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.