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LED Food Processing Lights

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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 for food processing and food safe environments. They ensure the food remains safe and contamination free. These lights are able to withstand high pressure hot water and the rigors of wash-downs.

Our LED Food Processing Lights meet all the stringent food grade guidelines. Designed to replace 250W to 750W HID and Metal Halide. These stylish food processing high bays provide bright light for a safe work place.

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. In the food processing industry, tasks get executed according to guidelines. If they are not, the results can be catastrophic or even deadly. In the food industry, every area of operation is under stringent guidelines. Food facilities must be productive and safe. Lighting used for food processing must meet some of the most stringent standards. Food processing plants need luminaires that are able to withstand rigorous cleaning protocols. They are resistant to corrosion and contain no toxic materials.

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 USA, the FDA and the USDA regulate the food and beverage industry. All equipment used in food and beverage facilities must meet strict manufacturing standards. Food and beverage facilities must have lighting fixtures that function under hygienic conditions.

The three most important concerns when it comes to food processing are to prevent:

  • contamination
  • bacterial growth
  • food spoilage

The lights used for food processing must have a high level of protection. These include airborne dust, effluents, steam, mist, water, oils, grime and cleaning solvents.

The compliance standards may differ for different food and beverage facilities. Food production involves many processes. Processed, stored and preparation may occur in different locations. Each has its own set of requirements. Food and beverage plants are industrial spaces. The light fixtures are different than standard warehouses lights.

    Food Safe LED Lights

    There are 3 things food processing lights must be able to do in order to meet the needs of a food processing facility:

    1. Be easy to clean. This decreases the risk of contamination. It 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. Meet all the government and industry regulations relating to food quality and safety.


    For the longest time, food processing facilities used old lighting technologies. These include sodium lamps, metal halide lamps, xenon lamp, 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. Some add HVAC systems to offset heat created by these lights. This increases energy consumption.

    Most old lighting technologies contain mercury. Disposal of bulbs that contain mercury must happen in a specific way in case they break.

    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. They can also cause eye strain and headaches.

    LED lights emit very little heat. Their efficiency gets better at lower temperatures and they work best in cold places.

    Lighting Standards in the Food and Beverage Industry

    Food processing plants have the highest standards of sanitation protocols and cleanliness. They undergo stringent inspections. The National Sanitation Foundation International (NSF International) has stringent compliance standards. They look at a facility’s condition and the degree of contact with food, direct or indirect contact.

    The foundation classifies equipment used in food processing environments into three zones:

    1. Splash Zone

    In this area, direct contact with food isn't expected. Liquids used for cleaning can splash or spill on the fixtures surfaces. In splash zones, high-pressure hose wash-downs occur. Splash zones include damp or wet process areas. These are areas that use hose wash-downs, and high-pressure purging or decontamination areas.

    2. Non-food Zone

    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. They have to be well protected against dirt, debris and cleaning solvents. Non food zones include food storage areas, dry and damp process areas, and kitchens.

    3. Food Zone

    In this zone, there is direct contact with food. The food zone certification usually applies to equipment not related to lighting. These include work tables and cutting boards.


    According to NSF International regulations, light fixtures must have IP65 or higher ratings. The lights must have UL or ETL Listing for damp and wet locations. In hazardous locations, use vapor-tight, clean-room rated lighting fixtures.

    On mistake food processing facilities make is to use common industrial light fixtures. Lighting fixtures used in food processing facilities must work in sanitary conditions.

    The lighting fixtures used must follow the regulations set by NSF International. They depend on the environment of a particular area. There are usually different environments in one food processing plant. Each environment has its own lighting requirements.

    How LED Lighting Greatly Impacts Food Safety

    To enhance safety and productivity, the food industry relies on powerful lighting systems. This is why food processing facilities are switching from conventional lighting to LED. LED lighting complies with the stringent regulations that are set by the FDA and the USDA.

    The adoption of LED in the food and beverage industry will reach $80 billion yearly by 2020. Food processing and manufacturing plants are leading the rest in the adoption of LED. LEDs offer great solutions to then complex and challenging conditions of these environments.

    LEDs can help decrease thermal damage and degradation of food. They are perfect for cold storage applications. Research shows that in post harvest, LEDs preserves and enhances foods nutritive qualities. They also lower fungal infections. LEDs paired with photo sensitizers or catalysts can make pathogenic bacteria in food inactive. This helps preserve the freshness of foods in the post harvest stage.

    Since LEDs are solid state, they are devoid of fragile parts and glass. Dangerous chemicals and parts cannot escape and contaminate food. LEDs also give off very little heat. This means cooking processes are not affected by higher temperatures caused by lighting. Slight changes in temperature can melt foods like chocolate, icing and cake batters.

    Food Processing Lighting

    Why LED Food Processing Lighting is Recommended for Food Processing Facilities

    Lower Ownership Costs

    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, expecting a ROI on lighting is a non-issue. The case is different with LED technology. The lighting usually pays for itself in less than 8 months to 2 years.

    The initial costs of converting to LED are higher than HID and fluorescent lamps. But the cost of ownership is much lower. LED lights last up to 10 times longer than other lighting technologies. This means you will not have to replace them often. Their long life expectancy reduces both downtime, maintenance costs, and labor costs.

    Lower Maintenance Costs with LED Image

    Traditional lighting fixtures have a very steep degradation curve. From the moment you turn them on, their lumens start to degrade. At half life, HID bulbs are only 50% as bright as a brand new bulb. They have very short lifespans and have to be frequently replaced. They offer no return on investment.

    Installing LED lighting is a great investment. Lumen degradation is very slow. They stay bright for a very long time. LED food processing lights can last 5-10 years. With LED, ROI helps pay and justify the investment costs of adopting the technology.


    MyLEDLightingGuide Pro Tip

    LED Food Safe Lighting - Reduced Operating Costs

    LED Fixtures should operate trouble free for 10+ years, assuming 12 hour work days, 7 days a week.

    It Lowers Energy Consumption

    The main reason LED lights are popular is because they offer huge energy savings. Before LED, food and beverage facilities used HID or fluorescent lamps.

    But since none of these lights are efficient, facilities wasted a lot of resources and labor on them. 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 455 watts. It uses a ballast which also draws electricity. A 120-watt LED, designed to replace 400W HID, consumes 120 watts. What's more, the LED lamp will offer better light because of its high color rendering index. Their light is very high quality.


    MyLEDLightingGuide Pro Tip

    LED Food Safe Lighting - Reduced Electricity Costs

    Comparing 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.

    Food Safe LED Lights


    Rebates may be available at time of purchase. 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.

    Our Food LED lights are DLC Premium 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 a 5-year warranty. Many utility companies offer rebates for DLC Qualified products.


    Meets NSF Lighting Requirements

    A big challenge for the food industry is to maintain a sanitary and clean environment. A report released by the US CDC showed 48 million people contract food borne illnesses a year.

    There are very many things that play a role in this. One leading factor can be the failure to properly sanitize food processing equipment.

    NSF International has been running its non-food compounds registration program since 1999. The organization offers different certifications. The US EPA, FDA and US Department of Agriculture all recognize NSF International.

    Non-food compounds registration shows the fixture and manufacturing facility have passed NSF standards. This relates to the strict requirements of the USDA and the FDA. The NSF/ANSI 2 certification applies to equipment used in food processing facilities. It includes requirements for design, construction, material, safety and product performance. It ensures food sanitation and protection.

    NSF international recommends that lighting fixtures be free of glass components. This is for safety purposes in the event of impact. Lighting fixtures must not have painted surfaces. Paint may peel off and contaminate the food.


    Generates Higher-Quality Light

    One advantage LED lights is that they are able to produce higher-quality light. Let's look at how traditional lighting 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 reddish, orange, or yellow and is of very poor quality. Their color rendering index is very low at 22 out of 100. You cannot use them in areas where determining color contrast is important.

    The light quality of metal halide lights is better than that of HPS lamps. They have a higher lumen output and a higher color rendering index, 65 out of 100. These lamps have a very short lifespan, 12,000 to 15,000 hours.

    Fluorescent lamps are more energy-efficient than other traditional lighting technologies. Using these bulbs in freezing temperatures may cause them to fail. If they are continually switched on / off, they may malfunction before expected life.

    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+. Their luminous efficacy is higher than HID, between 130 and 100 lumens per watt. 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. The higher the efficiency, the lower LED watts you will need. 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.


    It Renders Colors Excellently

    In food processing facilities, all types of foods must undergo strict quality inspections. 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. An odd color, or discoloration, may mean that the product came from a bad source. Based on color, vegetables and fruit sorting places products in different categories.

    LED food processing lights render colors very well, thanks to their high CRI. The sun, the ideal light source, has a color rendering index of 100. Color impression is dependent on the light spectral distribution illuminating it. Light source must have good color rendering properties to precisely check food color.

    Food processing plants must be able to spot food defects such as mold and discoloration. Processing food gets easier and contaminated food is never released to market. Every now and then, we see food recalls in the media. You may not know it, but food recalls are very costly for the manufacturer. The cause of a costly recall may be a minor incident in a food processing facility.

    LED food lights with a high CRI allows for better food quality inspections. Where visual inspections occur, like on a conveyor belt, LEDs make the job easier. LEDs not only have a high CRI, they are low-maintenance and ensure there is no downtime.


    Creates a Safe and Productive Work Environment

    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. Many food processing facilities have dangerous equipment like grinders, slicers and ovens.

    Maintaining proper lighting levels should be a priority in these facilities. Good lighting can help prevent trips, falls and slips.

    Better safety = less accidents. This results in less worker compensation claims. Less time off from work related to injuries. Proper lighting prevents employees from dropping or knocking items 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. LED Lights in areas where food's stored or processed can impact productivity & safety. LED's quality light provides 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. Poor lighting in a facility with night work may cause drowsiness and fatigue. This may lead to accidents and injuries.

    LEDs, unlike antiquated lighting fixtures, emit white light that is almost like sunlight. This light has a great effect on people; it reduces fatigue and makes them to feel more alert. One research study by the CDC discovered LEDs can help people to detect trip hazards – up to 95% faster. LED lighting alone can help decrease workplace accidents by a great margin.

    LED lighting can benefit employees by lighting up important areas. When light's added to dim food processing areas, safety & sanitation improves. It makes the task area safe and easy to navigate.

    How to Choose LED Food Processing Lights


    NSF Certification

    NSF Logo

    NSF = National Sanitation Foundation International. NSF is the certification and regulatory body for food safety in the USA. NSF certification is what commercial food service buyers and health departments look for. LED lights get certified under this program.

    The certification for light fixtures is NSF P442 - Controlled Environment Light Fixtures. The certification covers lighting fixtures used in food processing environments. 

      The IP Rating

      IP65 Logo

      The IP rating (Ingress Protection rating) indicates an electrical enclosure protection level. If you are familiar with lighting fixtures, you've come across codes such as "IP66" or " IP67". The IP rating is usually made up of two numerical values.


      The first number indicates the level of protection the enclosure offers against solids. 0 means that the device is not protected at all. 6 means that it is completely protected against intrusion from small dust particles.

      The second number indicates the device's protection against water. The digits range between 0 and 8. 0 means that the device is not protected at all. 8 means that it can be completely immersed in water.

      When buying LED lights for a food processing facility, be sure to get the fixtures with an IP rating of 65 and above. The digit 6 means the fixture will be completely protected against dust. The digit 5 means they're protected from water emitted by a 6.3mm nozzle from any direction.

      You may choose IP66 or IP67 rated light fixtures. This depends on your plant’s cleaning processes and its environment. IP66 rated light fixtures are able to withstand stronger jets of water. IP67 rated fixtures can withstand complete immersion.

      MyLEDLightingGuide Food Safe LED Lights are IP66 rated.

      Color Rendering Index

      Where food's handled, the light fixtures must have a very high color rendering index. The FDA and USDA require general food processing lights have at least a 70 CRI.

      CRI LED Image

      LEDs have a higher color rendering index than traditional lighting systems. This 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. This allows them to comply with the strict standards set by regulatory agencies.

       LEDs have a higher color rendering index than traditional lighting systems. This plays a crucial role in enhancing visibility and mitigating risk. Defects in food become easier to spot and misplaced objects are easier to find.

      Think About the Foot Candles and Lux

      The amount of light needed for food processing depends on the activities that take place. The more crucial the operation in safeguarding food, the higher the light level. In food processing areas where work's done with grinders, knives and saws, a minimum of 55 FC's required.

      In areas where inspection on products occur, 110 FC's specified. Less intense light is required for less crucial areas. Walk-in refrigerators, receiving areas, restrooms, storage areas, and locker rooms need less FC's. The light must always be enough so operations get executed safely and efficiently.


      Recommended Foot Candles and Lux for Different Areas of a Food Processing Facility

      Area Foot Candles Lux
      Areas for receiving raw materials 20-30 215-320
      Food Processing areas 55-65 590-700
      Product inspection areas 110-130 1180-1400
      Packaging areas 70-80 750-860
      Maintenance areas 70-80 750-860
      Warehouse for ingredients 20-30 215-320
      Bulk ingredient storage areas 30-40 320-430
      Finished product warehouse 20-30 215-323
      Administrative offices 60-90 645-970
      Maintenance areas 70-80 750-860
      Cafeteria 40-50 430-540
      Restrooms and lockers 30-50 320-540

      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. 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.

      Photometrics Layout Image

      Download our LED Food Processing Informational Guide

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