NSF Certified LED Food Processing Lights
Shop for Food Grade LEDs are the perfect food process lighting fixture. They are water tight for easy cleaning and sterilization. DLC Qualified, NSF certified.
Food Processing NSF LED Fixtures are designed for food processing and food safe environments to ensure the food remains safe and contamination free. These lights can be cleaned with high pressure hot water and withstand the rigors of this harsh environment.
Our NSF Certified LED Food Processing Lights are specifically designed to meet all the stringent food grade luminaire guidelines. Designed to replace 250W to 750W HID and Metal Halide. These stylish food processing high bays can provide bright, economical light and create a safe work environment.
Replace 250W HID
Replace 400W HID
Replace 750W HID
LED Food Processing Lighting
While all food and beverage facilities have a host of needs, it is not a secret that some have more needs than others. For example, in the food processing industry, all tasks must be carried out according to the procedure. If they are not, the results can be catastrophic or even deadly. In the food industry, every area of operation is under stringent guidelines – because food facilities must be productive and safe. Driven by the requirement to keep the food free of contaminants, lighting fixtures used in food processing facilities have to meet some of the most stringent standards required of any industry. Food processing plants need luminaires that are able to withstand rigorous cleaning protocols, are highly resistant to corrosion and contain no toxic materials.
And while good hygiene plays a key role in enhancing the quality and safety of food, it is not the only thing with an important role in improving food safety and quality. There are many other ways to enhance food quality and safety that are not as obvious.
In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration and the United States Department of Agriculture tightly regulate the food and beverage industry. To ensure hygienic conditions are maintained, all equipment and appliances used in food and beverage facilities must meet the strict manufacturing standards that are set by the National Sanitation Foundation. Food and beverage facilities must have lighting fixtures that function optimally under hygienic or even hazardous conditions.
The three most important concerns when it comes to food processing are to prevent:
- bacterial growth
- food spoilage
The light fixtures used in food processing facilities must have a high level of protection against elements such as airborne dust, effluents, steam, mist, water, oils, grime, cleaning solvents, and other contaminants.
The compliance standards for food and beverage facilities and the light fixtures used depend on the specific facilities. Since food is produced, processed, stored, and prepared in different facilities, different lighting fixtures must be used in these facilities. And while food and beverage plants are industrial spaces, the lighting fixtures used in them cannot be the same ones used in industrial spaces like manufacturing plants and warehouses.
Food Safe LED Lights
1. Be easy to clean so as to decrease the risk of contamination and also lower lighting maintenance costs and downtime with their long lifespans.
2. Be bright enough to enhance visibility for employees in the facility. The light should not cause blinding glare or cast shadows which may be the cause of accidents.
3. They must meet all the government and industry regulations relating to food quality and safety.
For the longest time, food processing facilities used old lighting technologies such as high pressure sodium lamps, metal halide lamps, xenon lamps, and fluorescent lights. But these lighting systems have many limitations. They have spectral power distribution and emit a lot of heat. In food processing plants, very high temperatures can affect food processes. To control the high temperatures which are caused by the heat emitted by conventional lighting systems, more electricity is used to get rid of the excess heat.
Additionally, most old lighting technologies contain mercury, a dangerous chemical that can be hazardous if it leaks into the environment. Light bulbs that contain mercury must be disposed of in a specific way in case they break or burn out.
Metal halide lamps and fluorescent buzz and flicker if they operate for long hours. Buzzing and flickering light can interfere with the productivity of employees and also cause eye strain and headaches. The efficiency of some light sources is also affected by the switching frequency as well as extreme temperatures.
LED lights emit very little heat and their efficiency gets better at lower temperatures, something that makes them ideal for food storage facilities. They help ensure that food does not get contaminated at any stage and remains safe for consumption.
Lighting Standards in the Food and Beverage Industry
Food processing plants are held to the highest standards of sanitation protocols and cleanliness and undergo stringent inspections. The National Sanitation Foundation International (NSF International) has stringent compliance standards that are based on a facility’s condition and the degree of contact with food procedures (if there is indirect or direct contact with food).
The foundation classifies equipment used in food processing environments into three zones:
In this area, direct contact with food isn't expected. However, the liquids used in the cleaning or food processing procedures can splash, spill, or soil the surfaces of the fixtures. In splash zones, high-pressure hose wash-downs are frequently performed. Splash zones include damp or wet process areas, areas that use hose wash-downs, and high-pressure purging or decontamination areas.
In this zone there isn't any direct contact with food under normal working conditions. The light fixtures used are not exposed to wash-downs or splashes but they have to be well protected against dirt, debris, and cleaning solvents. Examples of non food zones include food storage areas, dry process areas, damp process areas, and kitchens.
In this zone, direct contact with food is expected. The food zone certification usually applies to equipment which are not related to lighting such as work tables and cutting boards.
According to the regulations set by NSF International, light fixtures used in food and beverage facilities must have IP65 or IP66 ratings. The luminaires must also have UL Listing for damp locations, UL Listing for wet locations, or ETL safety listing. In hazardous locations, vapor-tight, clean-room rated lighting fixtures should be used.
One mistake some food processing facilities make is use lighting fixtures that are ideal for general industrial settings. This is very wrong. The lighting fixtures used in food processing facilities must be able to work well under sanitary or even dangerous conditions.
How LED Lighting Greatly Impacts Food Safety
In order to enhance safety and productivity in the workplace, the food industry relies on powerful lighting systems. This is why many food processing facilities are shifting from conventional lighting technologies to LED lighting products. LED lighting complies with the stringent regulations that are set by the FDA and the USDA.
It is believed that the adoption of LED in the food and beverage industry will reach $80 billion yearly by 2020. The food facilities that are leading the rest in the adoption of LED are food processing and food manufacturing plants. This is because LEDs offer great solutions to the complex and challenging working conditions of these environments.
Because of the way they are designed, LEDs can help decrease thermal damage and degradation of food and are perfect for cold storage applications. Research has shown that in the post harvest stage, LED lights can preserve or enhance the nutritive quality of food and also lower fungal infections. LED light fixtures can be paired with photo-sensitizers or photo-catalysts to make pathogenic bacteria in food inactive, helping preserve the freshness of foods in the post harvest stage.
However, the successful usage of LED lights in food processing plants depends on the specific type of lighting fixtures installed. In facilities where explosive gases and dust are present, the lighting products must adhere to the regulations set by the National Electric Code. In the event gas leaks, gets into the luminaires, and causes them to explode, explosion-proof lighting fixtures will contain the activity, making sure it doesn't spread.
In confined spaces or storage tanks, LED drop lights should be used as they are specially designed for activities that require portable lighting. LED drop lights are resistant to shock, shatterproof, and do not contain any glass. The hooks located at their tops allow people to easily latch them on different structures for support.
Since light emitting diodes are solid state lighting devices, they are devoid of fragile parts and glass and dangerous chemicals cannot escape and contaminate food. LEDs also give off very little heat, which means cooking processes are not interfered with by higher temperature levels. You may not be aware of it, but slight changes in temperature can quickly melt foods like chocolate, icing, and cake batters.
Why LED Food Processing Lighting is Recommended for Food Processing Facilities
While most food and beverage facilities switch to LED technology because of two motivators – compliance and efficiency – the true value of LED lighting comes from its lower ownership costs. For many food facilities, getting a return on investment on lighting is a non-issue, it just does not happen. However, the case is different with LED technology. The lighting usually pays for itself in less than 2 years.
Yes, the initial costs of converting to LED are higher than for HID and fluorescent lamps, but the cost of ownership is significantly lower. LED lights last up to 10 times longer than other lighting technologies, which means you will not have to replace them often. Their long life expectancy reduces both downtime, maintenance costs, and labor costs.
Traditional lighting fixtures have a very steep degradation curve. They quickly lose their light output from the moment they are installed in a facility. In just 2 years, they may produce 40% of their initial light output. And because they have very short lifespans and have to be frequently replaced, they offer no return on investment.
But installing LED lighting is a great investment because the luminaires only lose approximately 2% of their lumens (light output) every two years. This means that it may take 10 years for their light output to depreciate to 20%.
LED food processing lights can easily last 5 years and provide almost the same light output they provided in the beginning. With LED lighting, the ROI is way more important than the upfront costs of adopting the technology.
MyLEDLightingGuide Pro Tip
LED Food Safe Lighting - Reduced Operating Costs
LED Fixtures should be trouble free for 10+ years, assuming 12 hour work days / 4 days a week.
Without a doubt, the main reason LED lights are so popular is because they offer huge energy savings compared to traditional lighting systems. As we said earlier, before LED technology was introduced, food and beverage facilities used high intensity discharge lamps or fluorescent lamps.
But since none of these lights are efficient, facilities wasted a lot of resources and labor on them. At this time, lighting was more of a liability than an asset. But with LED technology, lighting becomes an asset –because it pays for itself over and over again.
When you convert to LED technology, you can lower the energy consumption of your facility by up to 75%. And if you pair LED food processing lighting with lighting controls, energy savings can go up to 90%. LEDs have a very high luminous efficacy and do not need a lot of electricity to produce many lumens.
A 400-watt metal halide bulb consumes approximately 470 watts (because it uses a ballast which also draws electricity). A 150-watt LED, which makes a perfect replacement for this traditional lamp, can consume less than 150 watts and produce up to 150 lumens per watt. What's more, the LED lamp will offer better light because of its high color rendering index.
MyLEDLightingGuide Pro Tip
LED Food Safe Lighting - Reduced Electricity Costs
Against Metal Halide, you should expect a 60-75% savings when you replace with LED. Changing from fluorescent lighting to LED, you should expect a 50-65% savings.
When you replace an older lighting technology with LED technology in your food processing facility, you won’t just lower your monthly electric bill, you will also save money in the process as utilities offer rebates and incentives for energy-efficient lights.
This is one of the things that should compel you to make the switch – adopting LED technology is not as expensive as you think. The best part is you'll be able to kill two birds with one stone: get better lighting and create a safe working environment for your employees.
Majority of our LED lights for food industry environments are DLC Qualified and eligible for rebates. All our food grade light fixtures & solutions are UL or ETL listed for safety. Our DLC Qualified lights come with either a 5-year or a 10-year warranty. Many utility companies offer rebates for DLC Qualified or Energy Star certified products, saving you even more money.
One of the biggest challenges in the food and beverage industry is maintaining a sanitary, clean, and safe environment for manufacturing consumable products. A report released by the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention showed that 48 million people contract food-borne illnesses every year.
And while there are very many things that play a role in this, one leading factor can be the failure to properly sanitize food processing plants and equipment. Food processing facilities must make sure that they use appliances and equipment that are safe and effective in order to lower the risk of manufacturing unsafe products for consumers or retailers.
The National Sanitation Foundation International, which was created back in 1944, has been running its non-food compounds registration program since 1999. The organization offers different certifications and is recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S Food and Drug Administration, and the United States Department of Agriculture.
The non-food compounds registration shows that the fixture and the facility where the fixture was made have both passed a myriad of tests which relate to the strict requirements of the USDA and the FDA. The NSF/ANSI 2 certification applies to equipment used in food processing facilities and includes requirements for design, construction, material, safety, and product performance to ensure food sanitation and protection.
NSF international recommends that lighting fixtures be free of glass components for safety purposes in the event of impact. Lighting fixtures must not have painted surfaces which may peel off and contaminate the food.
One great thing about LED food processing lights is that they are able to produce higher-quality light compared to old lighting technologies used in food processing plants. Let us look at how traditional lighting technologies behave when it comes to the quality of light they produce.
High pressure sodium lamps offer a high lumen output at a low cost. But the color of the light they generate is red, orange, or yellow and is of very poor quality. Their color rendering index is very low (22) and they cannot be used in areas where determining color contrast is of utmost importance (like food and beverage facilities) or areas where security is a priority.
The light quality of metal halide lights is better than that of HPS lamps as they have a higher lumen output and a higher color rendering index (65). However, these lamps have a very short lifespan (15,000 hours) and they never get to the end of their lives with the same lumen output.
Fluorescent lamps, which are considered more energy-efficient than other traditional lighting technologies, are negatively affected by operating temperatures and the switching frequency. If these lamps are installed in food processing facilities with below freezing temperatures, they may fail to work or burn out prematurely. In addition, if they are continually switched on and off, they may malfunction long before they are expected to.
As you can see, none of these lighting technologies is efficient. LED lights produce higher-quality light thanks to their high color rendering index (70 and above) and luminous efficacy (100 lumens per watt and above). Thanks to their high-quality light and low wattage, LEDs make perfect replacements for higher-wattage conventional lighting systems.
For instance, a 150-watt LED light can replace a 400-watt metal halide lamp. If the LED lights you choose have a high luminous efficacy, you may just need to install a few fixtures in your application to adequately illuminate your space. What’s more, the light output of LEDs does not reduce in cold temperatures. As a matter of fact, their performance improves in colder temperatures.
In food processing facilities, all types of foods must undergo strict quality inspections before they are released to the market. One feature of the inspections is the visual examination of the products. Let us talk about how color evaluation plays a critical role in food processing.
In meat or milk processing facilities, a specific color can be a sign of quality. For example, an odd color (a discoloration) may mean that the products came from diseased animals or have incorrect nutrition levels. Vegetables and fruits are put in different quality categories and degrees of ripeness based on their coloring.
Apart from producing high-quality light, LED food processing lights are also able to render colors very well, thanks to their high color rendering index. The sun, the ideal light source, has a color rendering index of 100 and renders all colors perfectly. The color impression of an item is usually dependent on the spectral distribution of the light which illuminates it. A light source must have good color rendering properties to allow precise evaluation of food color.
When the employees in a food processing facility are able to spot food defects such as mold and discoloration easily, processing food gets easier and contaminated food is never released to the market. Every now and then, we see food recalls on the media. You may not know it, but food recalls are very costly for the manufacturer. And the most interesting part is that a costly recall may have been caused by a minor incident in a food processing facility that compromised the food quality.
LED food processing lighting with a high color rendering index allows quality food inspections to be carried out and the detection of very fine color distinctions. In food processing facilities, where permanent visual inspections are carried out – like on a conveyor belt – LED technology lights with a high color rendering index can be of great importance. LEDs not only have a high color rendering index, they are low-maintenance and ensure there is no downtime.
In a food processing plant, lighting is very important for the safety and health of the employees. The better the lighting, the easier it is for employees to see hazards and avoid them. Most food processing facilities are filled with dangerous objects like grinders, slicers, and heat-generating equipment.
The proper lighting levels should always be maintained in these facilities as good lighting can help prevent trips, falls, and slips – which are the biggest general industrial accidents as per the Department of Labor.
The truth of the matter is that if the lights in your food processing plant do not improve safety, your employees will get injured and take some days off work, and this will have a negative impact on your business. Proper lighting also prevents employees from dropping or knocking over small items (such as tools and bolts) into food processing equipment.
Lighting creates an emotional response, especially in a work environment where people spend the better part of their day. Good lighting communicates safety, clarity, and reflects sanitation. General and task lighting in the areas where food is received, stored, or processed can impact employee productivity and safety through a balance of contrast, brightness, and color rendition.
Lighting also improves visibility and promotes visual comfort. It can also affect the energy levels and mood of workers. For example, if poor lighting is used in a facility and people have to work at night, they may experience drowsiness and fatigue, and this may lead to accidents and injuries.
LEDs, unlike antiquated lighting fixtures, emit white light that is almost similar to the light produced by the sun. This light has a great effect on people; it reduces fatigue and makes them to feel more alert. One research study carried out by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found out that LED lights can help people to easily detect trip hazards – up to 95% faster. LED lighting alone can help decrease workplace accidents by a great margin.
Another way LED lighting can benefit employees is by lighting up important areas adequately. When bright lighting fixtures are placed in the areas where bright light is needed, such as task areas and food processing areas, they enhance the safety and sanitation of the space. The placement of the lighting fixtures should flow in a logical progression and help make the plant a safe and easy place to navigate.
How to Choose LED Food Processing Lights
No question about it, food processing facilities are harsh on electronics. The LED lights you choose must not only be efficient and deliver adequate illumination, they must be able to withstand the harsh treatment that would damage average LED lights : corrosive cleaning chemicals, high pressure wash-downs, sub-zero temperatures, oil, steam, grease, food particles, and a lot more.
Then there's another challenge: the danger of contamination. The light fixtures used in food processing facilities must not contain toxic chemicals that may contaminate the food processing area. They must also not contain glass that may get into food if they happen to break.
There are regular demands we place on any LED lighting products: they must be dependable, durable, low-maintenance, efficient, easy to install, work well with lighting controls, and be cost-effective. These are the same demands placed on LED fixtures used in food processing facilities – plus many others.
These requirements can be a lot to ask of any light fixture – and you can easily mix them up or forget the important ones. This is why we have taken the time to put together a list of the major things you should look for when buying LED food processing lighting. Let’s get right to it.
National Sanitation Foundation International is the certification and regulatory body for food safety in the U.S. NSF certification is what commercial food service buyers, insurance agents, and health departments look for on any equipment used in food processing plants – and LED lights are some of these equipment.
The certification that relates to light fixtures is NSF P442: Controlled Environment Light Fixtures. The certification not only covers lighting fixtures that are used in food processing environments, it also covers those that are used in biotech research, pharmaceutical processing, surgical suites, horticulture, bio-safety laboratories, and clean-room manufacturing. If you decide to go ahead and use lighting fixtures that are not NSF-certified in a food processing environment, you're taking a major risk.
MyLEDLightingGuide industrial food processing NSF lights are UL listed, NSF certified, and eligible for rebates. We have 4 solutions that produce between 13,000 and 26,000 lumens, the perfect replacements for 250W-400W Metal Halide / HID lamps that are all NSF rated.
If you have Metal Halide fixtures made by traditional manufacturers like Hubbell, Holophane, Kurtzon, Lithonia or APX, converting to MyLEDLightingGuide LED NSF Fixtures is simple and easy. We also have food processing light retrofit kits that can be installed inside your existing HID fixtures.
The IP rating (Ingress Protection rating or IP Code) indicates what an electrical enclosure is meant to protect against. If you are familiar with lighting fixtures, you've probably come across codes such as "IP66" or " IP67". The IP rating is usually made up of two numerical values.
The first numerical value indicates the level of protection the enclosure offers against solids. 0 means that the device is not protected at all while 6 means that it is completely protected against intrusion from small dust particles.
The second numerical value indicates the device's protection against water. The digits range between 0 and 8. 0 means that the device is not protected at all while 8 means that it can be fully immersed in water and still work well.
When buying LED lights for a food processing facility, be sure to get the fixtures with an Ingress Protection rating of 65 and above. The digit 6 means that your fixtures will be completely protected against dust and the digit 5 means that they will be protected from water emitted by a 6.3mm nozzle from any direction.
In some cases, you may want to choose IP66 or IP67 rated light fixtures, depending on your plant’s cleaning processes and its environment. IP66 rated light fixtures are able to withstand stronger jets of water while IP67 rated fixtures can withstand complete immersion.
In food processing facilities where meat is processed, the light fixtures used must be able to withstand the harsh environment. As the meat is processed, it passes through different procedures like washing, mincing, stirring, liquefaction, cooking, and much more.
Each process may produce side products that may affect the lighting – such as high temperature, grease, splashing, or chemical spraying. This is why it is so important for LED food processing lights to have watertight structures.
IP66 rated lighting fixtures can withstand general liquid jets and if they get dirty you can simply rinse them with water. Luminaires that are made with anti-corrosive aluminum alloy and feature polycarbonate lenses have the ability to withstand high temperatures and chemicals.
If you have metal halide or halogen lamps installed in your facility and have to replace them frequently because of their low durability, you will breathe a sigh of relief when you install high-quality LED food processing lighting.
One thing that tells you the quality of LED food processing lights is their warranty. In theory, every LED light should have a long lifespan and be virtually maintenance-free. But we all know that this is not always the case, because not every LED light is manufactured to the same standard.
The quality of LED light fixtures becomes particularly apparent in demanding food processing environments. The best way to ensure that you do not buy low quality LEDs – and experience nasty surprises in the process - is to choose LED food processing lights with a reliable warranty from a reputable manufacturer.
One thing reputable manufacturers will always do is honor their warranties as long as they are valid. If you're in the process of buying LED lighting fixtures for your plant, be sure to check these 2 warranties: the warranty for the LED driver as well as the warranty for the LED head. The two may be listed separately.
High-quality LED food processing lights typically have a warranty of 10 years and manufacturers give a 5-year warranty for the drivers. One thing you should never be tempted to do is buy low quality LED food processing lighting.
This is because the lights will not produce quality light for long and may burn out prematurely, forcing you to get new lights. Your business activities will be disrupted if the lighting is poor or when the lights are being replaced.
Where food is handled, the light fixtures must have a very high color rendering index. The food and Drug Administration and the United States Department of Agriculture require general food processing areas to have lights with a color rendering index of at least 70.
LEDs have a higher color rendering index than traditional lighting systems, which plays a crucial role in enhancing visibility and mitigating risk. Defects in food become easier to spot and misplaced objects are easier to find.
In food processing environments, proper color rendering is vital for assuring product quality. A high CRI is also crucial for compliance as it is one of the things food safety inspectors look at. Many food processing plants are replacing old lighting technologies with LED technology so as to comply with the strict standards set by regulatory agencies.
Since industry standards are always changing, get LED fixtures with a color rendering index of at least 75 so that when the standards change, you will be way ahead.
The amount of light required for food processing operations will depend on the activities that take place in a particular space. Generally, the more crucial the operation is in safeguarding food from contamination, the higher the required light intensity. In food processing areas where employees work with dangerous utensils such as grinders, slicers, knives, and saws, a minimum of 55 foot-candles (590 lux) is needed – because safety is a huge factor.
In areas where inspections are carried out on the products or packaging materials, higher light levels are needed – 110 foot candles (1180 lux) or more is required. Less intense light is required in walk-in refrigerators, receiving areas, restrooms, storage areas, and locker rooms. However, the light must always be sufficient so that operations can be carried out safely and efficiently.
Recommended Foot Candles and Lux for Different Areas of a Food Processing Facility
|Areas for receiving raw materials||20-30||215-320|
|Food Processing areas||55-65||590-700|
|Product inspection areas||110-130||1180-1400|
|Warehouse for ingredients||20-30||215-320|
|Bulk ingredient storage areas||30-40||320-430|
|Finished product warehouse||20-30||215-323|
|Restrooms and lockers||30-50||320-540|
Today’s food processing is usually automated and machines that do not require frequent supervision are used. However, vertical illuminance is still required for clear supervision via control panels and computer screens. The illuminance requirements will also be based on the tasks being carried out. For instance, places where cutting, sorting, and inspection of food is done require higher illuminance levels than places where food is boiled or washed.
In Food Processing, You Need Assurance
In food processing environments, the lighting system must withstand tough conditions: high-pressure wash-downs, oil, grease, steam, freezing temperatures, and harsh cleaning solutions. It must continuously contribute to a safe, clean, and effective workplace. And it must do all this without negatively impacting your budget for electricity and light maintenance, or causing the plant to shut down.
My LED Lighting Guide understands the extremely demanding requirements food processing operations put on lighting. This is why we have an extensive selection of durable and innovative lighting fixtures and intelligent control technologies for the food processing industry.
Our lighting fixtures help create safe and sanitary food processing environments. We have a reputation for providing all-inclusive solutions and help you to adhere to all the regulations related to environmental and illumination concerns. Our light fixtures have features that typically surpass standards.
Before you Buy: Run the Photometrics
So, how do you know what the end result will be and not risk making a big mistake?
Create a photometric analysis of your area so you can see the light levels simulated with the new lights. If you have a light meter, take a reading of your current light levels. Too much? Too little? You decide.
We create a lighting simulation of your area, so you can compare your current light levels to your future light levels. That way, you will know what to expect after you install your new LED NSF certified fixtures.
NSF Certified Food Grade Lighting Applications
food processing industrial applications / facilities
beverage processing facilities
cold storage application
Download our LED Food Processing Informational Guide