Explosion Proof vs Intrinsically Safe Lights for Combustible Work Sites

Industrial facilities that handle flammable gas, liquids, fibers or dust require special lighting equipment for safety. In such environments, businesses rely on intrinsically safe units or explosion proof lights.

Both types of lamps offer safe operation. However, their designs vary greatly. Read on to learn about the difference between intrinsically safe and explosion proof lights.

Industrial Lights and Intrinsic Safety

Intrinsically safe lighting ensures the components inside the unit cannot produce sparks. As a result, there is no need to contain or isolate parts. In most cases, intrinsically safe lights operate on low voltage. This makes compliance with regulations in confined spaces less meticulous.

By definition, a confined space is a location that cannot be entered or exited easily and may contain hazardous compounds in the atmosphere.

Another unique feature of intrinsically safe lights is safe surface temperatures. Such fixtures can operate without the risk of the surface accidentally igniting combustible elements in the surrounding environment. An intrinsically safe light may include a temperature sensor to streamline monitoring.

Explosion Proof (Class I, II, III)

Explosion proof lights provide protection in hazardous locations by containing sparks inside the unit, so that it cannot ignite combustible compounds outside of the fixture. Insulating components be must sturdy, as a contained ignition inside the unit should not cause the surface of the light to reach ignition levels of flammable elements in the surrounding environment.

To reduce the creation of sparks, an explosion proof lighting system is typically constructed of copper-free aluminum and other non-sparking materials. Explosion proof lights do not have to be low voltage.

Such lighting systems are categorized, based on the following Classes: Class I, Class II and Class III. Hazardous conditions are classified into two Divisions: Division 1 and Division 2. Lastly, combustible elements (gas, vapors, dust or fibers) are categorized under various Groups.

LED Lighting Applications in Machine Vision

Intricate and meticulous tasks, such as machining in industrial work sites, require special LED lighting fixtures for processing and accurate detection of colors.

For operators, it is top priority to select an LED light that can help produce high-quality images, resulting in consistent output on the floor. This is easier said than done, however, as most markings are extremely small or undistinguishable.

Types of Machine Vision Lights

LEDs for machining vary greatly, depending on their applications. A type of LED lamp that is used frequently for machining is a ring light. The luminary is low cost and can be used for diffused illumination or specular surface reading.

An LED backlight functions roughly the same way as an LED ring light. However, the compact fixture is primarily utilized for measuring external dimensions and viewing openings around the object.

For inspecting flat surfaces and labels, a diffuse on-axis light (DOAL) can be used. This luminary is installed on the side of the machine and leverages beam splitters and reflectors to ensure even illumination.

Object or packages with thick wrappers make it difficult for operators to detect barcodes and serial numbers on the surface. To address such concerns, a more powerful beam, UV illumination or infrared lighting can be applied.

LED Chips and Colors

Modern LED chip designs allow businesses in the industrial sector to incorporate lighting in tight spaces. COB LEDs are an example of a cutting-edge LED chipset that is made up of a group of LED chip diodes on a circuit board. This robust configuration promotes active thermal management. Up to 25 percent less heat is emitted when using this type of LED chip.

Selecting the right colors may also be beneficial for active detection of labels and barcodes. Some selections, such as red or blue, cause surfaces and textures to appear bolder.

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SOOW Cords for Industrial Lighting 101

The sturdiness of industrial lighting systems hinges on the type of materials used, as well as the cutting edge design of the fixture. Rugged materials, such as copper-free aluminum and polycarbonate, are frequently applied during the manufacturing process to boost reliability during operation at the work site.

Such materials typically come with specific ratings, which dictate their thresholds and ability to withstand harmful elements, including UV rays, corrosion and water. For heavy-duty cords used for industrial lighting units, one of these standards is called SOOW.

What is SOOW?

The term ‘SOOW’ is an acronym used by manufacturers to inform operators about the properties of the cord. In the acronym, the letter ‘S’ refers to service. In some cases, it is important to consider that when a letter ‘J’ does not appear after this starting letter, the cord comes with a 600V rating (for portable cords). For instance, an SJOOW cord features a 300V rating.

Next, the letters ‘OO’ suggest the cord is resistant to oil, while the letter ‘W’ is applicable to capabilities of withstanding water and rough weather. For extremely rugged work sites, a Type W cable is recommended, which can accommodate heavy usage over long periods.

Compatibility with Industrial Lights

SOOW cords are highly beneficial for industrial fixtures in construction sites, mining facilities, manufacturing plants and more. In addition to the acronym designation, the standard is usually followed by a set of part numbers, such as 18/2 or 16/2.

These mysterious numbers refer to the type of cable being used. Taking the first example above, an SOOW 18/2 cord can be defined as a 600V-rated service cord that is oil, weather and water resistant, with an 18 American Wire Gauge (AWG), two-conductor cable. To reduce confusion at the work site, manufacturers may provide color coding on the units.

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.

Options and Tips in Construction Site Lighting

Basically, there are three main safety options in construction light– regular, access and staircase, and emergency lighting. To help ensure building safety, more than just natural lighting is necessary. Lighting can even be customized to make it possible for use even during power outages. In addition to functionality, they can also provide some aesthetic value to the construction site without necessarily having to cost a lot of money.

Levels of lighting

If a certain part of the building is temporarily being used for work or as an office, it is recommended that sufficient lighting be provided to make sure that the workers can clearly see the work area. Regardless of how the interior lighting is designed and installed, it is important to make sure that it provides no obstruction to the construction going on. See more.

A building should never be without staircase or access lighting. This will help ensure safety for people who move around in the building. Especially in specific areas that are conducive to robberies and other similar criminal activities, adequate construction light must be ensured. This is one of the more important options in construction lighting that must not be overlooked as employee safety may be at stake.

Develop a lighting plan

First, it’s important to develop a lighting plan for each job. Creating a Temporary Construction Lightsscheme helps you and your crew accomplish the following objectives:

  • Provide the appropriate level of lighting that allows construction work to be completed safely and effectively
  • Reinforce both the intent of the traffic control plan as well as provide better guidance for drivers traveling through the work zone; and, most importantly
  • Improve the overall safety of the workers and traveling public

Emergency lighting, on the other hand, is important to allow people to move out the work areas in case of emergency. This will ensure orderly exit and will keep people in the building from panicking. There are two types of emergency lighting units available – maintained (with a steady electricity supply) and non-maintained (not supported by electricity). Non-maintained emergency lights usually come in safety boxes and installed on the wall. They light up during power failures.

Choose the best lighting options

LED’s should also be considered for Temporary Construction Lights needs as they are cost-effective and offer brighter lighting. They are also more reliable and usually require less maintenance. For safety reasons, unauthorized personnel must not be allowed access to the construction site. Different types of barricades may be used for this purpose. Barricade lights are also important so people will easily notice warning signs, and to keep them away from specific areas or boxes enclosed by barricades.

When selecting the appropriate options in construction lighting to use, the most important things to consider are the various functionalities, and that the design and installation will not in any way affect the construction work going on. Likewise, the safety of all people concerned should be of primary importance. Other factors to consider are durability, cost, maintenance, and aesthetics.Temporary Construction Lights are the best. See more this site: http://www.larsonelectronics.com/

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/