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A Simple Guide to Explosion Rated LED Lighting

Explosion rated lighting, which also goes by the name Intrinsically Safe and Hazardous Location Lights, is UL certified lighting that complies with OSHA Safety Standards and is used in areas with pulverized dust, flammable petrochemical vapors, or ignitable fibers – or where the three have a probability of existing.

We can further define these lights as those that resist catastrophic ignition because of their physical design, materials, and technical engineering. They have different classifications which are important to understand, because the classifications make them ideal for different settings.

Explosion Proof Lighting Classifications

The Canadian Electrical Code (CEC) and the National Electrical Code (NEC) have three different classifications for hazardous lighting locations: class I, class II and class III. These are broad classifications which differentiate explosion proof lights. Each of the classes is further broken down into two different divisions.

Most of the new explosion proof lights feature LED technology which minimizes costs and ensures the lighting fixtures have a long lifespan. Unlike regular industrial LED light fixtures, explosion proof rated LED lights have sturdier frames, casings, and feature tempered glass.

Any internal electrical component that might trigger sparks is tightly contained to keep the sparks away from flammable fibers, dust, and vapors in the atmosphere. The classification for explosion proof lighting indicates the exact hazardous lighting location the fixture is ideal for.

Class I (Division 1): spaces with flammable quantities of ignitable liquids, vapors, or gases in the atmosphere under normal conditions

Class I (Division 2): spaces with flammable quantities of ignitable liquids, vapors, or gases in the atmosphere under abnormal conditions

Class II (Division 1): spaces with flammable quantities of combustible dusts in the atmosphere under normal conditions
Class II (Division 2): spaces with flammable quantities of combustible dusts in the atmosphere under abnormal conditions

Class III (Division 1): spaces with flammable materials or fibers that release combustible particles into the atmosphere under normal conditions

Class III (Division 2): spaces with flammable materials or fibers that release combustible particles into the atmosphere under abnormal conditions

Apart from being categorized according to classes and divisions, OSHA requires that lighting fixtures be further identified by one group (out of the seven available: A through G) and their operating temperature range. The 7 groups identify the concentrations, characteristics, and types of materials present in the environment of a hazardous lighting location.

Choosing Explosion Proof Rated LED Lighting

It is important for industrial architects and electrical professionals to understand the Class, Division and Group of explosion proof LED lighting when working on industrial sites as this will ensure that the employees who work in those environments are safe.

If a hazardous location is not properly classified or if the lighting system in the space does not comply with CEC or NEC code requirements for the location, wayward sparks or hot lighting fixtures can cause an industrial fire that may quickly get out of control and endanger the lives of the employees in the facility.

MyLEDLightingGuide offers a variety of explosion proof rated LED lights that are ideal for different types of environments.

Talk to our industrial lighting experts today and get the professional help you need to choose the right hazardous location lighting.

3 Things to Consider before Purchasing Explosion Proof Lights

Explosion class lighting can enhance the safety of an industrial space, but only if it is ideal for the location. If you're an architect, a facility manager, or a lighting expert, there are three things you should look at when choosing hazardous location lighting

  1. The lighting technology
  2. The Class, Division, and Group of explosion lighting
  3. The cost savings and environmental impact

Let’s discuss each in detail and why it impacts your choice of explosion lighting.

1. The Lighting Technology

The best lighting technology – and the most common – for hazardous locations is LED. You'll be able to quickly identify these LED lights because of their specifications. LEDs need very few watts to produce high-quality light that boosts safety and productivity in industrial facilities.

LED lights are much more efficient than traditional forms of industrial lighting (up to 90%) and can last up to 100,000 hours. Even the LEDs that don't have a long lifespan last up to 50,000 hours, which is still much longer than traditional lighting systems.

2. The Class, Division, and Group of Explosion Lighting

OSHA, the CEC, and the NEC classify hazardous lighting locations into 3 broad categories: Class I, Class II, and Class III. Class I locations have ignitable chemical vapors, class II locations have combustible dusts, and class III locations have flammable airborne fibers. The first thing an industrial lighting expert should do is determine whether the hazardous location will have vapors, dust, or fibers.

These 3 classifications are further divided into Division 1 and 2 to determine to what extent the ignitable substances are present in the environment of the hazardous location. Division 1 explosion proof lights are more expensive than Division 2 explosion proof lights because they are built according to higher standards. Combustible substances are also more present in Division 1 lighting locations than in Division 2 locations.

The final step is choosing a facility’s Group designation. Group classifications, which range from A to G, identify specific substances and their relative ignitability. An industrial architect, lighting expert, or facility manager who chooses the top Class, Division, and Group for a facility will end up spending more money than they would if they had matched the hazardous location with the right classifications.

3. The Cost Savings and Environmental Impact

LEDs have a very long lifespan and help you to save money you could have spent on replacement lights and expenses related to changing out bulbs. They also consume very few watts and can save a lot of electricity.

LED lighting is also better for the environment than traditional lighting systems. Fluorescent lights only convert 5% energy to light and waste 95% as heat. LEDs, on the other hand, convert 95% energy to light and only waste 5% as heat. For this reason, LED lights are much more efficient than conventional lights.

The LED lighting experts at MyLEDLightingGuide can help you to choose the right explosion rated LED lights for your hazardous location as we have extensive knowledge of the Class, Division, and Group classifications applicable to explosion rated lighting.

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