LED Factory Lights
LED Lighting for Factories - high heat and explosion proof solutions plus high powered and high voltage LED High Bays and flood lights. Convert your factory over to LED quickly and easily.
Lighting in a factory plays a huge role on safety, security, and output. Converting to LED factory lighting fixtures away from high-pressure sodium or metal halide lights has proven to improve all three of those areas, all while reducing energy consumption up to 75%.
LED Factory High Bays
UFO LED High Bays
Linear LED High Bay Fixtures
High Power LED High Bays
High Temperature High Bays
LED Factory Lights
The average American adult spends more than 40 hours of their week at work. Most of this work is carried out indoors. Work settings may range from small offices to industrial environments. Studies show that your eye makes up at least 80% of your sensory input at work. The eye is the workhorse of the body, working harder than other organs when executing tasks. It is also very sensitive to its surroundings.
Many factory owners do not put a lot of consideration into workplace essentials such as break time and ergonomics. There is even less focus on quality lighting. But the truth of the matter is that lighting has a massive influence on visual comfort, productivity, safety, security, and energy efficiency.
Eye strain in a factory can cause blurred vision, headaches, and affect employees’ concentration. Poorly lit spaces can be the cause of eye strain. As workers strain more to see, many of them will suffer from back, shoulder and neck pains, which eventually might cause more health issues later on in life.
Most trips and falls also happen in poorly lit environments. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states that slips, falls, and trips result in an average of 11 days spent away from work (for every employee). These injuries can cost your factory up to $40,000 in costs per incident!
Quality lighting has a very positive effect not only on the productivity of your employees, but also on their state of mind. A NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) study revealed that poor lighting can exacerbate mood disorders and other psychiatric conditions. It can also make it harder for people to focus.
With so many hours spent at work, it is paramount to have the right amount of light at the right intensity. Research has shown that at least 68% of all U.S. workers are generally dissatisfied with the lighting in their workplaces.
This is very unfortunate because quality lighting is key to safeguarding and enhancing the life and health of your factory workers. It can also be used to enhance worker motivation and satisfaction, increasing productivity. Well-lit environments also ensure that production materials and equipment are kept in tip-top shape.
Poor lighting conditions do not necessarily mean that there is insufficient light. Too much light can also be a problem. It will cause glare, impairing vision and leading to distraction at work. Proper light distribution can determine how we see objects, colors, and other features.
Common Factory Lighting Problems
- Too much light which causes glare
- Improper contrast
- Poor distribution of light
So, how much light is enough for factory settings?
There are no predetermined foot candle standards for industrial settings, sufficient light for different environments largely depends on:
- The general size of the workspace
- The type of task being executed and its demands for accuracy and speed
- The variety of surfaces in the space. Are they reflective, do they absorb light?
- The length of time employees spend in the space
Many businesses do not take time to consider the financial benefits of high-quality lighting. This is why the adoption of LED lighting has faced some skepticism from managers and building owners who have not had a chance to see its numerous benefits.
While there are very few scientific studies that have been done to show the link between human performance and high-quality lighting, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that proves that there is a direct correlation between performance and good lighting in workplaces.
American company Lockheed was able to save $500,000 annually in energy costs alone after getting a lighting upgrade. Other benefits of this upgrade included a 15% rise in employee productivity and a 15% decrease in absenteeism. LED, which is a superior lighting technology, may cost more initially, but its ROI is higher (and the payback period shorter), thanks to reduced energy expenditure and maintenance costs.
Advantages of Good LED Lighting for Factories
The Improving Working Conditions and Productivity in the Garment Industry, an ILO manual (pg 45) shows that improved lighting can lead to a 10% increase in productivity. It can also result in a 30% reduction in common errors. Improving lighting has many other benefits including;
- Your employees will not only be able to identify hazards at the workplace, they will also be able to know if their working environments are unsafe. Changes can then be made to ensure that no harm comes to those at risk
- With proper lighting, employees will be able to read hazard warning signs, labels, work instructions, product details, and safety data, and consequently comply with safety protocols
- There will be a reduction in factory accidents because workers will work more comfortably and more efficiently
- Better accuracy in workmanship
- Less spoilage of products
- An increase in labor production
- Better working and living conditions
- A reduction in the adverse health effects of eye strain
- Enhanced supervision by officers and managers
- Increased workplace satisfaction and contentment of workers
- Improved safety and security
Challenges Facing Factory Lighting
There are 2 common features in factories: large open spaces and high ceilings. These facilities tend to host risky and detail-oriented activities that often require high-quality and bright lighting.
Factories are also harsh environments with extreme moisture, dust, and very high and low temperatures. The lighting fixtures used in factories must have the inherent capacity to withstand these conditions without malfunctioning or exploding.
There are a lot of bulky machines in a factory setting and most of them are mobile. A lighting system for a factory must have the ability to illuminate all the sections of these machines. The equipment in a factory can also create vibrations that may damage the lighting fixtures. Conversely, some sensitive factory equipment can be damaged by electrical noise emanating from low-quality lighting systems.
A factory may also have sanitary protocols that require the protection of manufactured goods or consumable products against contamination that may be brought about by the breakage of light fixtures or their failure.
These are all factors that need to be kept in mind when designing a lighting system for a factory.
LED Lighting for Factories Lowers Operational Costs
Factory owners today are in a state of constant pressure to reduce operational costs. This is because high operational costs have a direct impact on the final prices of goods. One of the easiest ways to cut overhead costs is by using efficient factory lighting.
A 2015 U.S. Department of Energy report showed that the commercial sector used 37% of all the total lighting electricity in that year and was the leading consumer of lighting electricity in the U.S. This sector has some of the longest operating hours and the applications require numerous lighting fixtures.
Many factories today are transitioning from high-pressure sodium lamps, metal halides, and fluorescents to LED lighting. LEDs (light emitting diodes), have without a doubt, revolutionized the lighting industry. They are quickly gaining ground due to their many advantages, their biggest being the cost savings they offer.
While LEDs have been used in electronics for years, high power LEDs are what gave the technology fame. They make for versatile lighting systems and are durable enough for infrastructure and manufacturing lighting.
Some DLC qualified LEDs, for example, use almost 75% less energy than other types of lighting sources. They also last 25 times longer than other light bulbs. It is estimated that the widespread adoption of LEDs will save over 348TWh of electricity by 2027. Going by today's electricity costs, this is about $30 billion in savings!
A diode is an electrical component or device with a cathode and anode. Electricity flows through these two electrodes in one direction. The diodes are made from semi-conductive materials such as selenium or silicon. These solid-state materials conduct electrical current only in specific voltages, light intensities, or current levels. Once an electric current is passed through the semi-conductive materials, the LED then emits visible light.
Lighting Fixtures Used in Factories
Bay Fixture Lights for Factories
High bay and low bay lights are the most commonly utilized lights in factories. They are designed to illuminate large horizontal and vertical spaces. These lights are very effective at providing the required foot-candle levels for illuminating expansive spaces effectively.
High bay and low bay lighting refers to indoor lights typically mounted directly to the ceiling or to the ceiling via chains or pendants. They provide commercial, warehouse, factory, industrial, gym or retail lighting.
The high bay and low bay terms are used to describe the bay lights required for specific ceilings. High bay lights typically light up large areas with ceiling heights greater than 20 ft.
Low bay light fixtures, on the other hand, illuminate spaces with ceiling heights between 12 and 20 feet. They direct light to the area, ensuring uniform distribution that eliminates employee discomfort and enhances task accuracy.
High bay lights provide even light distribution, ensuring that all vertical and horizontal areas are well illuminated. Their design also ensures that task areas, work surfaces, and the factory floor are well illuminated at any given point. They make sure that a high level of productivity is maintained in the factory.
High bay lighting is the go-to solution for large factory spaces that require uniform and bright light from high points. The placement of the fixtures is what determines the light output, light intensity, and light distribution.
These luminaires are also perfect for indoor factory spaces where the work area is comprised of large horizontal and vertical spaces. The LED high bay and low bay lighting fixtures that are normally used in factories are very well built and are vapor tight, watertight, and shatterproof.
UFO LED High Bays
High Power LED High Bays
Drawbacks of Traditional Lights for Factories
Metal halide lights are a staple of the warehousing industry. When metal and halogen combine, compounds known as metal halides are formed. Metal halides include uranium hexafluoride (which powers nuclear energy reactors) or simple ones like sodium chloride (salt).
A MH lamp produces light when an electric current is passed through a combination of a metal halide gas and mercury. The metal halide vapor enhances the light quality and efficiency. However, this light has one major drawback: it has a long warm-up and restrike time. This can range between 5-15 minutes and usually depends on whether the metal halide is a probe start lamp or a pulse start lamp.
MH lamps, therefore, cannot be switched on and off on demand, so they tend to stay in operation longer than required. They also have to be replaced before they get to the end of their lifetimes as they produce pinkish light as they get older.
These lights waste a lot of their energy as heat, and their useful life ranges between 6,000 and 15,000 hours. Compared to LED lights for factories, whose average lifespan is 50,000 hours, metal halides are not economical.
Another factor that may make MH lamps unsuitable for factory settings is the fact that they are omni-directional. A bulb that is omni-directional produces light in 360 degrees, an inefficiency because reflectors have to be used to redirect the light to the target area for illumination.
HPS lights have been used in industrial areas, recreational facilities, and warehouses for many years. They are affordable but have the worst color rendering of all commercial lights on the market. And just like metal halide lamps, they have a long warm-up and a restrike period – as is the case with all HID lamps.
High-pressure sodium lights are gas discharge lights with an arc tube made of aluminum oxide. This sodium metal is usually combined with elements such as mercury to counter its yellow glow, adding light-blue to white emissions.
High-pressure sodium lights have a higher internal pressure than low-pressure sodium vapor lights. These lights are not suitable for most factory applications because their spectrum of visible light is very close. It ranges between 589-589.6nm and is almost monochromatic. This means that the colors of illuminated objects will be virtually indistinguishable.
HPS lamps need ignition provided by either a third electrode in the bulb or a voltage pulse. They require a warm-up period to turn the internal gas to plasma. As they heat up, they also need a higher voltage to operate, which is often balanced by a ballast.
A ballast is an electric or magnetic device that is designed to provide these lamps with a constant current. This piece of equipment provides the correct initial voltage because these lamps need a higher voltage to start than the one they require to operate. The ballast also matches the line voltage to the energy of the HID lamp. It also limits the current to prevent the destruction of the lamp.
As they age, sodium vapor lights will require an increasingly higher voltage to generate the same amount of light. The energy will eventually exceed the lamps' fixed resistance, and the bulbs will fail. The need for a higher voltage to start and run makes HPS lamps very energy inefficient.
HPS lamps are also omni-directional by nature and disperse their light in all directions. They, therefore, require reflectors to refocus the light. But reflectors are never 100% efficient and some lumens are usually lost during the reflection process. HPS lights also contain toxic mercury that makes them a disposal headache when they get to the end of their lives.
A U.S. Department of Energy report indicates that in 2015, the U.S consumed an estimated 641 terawatt-hours (TWh) of energy on lighting, with linear fluorescent bulbs and HIDs consuming 33% and 34% of it respectively (pg 3,59).
Fluorescents are gas discharge lights. The lights are available in tubes with lengths between 48-84 inches. The glass tubes are filled with argon-krypton or argon gas and a little mercury. They are usually coated with phosphorus and fitted with electrodes at both ends.
They produce light by maintaining an electric current between the electrodes, via the inert gas and mercury in them. When the mercury atoms are excited by the current, they emit ultraviolet radiation that is converted into visible light by the phosphorus lining on the light's tube. They also require a ballast to ensure the correct starting voltage and to regulate the operating current.
Just like HID light sources, they require more voltage to produce adequate light as they age. Once this voltage exceeds the lights’ fixed resistance, they malfunction. This factor largely contributes to the inefficiency of fluorescent light sources.
Fluorescents also contain mercury and phosphor which makes them a potential hazard in factory settings. And they must be disposed of according to the regulations set by the EPA. If they are frequently switched on and off, or used in places with very low temperatures, fluorescent bulbs will degrade faster and not give you 7,000-15,000 hours of light life. They should be left to run for as long as there’s need for lighting, which drives up your factory's electric bill.
Thirdly, these lights are omni-directional. This specific feature makes them poor choices for task lighting. They need reflectors to reflect and redirect the light, which increases the cost of the units. Fluorescent bulbs also buzz and flicker and this can have a negative impact on the productivity of the employees in a factory. Their audible hum can be very distracting and the flickering may affect people with light sensitivity
They also give off some amount of UV radiation which may affect the paint on factory walls or cause dyed articles to fade. UV radiation is also harmful to humans as it can cause different medical conditions.
6 Benefits of LED Lighting for Factories
The useful life of LEDs ranges between 50,000 hours and 100,000 hours. So, what makes them last so long? We’ll answer this question by asking another question, "why do all the other bulbs burn out so quickly?”
All other bulbs borrow a lot of their working mechanism from Thomas Edison's incandescent bulb. Flourescents, for example, have no filaments but have electrodes that emit electrons into a gas inside the tube. The electrodes evaporate with time, burning out the fluorescent tube.
LEDs have a very long lifespan because of the way they are designed. Why? They really never burn out. In fact, they have nothing to burn. They have no filaments and no oxidation or evaporation of components. They suffer no metal fatigue. While other bulbs have high levels of fragility, LEDs are extremely tough and have no glass components that may break.
Thanks to electro-luminescence, LEDs require very little electricity to power them and they produce negligible levels of infrared energy.
So, if they never burn out, why do they have a life expectancy rating? Well, LEDs may not burn out, but their light output will decrease over their incredibly long lifespans. However, they will still continue to produce 70% of their light until they reach the end of their lifespans.
When compared to other bulbs, LED's are extremely energy efficient, something that makes them perfect for factories and industrial spaces. In a LED, electricity passes through the semi-conductive material, sparking up the light emitting diodes.
A heat sink will absorb and release the little amount of heat generated in a process known as thermal management. Thanks to this process, LEDs do not release heat into the environment. Flourescents and HIDs, on the other hand, convert a whopping 80% of the energy they draw into heat. This means they only convert 20% into light.
LEDs also disperse their light directionally over a 180-degree angle and not in 360 degrees like HID and fluorescent lighting. This eliminates the need for reflectors to redirect the light. LED lights for factories produce higher-quality light at half the average energy consumption of older lighting fixtures.
Some factories run for 24 hours, which is why it makes so much financial sense to invest in LED technology. LED lights drastically lower a factory’s energy consumption, decrease the maintenance costs related to lighting, and help businesses to save a lot of money on electricity.
And even though LED lights require a higher initial investment than other lighting systems, they will quickly offset the costs with their low running costs. Their longevity and reliability ensure that there’s minimal downtime, which makes them perfect for hectic production environments.
There is a massive move towards LED lighting for factories because companies and decision-makers are realizing the numerous benefits they provide to industrial settings when compared to older light types.
Industrial environments, such as a factory, can have a lot of potentially dangerous machine and processes going on at once. Improving the visibility with the higher quality of light that LED industrial factory lighting solutions provide will enable employees to avoid potential accidents, not otherwise avoidable with poor lighting that is caused from HPS or Metal Halide lamps. We can EASILY replace 400W, 1000W and even 2000W HID, all while saving $'s.
HPS and MH lights buzz, flicker, and output light in less-than-optimal color temperatures and quantities. This can slow down production, reducing daily output significantly. Being able to speed up output and efficiency can pay for itself, not including the direct cost saving benefits that industrial LED factory lighting offers.
Some factories suffer from heat produced from furnaces and other processes. We can offer an indoor highbay solution that is designed for environments up to 190F. Cold Environment? We got you covered there too! The same fixture is rated for -85F. We can easily replace 250, 400 and 1000W HID and if you need more, ask us. We can custom build solutions.
Things to Consider When Choosing LED Lighting for Factories
While too little lighting in a factory can have hazardous effects, too much of it can cause glare and increase operational costs. A lighting designer, therefore, has to take into consideration the uses of the factory space and the lighting requirements before settling on any factory lighting fixtures.
There is no “one size fits all” light fixture for industrial locations. The Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) recommends that lighting designers always conduct a photometric analysis before recommending lighting solutions to factories. They should, for example, take an inventory of the available spaces, the occupants, and the functions of the spaces.
The following are the most important considerations for factory lighting.
Lux is the standard unit of measurement for light level intensity. 1 lux of light is equal to 1 lumen per square meter. It tells us how well a surface is illuminated. A lux measures light intensity as perceived by the human eye. The lux levels for direct sunlight usually range between 10.8 (twilight) to 120,000 (direct sunlight at noon).
There are different lux levels recommended for various industrial applications. A lux meter is used to ensure that illumination levels are perfect for a task, a space, and the workers working under the light.
Below is a table highlighting the recommended lux levels for different industrial settings
|Application||Recommended Lux (Ages 25-65)||Recommended Lux (Ages 65+)|
The light fixtures in factories may be exposed to excessive levels of dust, oil, or moisture. These fixtures must be able to withstand extreme conditions that are the norm in industrial settings. They should also have adequate protection against vibration and impact. Vibrations may be caused by the heavy machinery used in most factories. When exposed to extreme conditions, fluorescent lighting glass enclosures can shatter, exposing the products in the factory, the equipment, and the employees to risk.
Continuous vibrations can degrade lighting solutions that utilize fine filaments and delicate components. LED lights for factories do not have filaments or glass enclosures and are highly resistant to impact and vibrations in industrial settings.
The lights should also have temperature protection features which enable them to function brilliantly in environments with very high or very low temperatures. The extreme ambient temperatures that are usually found in factories make LEDs more suitable for these settings than other lighting options. LED lights can work well in refrigerated warehouses with temperatures of up to -40°C.
There is one thing we mentioned at the beginning of this article. We said that LED lights for factories should be shatterproof, waterproof, and vapor tight. Shatterproof lighting fixtures are a very smart choice. In factories where there are high heat temperatures, gases, and other sensitive components, shatterproof lighting fixtures must be used. This is because lighting fixtures that can shatter can be a potential accident waiting to happen. Shatterproof bulbs and lighting fixtures eliminate this problem altogether.
Vapor tight lights are fixtures that offer bright, efficient light in harsh environments. Harsh environments are areas that are exposed to high humidity, extreme temperatures, dust, water, and a lot of dirt. These lights must be rugged and durable because they will be constantly exposed to harsh conditions. LED vapor tight lights are the best option as they are energy efficient and significantly decrease energy bills. They are also low maintenance and can be used in wet or dusty areas.
Vapor tight lights are also waterproof lights as they protect the bulbs from water, dust, and dirt. These lights usually have a full metal fixture liner placed in a fiberglass shell or a PU. The IP rating is what determines how waterproof these fixtures are. Most LED waterproof lights used in factories have IP67 or IP68 rating. This means they can be fully submerged in water and they will still function optimally.
IP67 rated fixtures offer complete protection against dust and can be submerged in water that is 15 cm to 1 m deep. IP68 rated fixtures also offer total protection against dust and can be submerged in water deeper than 1 m for long periods of time.
If these lights are used in hazardous locations (locations with flammable chemical vapors, ignitable dusts, and combustible airborne fibers), they should have the right classification. They must be in the right class, division, and group of explosion proof lighting.
Most LED lights for factories have a high color rendering index of 80-90. This means that the workers in a factory will be able to accurately see the true colors of objects. A high CRI is very important in inspection areas, especially areas where products are inspected before they are released to the market. It is also highly important in paint manufacturing plants and other factories where accurate color discrimination is vital.
Traditional lighting systems like metal halide lamps and fluorescents have a low color rendering index that ranges between 50 and 65. When they are used in factories, there is a considerable deviation in colors.
The maintenance costs of the lights is a very important consideration. If you use HID lighting solutions like high pressure sodium lamps, you will need to replace them every now and then, yearly on average. This is because traditional lighting solutions have a very high rate of lumen depreciation and lose most of their light output by the time they get to 40% of their rated lives.
The LED lights for factories sold by MyLEDLightingGuide have a rated life of 100,000 hours and can last for more than 10 years if they operate 24/7, or close to 30 years if they are switched on for 8 hours each day. If you use these lights, you will save a lot of money you would have spent on replacement lamps as well as the labor costs for installation and replacement.
Reducing factory lighting costs becomes practical and sustainable with LED lighting systems for factories. With energy savings up to 75%, you can reduce a tremendous amount of energy consumption. Also , LED offers longer lifespans and reduced maintenance costs.
Rebates are available at time of purchase.