on a regular basis, from moving cars and airplanes. Large fields, as well as high and low elevation areas that are unprotected by crippling winds are also prone to high-level vibration.

What is a Class III Work Site

In the US, industrial safety regulators categorize classified work sites into various groupings: Class I, Class II or Class III. Out of the three classifications, Class I and Class II which involve the presence of flammable gases or vapors and dusts, are considered to be the most common.

Class III Work Site, governing combustible fibers and flyings, is rarely covered because such facilities are not as widespread. However, because Class III locations are equally as dangerous as Class I and Class II sites, it is important to understand the safety standards that govern this grouping.

Class III Work Site Hazards and Definitions

Examples of Class III hazardous locations include the following: textile mills, woodshops and cotton storage centers. Class III equipment, which includes heavy-duty lighting systems and portable tools, are equipped with more or less the same set of features that contain ignitions inside the unit. An exception to this practice is wiring installations for Class III, Division 2 locations.

In most cases, flammable fibers and flyings in Class III facilities are not floating around in the air. Instead, Class III particles tend to build up on immobile machines or permanent structures over time. The accumulation of fibers become extremely dangerous when exposed to an ignition source, such as a spark or intense heat.

Reducing the Accumulation of Heat

It is best practice to maintain adequate ventilation in Class III facilities.  This is because fibers or flyings can accumulate on machines, causing heat to become trapped inside the unit. Increasing the operating temperature of equipment can cause malfunction or in the worst-case scenario – result in a fatal explosion, when igniting an unstable, flammable compound.

Class III motors or generators are fully enclosed and have special temperature requirements for certain machines. Open units (without switching features) and squirrel-cage textile motors are examples of machines that can easily exceed Class III temperature standards.

Visit www.larsonelectonics.com for all hazardous lighting  solutions.

How To Use a Right Angle Handheld Flashlights

Nowadays, handheld flashlights are offered in a wide selection of features, shapes and sizes. Perhaps one of the most unique designs for flashlights is the traditional right angle. First introduced during World War II (under the TL-122 series), this compact luminary features a pronounced 90-degree angle at the light head and an optional clip at the arm for hands-free operation.

Accessories for right-angle flashlights include interchangeable lenses, different types of clips, belt holders and grips.

Comfortable and Hands-free

When it comes to applications in industrial facilities, right-angle handheld flashlights offer two main options for operators. First, it can be carried in a handheld manner, without extending the wrist. As a result, operators can hold the position of the lamp for longer periods of time. This is extremely advantageous in tight spaces and for tasks that take hours to complete.

Next, the luminary caters to hands-free options. The right angle of the base allows it to stand upright during operation. As long as the surface is even and flat, workers could set the light down. It is common for manufacturers of right-angle flashlights to allocate the batteries to the base of the unit. This configuration provides extra stability when used as a standalone light.

Selecting a Right-angle Flashlight

Some right-angle flashlights come with powerful magnets, which can also be used for hands-free operation on compatible (magnetic) surfaces. Alternatively, heavy-duty attachments on the luminary may be utilized to hang the light on ropes, chains or hooks for temporary, elevated (and hands-free) illumination.

Modern right-angle lamps leverage LED lights vover incandescent bulbs, resulting in longer lifespans, compact builds and sturdy operation. For rugged work sites, metal is the most common choice for the casing. Other options for the material of the flashlight include aluminum, high-strength plastics and more. For hazardous locations, non-sparking material is used to prevent the ignition of volatile compounds.

Benefits of Magnetic Mounts For Industrial Lighting Systems

At sites with industrial lighting systems, operators have a myriad of mounting options at their disposal. Lights and equipment can be mounted on walls and surfaces, using a variety of mechanisms, such as brackets or I-beam clamps.

These options all come with their own respective advantages and limitations. For example, some lamps that are securely mounted on a wall using screws cannot be adjusted. Lighting systems with adjustable brackets may have limitations on how far operators can tilt or position the light for illumination over the target area.

What is a Magnetic Mount?

For maximum portability and convenience, a useful mounting option that is gaining popularity includes magnetic mounts. This type of mounting system utilizes powerful magnets – in some cases, with thresholds reaching 100+ lbs per magnet. The magnets are located behind or on the side of the luminary, which allows operators to secure the light on compatible, ferromagnetic surfaces and materials.

A wide range of magnetic surfaces exist in industrial work sites. Common magnetic materials include the following: iron, cobalt, steel and nickel. Other metals, such as copper and brass, are too weak for magnets to attach to them. However, it is possible to increase their magnetic properties, by forging or combining strong, magnetic materials with the components.

Compared to conventional suction cups, magnets mounts are easier to secure and will typically stick on uneven surfaces. Suction cups require smooth, even surfaces and must be carefully positioned. Additionally, magnets stick to wet or dusty magnetic surfaces, whereas suction cups aren’t as reliable around foreign contaminants.

Benefits of Magnetic Mount Lights At Industrial Lighting Systems

Magnetic mount lights offer hands-free operation for busy operators at the work site. This not only makes workers more efficient (since they have an extra hand to work with), but also improves positioning. A hard-to-reach machine, for instance, could be difficult to illuminate by hand, using a traditional flashlight. Alternatively, a magnetic mount flood light could be attached to a magnetic pole and elevated to light up the target.

Furthermore, magnetic mounts are very easy to use. The feature does not require any tools and workers could also use them without removing their thick gloves. For work in high elevations, such as tank inspections, cleaning and equipment installations, the units can be mounted and removed instantly, in one movement. There’s no need to bring extra mounting components or special brackets.

Magnetic mount lights are not limited to handheld flashlights and spotlights. Emergency vehicles, tractors and fleets can use magnetic mount LED light bars or strobe lights for temporary illumination.

What is Hermetically Sealed in Industrial Lighting

Industrial work sites are filled with dangerous elements that could damage costly, unprotected equipment. The presence of corrosive cleaning agents is a great example, forcing luminaries to fail prematurely or tools to malfunction. Furthermore, in hazardous locations, volatile gases could penetrate electrical components of industrial lighting systems and cause unwanted ignitions.

To prevent such issues, lighting manufacturers seal luminaries in a hermetically, airtight manner. Read on to understand how hermetically sealed units improve illumination in industrial facilities.

Improving Safety

Hermetically sealed lights prevent hazardous elements, which could be gases, liquids or dust, from entering the units. In most cases, this type of enclosure is used to loosely describe specifications or testing grades.

The NEC refers to this term as a technique for protecting the internal components of lighting systems. According to NEC Sec. 500.7(J), hermetic sealing is achieved via welding, fusion or soldering. Additionally, hermetically sealed is not limited to luminaries. It can be used to describe a plethora of explosion proof machines designed for hazardous locations, including HVAC systems and small switches.

Hermetic seals can consist of epoxy resins to maximize effectiveness. The substance is capable of tightly bonding two similar elements, reducing gas leaks with temperature thresholds between -70 degrees Celsius and 150 degrees Celsius. It is also possible to hermetically seal glass and metal together, which is typically used for industrial lights in non-hazardous environments.

What About Factory Sealed?

Contrary to popular belief, hermetically sealed industrial lighting is not the same as factory sealed lighting. Although the two techniques share similar goals, the latter method does not use the same sealing practices, as the contacts in the explosion proof enclosure of a factory sealed unit are molded inside. Factory sealing is considered to be cost effective and common in Class I, Division 2 industrial facilities.

It’s important to highlight that factory sealed equipment are typically suitable for Groups C and D hazardous locations – not Group B (hydrogen, with an ignition temperature of 968 degrees Fahrenheit).  For more information please visit http://www.larsonelectronics.com/

Solar vs Fuel Light Towers: Which One is Better for Construction Sites?

These days, businesses have numerous options at their disposal when comes to lighting systems for construction sites. One of the most popular options today includes light towers. These units can reach heights between eight to 85 feet for elevated illumination.

For remote construction sites without supporting connections to the grid, portable light masts are essential. The temporary lighting systems leverage an external power source, such as a battery-powered solar generator or a conventional, fuel-type generator. Both options offer power to the luminaries, but in the end, only one is truly suitable for your business.

Fuel-powered Light Towers

Light towers equipped with fuel generators are quickly becoming a staple in construction sites worldwide. The light masts are plugged directly into a generator located at the base of the mast. Some generators come with additional plugs and sockets to power equipment around the work site. Fuel-type generators don’t consume a lot of fuel, making them ideal for temporary lighting requirements. They can also be used for long-term projects; however, more fuel reserves are needed to keep the system going. This can be an issue for construction projects that are extremely remote, such as bridges and other infrastructure-type projects.

Another issue with relying on a fuel generator to power your lights on the construction site is noise. The units are loud and distracting, which can be difficult to work around. This forces operators to deploy the units in low activity areas of the location, such as perimeters or sections of the site that are unsuitable for work. From a maintenance perspective, fuel-type generators come with a lot of loose parts that are constantly moving. As a result, the units must be properly maintained to ensure reliability.

Solar (Battery-powered) Light Towers

Solar light masts utilize large panels, controllers and batteries to power luminaries and other equipment on the construction site. Like fuel-type generators, these units may also come with additional plugs and sockets for powering tools.

But unlike the above, solar light towers operate quietly – due to lack of moving parts. Solar components are solid state, which contributes to seamless operation. Because of this, operators can deploy the masts anywhere on the construction site without needing to take noise levels into consideration. Moreover, maintenance is greatly reduced, as the parts aren’t prone to wear and tear.

Some drawbacks of solar light towers include limitations of battery capacity and performance, as well as its reliance on sunlight. Without prolonged exposure to UV rays, the sustainable lighting system won’t be able function properly.

For full selection of light towers, please visit Larson Electronic, industrial lighting manufacturer from Texas.

Temporary LED Lights For Construction & Large-Scale Projects

Construction sites are some of the largest consumers of temporary LED lights. The sector relies on powerful luminaries during after-hour operations. During this period, urban activities are at their lowest, allowing workers to bring in machines and obstructive equipment, such as cranes and dump trucks, to the site with minimal interference.

Portable and Heavy-duty

Busy construction sites have very strict requirements surrounding the type of lighting products and systems for such projects. Most operators require temporary LED lights to have a high degree of portability. For example, at the early stage of construction, buildings are lacking walls and ceilings. Because of this, standard high bay lights that are mounted on ceilings or surfaces cannot be used. Instead, portable string lights with C-hooks may be deployed around the location. These units allow workers to mount individual luminaries on scaffolding’s, poles and other nearby structures.

They can also be carried by hand for detailed tasks. Construction string lights are daisy chained (connected) and utilize a single source of power (see more at: Larson Electronics). This reduces the need to setup and tear down individual lamps on the site.

For intense lighting requirements, businesses may deploy luminaries that are mounted on carts or stands. The units are ideal for such applications because workers can easily transport the lights around the site effortlessly. For LED lights on carts, it only takes one person to move the unit from one location to another.

LED Light Towers for Construction

Elevated LED lighting systems are extremely common in construction sites. This includes LED light towers that are capable of reaching heights between 8-70 feet, depending on the needs or scale of the project. Like temporary construction LED lights, these units are designed to mimic permanent luminaries that are mounted on poles.

LED light towers for construction are recommended for tasks that need bright illumination for long periods of time, such as welding, setting up foundations and etc. The luminaries may also be used to highlight checkpoints and high activity areas.

To withstand the rough environment, LED light towers are typically waterproof, weatherproof and capable of standing up to strong winds. Moreover, the light masts may also be supported by a generator, for remote construction sites that lack access to mainstream power sources, such as the city grid. A new trend in LED light towers is the use of solar energy, in place of fuel-powered generators. These cutting-edge units offer quiet operation and clean energy during operation. They can also be paired with a day/night photocell to reduce energy consumption during the day.