Applying NFPA 654 to Lighting Safety in Explosive Work Sites

The presence of combustible dust in industrial facilities call for the use of Class II explosion proof lighting systems. Due to the complex nature of such work sites, NFPA 654 (Standard for the Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing, Processing, and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids) was created by regulators.

A report by Georgia Tech Research Institute implies that the creation of a flammable dust cloud measuring 10 feet is capable of blocking a 25-watt fixture. Examples of volatile dust include the following: titanium, magnesium, tantalum, flour, grains and more.

NFPA 654

This standard recommends the use of Class II explosion proof fixtures to reduce the possibility of ignition. When maintaining Class II lights, the guideline suggests to periodically check the surface of lamps for the accumulation of combustible dust (A-4-2.1[g]). To facilitate effective removal of dust, explosion proof collectors and vacuums should be utilized. Explosion proof vacuums should not create or generate dust clouds, which can increase the risk of combustion.

Because high-heat surfaces can set off volatile dust, it is also critical to segregate heated surfaces from such materials. For lighting systems, features that promote cooling, such as vents or fins may help maintain adequate operating temperatures.

Defining Dust Accumulation

Criteria for the accumulation of explosive dust varies, depending on the type of material, as well as the size of particles. As a general rule, 1/32-inch dust accumulation (thickness) covering a minimum of 5 percent of the work area requires immediate cleaning. For grain elevators, the threshold is 1/8-inch dust accumulation (according to OSHA 1910.272).

Lastly, the size of dust particles should be taken into consideration in order to better understand the type of protective measures required. NFPA 654 defines flammable dust as fine, solid material that is 420 microns (or smaller) in diameter and comes with ignitable properties.…

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Linear vs Flexible LED Machine Light – Which One Do I Need?

LEDs are revolutionizing the way industrial machines are illuminated and used. From woodworking to industrial, large-scale sewing operations, units with such applications must be capable of withstanding a wide range of extreme elements. In addition to close contact with flying debris, LED machine light should be able to stand up to high temperatures, abrasive cleaning agents (from washdown sessions) and more. Below compares linear LED machine lights and flexible LED machine lights for industrial facilities.

Linear LED Machine Lights

Linear LED machine lights are slim, LED lamps that are typically installed close to the processing area of the machine. For instance, such luminary can be setup to illuminate an object that is being cut on the machine. These type of lights are non-flexible, in a sense that the units are permanently fixed. The LED fixtures can be dimmable.

Moreover, the lights could also be incorporated with various parts of operation. An example of this is setting up a UV or infrared LED machine light to identify labels properly on specific components during machining. An LED machine light may be used as a workstation light, depending on the type of tasks being conducted.

Flexible LED Machine Light

A flexible LED machine light contains an LED light head and a flexible mounting component, which could be a pivoting arm, an adjustable bracket or a gooseneck – just to name a few. In industrial machining, this type of fixture may serve multiple purposes. The lamp is very effective for inspections and quality assurance on the assembly floor.

Flexible LED machine units may be equipped with spotlight beam configurations for detailed tasks. Additionally, the lights are typically waterproof and low voltage. High-color temperature ratings are preferred, in order to improve clarity. Battery-powered variants for this type of LED machine light may also serve as a portable workstation light.…

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LED Work Lights for Industrial and Commercial Use

With improved technology, people are seeking ways to accomplish the same task in a better way.

For instance, works that utilize heavy machinery such as construction workers need enough lighting so that their night operations can be highly effective. While incandescent halogen lamps were the order of the day, the light they provide were not efficient and they burn up huge quantities of electrical energy.

Industrial and commercial use of led lights

Nowadays, industrial and commercial vehicles make use of led lights since they are more reliable and more efficient. Have you ever been on the freeway at night? If yes, you must come across construction vehicles holding white and yellow lights presumably to flash people who may not notice their presence.

While some of these construction vehicles are full-blown earth diggers, some are simple work truck, but they all flash these yellow and white lights.  If their engine was not running and they make use of its lights, the battery would be totally drained.

Since gas is not cheap, it doesn’t make sense to keep the engine running in order to use its lights. There has been an increase in the use of led construction lights in applications because they are highly efficient at converting power to the light.

Why LEDs are efficient?

Since LEDs utilize low power and are efficient with the use of the power, they can run with the battery and the engine off.

Also, in very bad weather conditions, led lights have been proven to be more durable than the standard incandescent halogen bulbs. Led lights can resist vibrations and regardless of the temperature, they can operate quite easily. Also, they have a long working life.

These are two of the major reasons why cat manufacturer vehicles and heavy machinery such as earth diggers, plows and tractors now use led lights. Led lights have also been proven to work effectively in wet and snowy weather conditions.

Led lights come in various sizes and styles.

To make them suitable for various applications, led work lights are available in various sizes and styles. The round and the square led lights are the most commonly available styles, they are easy to install because they have durable metal mounts. If your application has little space, there are bar-shaped led light designs for narrow applications.

Led work lamps can be easily modified for almost all applications by following the easy installation manual.

Also, a 12v power source is the only requirement for wiring and they are effective for 24v applications needing only two wires for the connection.

When you want an efficient light on your industrial or commercial vehicles, your best option is LED work lamps.

The perfect Solution

They are the perfect solution since they are durable, have a long life span, and work in any kind of weather.

When you compare the prices of regular incandescent halogen bulbs to led lights, they are a little bit costlier, but their long life span covers up for this cost.

Also, when you add the cost of using multiple halogen lamps to this initial higher cost, a LED light is surely a better option.

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How Are UV LED Lights Used in HVAC Systems

UV LEDs are commonly found in food processing sites and shipyards (NDT). The lamps are used for non-invasive sanitation, as well as for visual inspections. Industrial HVAC systems and air conditioners also utilize UV LED lights to keep units clean.

Below takes a closer look at how UV LED lamps are used in HVAC products.

UV LEDs for Air Sanitation

Like applications in food processing facilities, UV LED lamps are used for keeping various components clean inside HVAC systems. Such fixtures can prevent the accumulation of bacteria and other harmful elements, which can affect the quality of air being pumped out by the air conditioner.

UV LED lights are usually installed at the cooling coils and drip pans, where bacteria are known to thrive. Such areas are wet and dark, making the environment ideal for the microscopic creatures. Operators may also setup UV LEDs in the air ducts to clean the air, as it leaves or enters the HVAC system.

By comparison, slow moving air is more effective for air sanitation using UV LEDs than fast moving air flow. Should the air become prone to stagnation, fans can be installed to support the HVAC system.

UVC Bands and Wavelengths

UV LEDs emit different bands, depending on its characteristics. For effective sanitation, UV-C bands are needed. Using a UV fixture with limited UV-A or UV-B properties may not be yield the same results as a UV-C lamp.

It is important to consider that carry-over treatment does not occur during the disinfection process. Because of this, coverage of the area’s surface should be maximized. Lastly, for HVAC systems inside flammable facilities, explosion proof UV LED fixtures should be applied based on the type of combustible materials in the location. Examples of explosive sites include the following: gasoline stations, grain silos and chemical processing plants.…

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Tips for LED Light Towers Deployment

LED light towers are superior solutions for illumination in remote work sites and outdoor locations. The units are highly favored by businesses and operators in the industrial sector, due to their portable features.

Foundation First

Deploying heavy-duty LED light masts is very different from setting up traditional pole lighting systems. There are several key factors that must be taken into consideration to ensure safety and proper use.

Before setting up, one must first assess the area. Overhead clearance should be well accounted for. Additionally, the foundation of the location must also be checked. In most cases, rugged work sites are filled with uneven and rocky terrain. Operators should look for flat parts and use outriggers (when available) to keep the unit as stable as possible. A level indicator can also be applied for precise deployment.

Generators and Solar Panels

Some LED light towers are equipped with portable generators and solar panels for power. These components add extra value to the system, allowing workers to streamline productivity, as power is available wherever the light mast is deployed.

During use, generators are known to emit smoke and contribute to loud noise. Because of this, such systems are typically setup at the boundaries of the work site or at a considerable distance from parts of the site with high activity levels.

Alternatively, solar-powered LED light towers can be deployed in the center of the location or around places with high activity levels. This type of sustainable system is solid state and does not generate smoke or loud noise.

However, the panels must be positioned towards the sun during the day, in order to cater to battery charging. This must be taken into consideration, since congested parts of the work site, such as the presence of cranes, bridges or trailers, may limit the unit’s ability to harvest sunlight.…

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Industrial LED Stack Lights Applications in Manufacturing

In manufacturing sites, LED stack lights promote safety and provide real-time notifications (when equipped with an audible horn) of specific activities or dangers in the area. The unit’s versatile options and compact design makes them ideal for installations over heavy machines, as well as in elevated positions.

Outside of manufacturing, LED stack lights can be found in maintenance call stations, broadcast studios and CNC machining (just to name a few).

Color Codes and LED Stack Lights

LED stack lights typically come in various color combinations and selections, based on the type of signaling required by the business. At a basic level, green LEDs are applied to signal ongoing operations, while red LED work lights are used for emergencies, suggesting operations should be stopped.

For special requests, such as maintenance or scheduling, a blue LED is deployed. It is important to consider that, in application, businesses may choose their own set of colors and applications for signaling. When setup properly, the units can improve productivity.

Audio Signaling and Other Features

These days, industrial LED stack lights are being combined with other signaling devices, including loud horns. This adds another layer of notification, ensuring those who are visually occupied with a task can still receive notifications clearly. LED stack lights with audio horns are commonly utilized for traffic signaling systems in warehouses and industrial sites.

Machines can also be wired into the LED lighting system, so that a human operator does not need to manually activate the unit. As a result, signaling is faster and more reliable.

LED stack lights can be designed to suit specific work environments. Explosion proof variants are for locations that handle or are exposed to flammable elements. For food manufacturing facilities, waterproof and corrosion-resistant options are recommended in order to withstand persistent water spray or harsh cleaning chemicals during washdown sessions.…

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Understanding Tunnel Lighting Zones and Configurations

Tunnel lighting systems are configured and installed, based on five zones: Access Zone, Threshold Zone, Transition Zone, Interior Zone and Exit Zone.

Read on to learn about the industrial lighting requirements of tunnels and how to calculate tunnel lighting for each

Access Zone

This area is located outside of the tunnel, specifically the strip of road that leads to the tunnel’s initial entry point. The primary role of lamps in the access zone is enhanced clarity. The lights should allow individuals entering the tunnel to adjust to the conditions of the area. Access zone lighting configurations are considered successful when a driver can enter the tunnel without decreasing speed.

Threshold and Transition Zones

Threshold and transition zones gradually adjust lighting conditions to cater to the dimly lit nature of tunnels. By slowly reducing illumination, drivers are less prone to developing ‘blind spots’ created by rapidly switching exposure between daylight conditions and dark tunnels.

Ideally, the end of the transition zone should provide up to three times more illumination, compared to the interior zone.

Interior and Exit Zones

As the term suggests, the interior zone is the deepest part of the tunnel. In most cases, the amount of illumination required is dictated by the type of activity inside the location. For road-related activities and traffic, traveling speeds and density must be taken into consideration.

Lastly, the exit zone provides the required illumination for safe travels leading out of the area. Interestingly, the visual principles applied in the access, threshold and transition zones are not needed in the exit zone. This is because humans can easily adjust between dim and bright lighting levels easier, compared to adapting from bright to low lighting conditions.

To guide drivers out of the tunnel, lights in this zone are installed to provide contrasting conditions, in the event the exit point (and surrounding signs) is obstructed or hard to identify.…

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LEDs Are not Cheap: Here’s How to Get the Most for Your Money

Led spotlights are no more a no-brainer.So here’s your technique for buying. The inefficient lamp phaseout has started, and CFLs are not your only option. There’s another mainstream option: LEDs if you are ready to pay the price.

Buy LEDs slowly but surely as time passes.

With the average household’s about 40 sockets, that is $800-$1,600 in led spotlights. However, prices will drop given that the inefficient incandescent is restricted and competition rises among LED manufacturers. How fast they willdrop is a topic of theissue — some experts project a 50% price is lowering over another five years, but others think we will see a 75% cut down by the end of 2012.

Buyled spotlights when the purchase price drops below three times that of an equivalent CFL given that they last 3 x as long. For instance, CFL reflector lights — the flat-topped lights you put in floodlights or recessed fittings — typically cost around $10, so look for prices below $30 for similar LEDs. “In Vermont, where I live, I came across LED retrofits for recessed fittings for $20,” says Russ Leslie, associate director of the unbiased Lighting Research Center in Troy, N.Y. “It was a no-brainer.”

We did the math on the payback for swapping incandescents with LEDs.

Keep in mind that these numbers derive from national averages, which means that your results will vary:

Assuming lighting makes up about 6% (or even higher, depending on which national source you seek advice from) of the average $2,200 gross annual energy bill, according to the U.S. Section of Energy, and LEDs are 75% more efficient than incandescents, you’d save about $100 per season by transitioning totally to LEDs.

Combine sales prices you will probably find with rebates from your state or your utilityfor personal savings, says Leslie. The Databases of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency can help.

Replace high-wattage and frequently used incandescent lights with LEDs in:

  • Recessed (can) light. These tend to maintain places where use is high, such as kitchens, which account for the most kilowatt time per season in American homes, based on the Lighting Research Centre. “LED retrofits for recessed light are ready for theprimary time,” Leslie says, “and CFLs in that application are not nearly as good.”
  • Open fixtures. Concentrate on drop-bowl light accessories, lamps, and other accessories where air can circulate readily around the light bulb. LEDs, like CFLs, don’t perform as well in enclosed fittings where heat builds up.
  • Outdoor Lamps. The high wattage of outdoor floodlights makes them a good replacement concentrate on. LED floodlights are improving technology and will likely become cheaper this season, Leslie says, so you may want to put off this purchase until later in 2012.

Problems with led spotlights

Hold off on replacing lights in enclosed accessories, as they tend to burn out faster. More domestic fixtures designed for LEDs begins hitting the marketplace this year, Leslie says, which should address a few of the problems led spotlights to have with high-temperature conditions. As the quality of LEDs ranges widely, be certain to choose one with the power Star label.

Your final thought: Suzanne Shelton, CEO of Shelton Group and an expert on consumer behavior toward energy efficiency, recommends that you start thinking about your lights as an investment. “Save the boxes from your LEDs and take them to you when you move,” she says.

What’s your lamp strategy? Do you use a combo of led spotlights and CFLs, or hoard incandescents while certain wattages remain available?…

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Benefits of High CRI Lighting in Industrial Facilities

In industrial buildings, work lights are capable of enhancing clarity over the work space. Specifically, brightness ratings are used to gauge the distance of light beams and detection rates. Another factor that is rarely considered, when selecting lights for industrial work sites is color rendering index (CRI) values. This refers to the unit’s ability to reproduce certain colors with a high degree of accurateness, resulting in robust color depiction. Read on to learn about CRI lighting and its applications.

Measuring the Quality of Illumination

CRI ratings are applied, based on a 1-100 scoring system. The rating is measured using eight standard pastel colors, which are averaged together to arrive at the CRI value.

Most LED lamps come with a CRI rating of 80+. While fluorescent fixtures provide CRI ratings between 62 and 90 (or higher). Interestingly, out of all the lighting technologies available in the market today, mercury-vapor units offer the lowest CRI ratings, at roughly 45. CRI values in the 90+ range are considered optimal for design or color-related applications.

It is important to consider that CRI values cannot be used to determine the characteristics of the light on its own. Other factors, such as color temperature and beam angle, can also affect color depiction.

For instance, low color-temperature units provide yellowish to reddish illumination, which results in less accurate color rendering. To better understand this, imagine the way objects look during sunset, compared to the way objects appear during mid-afternoon.

Applications for High CRI Lighting Systems

High CRI light sources, such as LEDs, are useful in a variety of locations and work sites. Examples of tasks, sectors and services that can directly benefit from this type of luminary include the following: commercial paint spray booths, art shows, photo galleries, large-scale exhibits, laboratories, scientific testing, manufacturing floors, design rooms and more.…

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How to Address Vibration When Using Industrial Work Lights

Outdoor work sites, such as construction, logging, mining, agricultural operations and mineral processing, experience large amounts of vibration. Over time, such elements can hinder and destroy work lights lighting systems.

Read on to learn how to address vibration experienced by lights in rugged environments.

Reducing Vibration and Premature Failure

There are several ways to decrease the negative effects of vibration on lights and other equipment at the site. One of the most effective and low-cost methods involves the installation of sturdy mounting components. For example, a U-bracket mount for an LED light bar may decrease unnecessary shaking, when secured on a tractor or ATV.

Furthermore, a thick pad can be installed at the base of the mount (at the surface) to absorb heavy vibrations. For long-term maintenance, operators in work sites that experience constant vibration should inspect their work lights lighting systems to ensure the parts are still intact and working properly.

Types of Vibration

There are three main types of vibration that occur around heavy-duty equipment and industrial work sites. The first, called harmonic vibration, originates from large machines. This type of disturbance deals with external vibrations, which can be reduced by using a shield to block or absorb incoming harmonic waves.

Arrhythmic vibration occurs when operators expose a device or equipment to damaging forces. This is usually done randomly, such as navigating over a road filled with potholes or carrying a portable light up a ladder, causing the luminary shake and hit objects on the way up. Arrhythmic vibration is dangerous because it can contribute to breakage.

Lastly, rhythmic vibration is constant vibration stemming from nearby machines or large sources. For instance, an outdoor spotlight next to an industrial water pump may experience this type of vibration while it is operational. Unlike arrhythmic vibration, this type of constant and contributes to damage over a long period of time.…

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