Sporadic sparks can trigger the buildup of flammable gases and materials, which is why explosion proof lighting is important. We have several explosion proof units that will give you great lighting while also allowing you to take your attention away from your hardware. Our explosion proof lighting fixtures use powerful LED technology to help create a wide range of lighting while minimizing risk.
Working in confined spaces has always been a challenging task, especially in the petrochemical industry with flammable and explosive chemicals and flammable gases, including hydrocarbons such as methane, hydrogen, propane, etc. From a purely statistical perspective, 1,030 workers died from occupational injuries related to confined spaces between 2011 and 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has guidelines for confined spaces. That’s why special hazardous area lights are designed to prevent catastrophic accidents and keep workers safe. Also known as explosion proof lamps, these lighting fixtures are required by law to pass the latest safety standards such as ATEX certification. There’s a lot to talk about about this unique safety device. But before that, let’s explain why they are needed.
What is the need for explosion-proof lighting?
These lamps differ from standard lamps, which can pose a serious threat, especially in the petrochemical industry, where conventional lighting in confined spaces may trigger ignition due to the presence of flammable gases and particles. Explosion proof lamps are designed with a robust housing and material to prevent possible sparks from inside and to prevent confusion with surrounding flammable gases and materials.
Explosion proof lights
Likewise, the textile and even grain processing industries can be prone to accidents during the use of standard task lighting, provided that electrical switches and relays can trigger sparks during normal operation. Therefore, these explosion proof lights should be an integral part of every industry. But before you choose these hazardous area lights, the following 7 things must be in your knowledge.
- Explosion-proof DOES NOT mean it doesn’t create a spark
When you hear the word “explosion-proof”, the first thing that comes to your mind is that lighting fixtures can withstand explosions. but it is not the truth. It just means that the explosion proof light enclosure can contain the sparks inside without giving any room to escape or mix with the flammable material on the outside to cause an explosion. That doesn’t mean LED lighting can survive an external blast.
2. Robust design with the seal of ATEX
Explosion proof lights are designed to meet the latest safety standards, which is why they are called ATEX certified lights. ATEX, short for Atmospheric Explosives, is a European directive for the minimum requirements for the use of equipment in hazardous environments.
Since these explosion proof lights are ATEX certified lights, they are constructed from stainless steel or aluminum coating. They are different from traditional fragile incandescent or fluorescent lamps. On the other hand, LEDs use tempered glass and heat-resistant materials, do not contain toxic substances, and have long-lasting performance.
- Energy efficient
Every organization is trying to save costs. LEDs are known for their low energy consumption, providing excellent lighting with no heat or conversion losses. With large industries such as petrochemical, pharmaceutical or other similar facilities generally spread over a larger area, the low power consumption of hundreds of explosion-proof LED lamps means a huge saving in operation.
- Explosion proof LED lights are categorized in ratings and zones
Ratings are a good medium for concluding that a particular device is suitable for use in a particular area. This is the case with explosion proof lights, as the intrinsic safety rating can help engineers and electricians easily find the right place to install these lights for better performance. When you’re shopping for explosion proof lights, don’t forget to look for approvals, including Class I, Division 1 and 2, and Division 0, 1 and 2.
5. High Flexibility
LEDs come in customized designs, allowing the user to increase or decrease the light output as per their needs. Right from dish umbrella, to polygon-shaped and columned, one can choose any modular design to fit their required light levels.
- Outstanding Mobility
The explosion proof LED lights to come with solid build construction, hence not susceptible to damage during transportation. These lights are capable enough to absorb bumps and vibrations, as opposed to delicate conventional lights.
- Crisp output
LED explosion-proof hazardous area lights are designed to provide three times higher brightness than traditional lights, improving worker visibility. They are an ideal solution for harsh, rugged, low light and limited environments. An integrated dense heat sink keeps the temperature under control. Explosion proof LED lights are a unique way to keep your industry safe and keep you ready for unpleasant accidents. BBier is a high-tech enterprise focused on providing cutting-edge security products for various industries. For more details on explosion proof safety lights, drop us a message or visit our website.
Hazardous LED lights have various certifications based on strict industry standards. They can be divided into different categories, categories and sectors based on the risks involved.
Perhaps one of the most energy-efficient contributions to the lighting and electrical equipment industry, LED lighting has changed the way we perceive the concept of lighting. Due to its high efficiency and versatility, it has gained steady acceptance in various industries. This innovative technology has also brought breakthrough developments to different industries and has gradually become the most popular lighting choice for hazardous locations.
Hazardous locations can be defined as highly industrialized, harsh environments that may contain explosive vapors and gases and therefore require specialized lighting requirements. According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), hazardous locations are those “where there may be a fire or explosion hazard due to flammable gases or vapors, flammable liquids, flammable dusts, flammable fibers, or flying objects.”
Hazardous locations or areas are often classified by experts in the field, such as electrical inspectors, engineers, owners, area experts, and insurance companies. They can classify extreme areas as normal (earthquakes and fires) or hazardous (explosive) areas.
Classification of Hazardous Locations
OSHA says hazardous locations can be divided into three different classes and their respective divisions; Zone 1 for the presence of flammable or combustible substances under normal operation or mechanical failure, and Zone 2 for the presence of flammable or combustible substances under abnormal operating conditions .
Class I Locations: Class I Hazardous Locations are defined as: The presence of sufficient flammable vapors or gases in the air to cause injury due to potential explosion or ignition from electrical problems or any other source that could cause a fire .
Following can be considered Class I hazardous locations:
– Petroleum refineries
– Gasoline storage and dispensing areas
– Utility gas plants
– Places for storage and handling of liquified petroleum gas or natural gas
Class II Locations: These locations are defined as those locations that have enough presence of combustible dust in the air that could cause explosion or are ignitable. IT can be a valuable addition as its compact design makes an excellent replacement for bulky, high maintenance fixtures in dusty locations.
Some locations that can be classified under this category are as follows:
– Grain elevators
– Flour & feed mills
– Industrial plants that deal with magnesium or aluminum powders
Class III Locations: Class III hazardous locations are defined as places that contain easily ignitable fibers and flyings, which even though are not suspended in the air, can be found near machinery or lighting fixture, and may get ignited from heat or electric spark.
Following locations can be classified under this category:
– Textile mills, cotton gins (engine)
– Cotton seed mills
– Industrial plants involved in wood-based construction, creating sawdust or flyings.
Hazardous LED Industry standards
NFPA: The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is a global, not-for-profit organization that publishes information on different codes and standards relevant to different industries and their practices. It also provides information and knowledge for hazard assessment through NFPA 497 (Explosive Gases) and NFPA 499 (Dust). NFPA 70® applies to the National Electrical Code (NEC) and is discussed below.
NEC: The National Electrical Code (NEC) under NFPA 70® is “the benchmark for safe electrical design, installation, and inspection to protect people and property from electrical hazards.” It covers electrical installation/removal, electrical conductors, equipment and wiring, etc. in public and private premises, industrial substations, etc.
IP Rating: The Ingress Protection Rating or International Protection Rating is a set of codes implemented to rate and classify the degree of protection of different components by mechanical and electrical enclosures. These factors include dust and water, intrusion, accidental contact, etc.
IK Rating: The US UL defines the impact protection level as “IKXX, where XX is a number between 00 and 10, indicating the degree of protection of the electrical enclosure (including lamps) against external mechanical shocks.” It determines the ability of an electrical or lighting enclosure to withstand high-energy shocks, how it should be installed, atmospheric conditions, and other criteria.
NEMA: The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) defines different heavy-duty electrical enclosures for various types of lighting based on specified environmental conditions related to exposure to hazardous parts and additional types. Such LED products are commonly found in industrial and hazardous locations.
ATEX: THe Atmosphères Explosives (ATEX) is an EU certification standard that “covers equipment and protective systems for use in potentially explosive atmospheres”. According to UL, HazLoc and explosion proof equipment “intended to be installed” in the EU region shall comply with ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU.
IECEx: The International Electrotechnical Commission’s Standard Certification System for Equipment Used in Explosive Atmospheres (IECEx System) aims to “facilitate international trade in equipment and services used in explosive atmospheres while maintaining the required level of safety”. It defines the “front” area as a “hazardous location”, “hazardous area” or “explosive atmosphere”.
RoHS: RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive) restricts the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment. Hazardous LED products with RoHS certification not only guarantee quality, but also sustainable practices.