LEDs and Hazardous Location Lighting|
Considering the critical and more expensive nature of HAZLOC compliant lighting, it only makes sense that operators strive to obtain the most efficient and cost effective equipment available. Due to a variety of factors including power requirements, the scope of the area to be illuminated, and maintenance issues, the options for meeting compliance have traditionally been fairly limited. Explosion proof and intrinsically safe lighting is usually heavier, more expensive, requires more frequent maintenance intervals, and carries a higher relamping cost. Although fluorescent and HID lighting options offer some improvement over incandescent lamps in terms of efficiency and longevity, they are still prone to frequent maintenance issues due to ballast failures and short bulb life as well as posing am ignition hazard due to fragile glass construction.
With the introduction of the LED into the hazardous location lighting industry, a truly innovative and highly effective form of HAZLOC compliant lighting has become available. With life-spans approaching 100,000 hours, extremely durable- no glass construction, low heat operation, no ballasts, greatly reduced maintenance requirements and highly efficient operation, LEDs represent a vast leap forward in explosion proof lighting technology.
LEDs offer operators the ability to improve lighting quality, improve safety, and increase productivity, all while lowering operating costs associated with re-lamping, maintenance and energy consumption. Compact in size and producing less heat than traditional light sources, LEDs can reduce the area needed for mounting light fixtures, reduce the weight of portable lighting equipment, and lower the overall temperatures in the hazardous workplace. Although initial costs for LED equipped lighting are somewhat higher, federal programs aimed at encouraging the adoption of energy efficient practices offer the ability to offset initial costs. Additionally, since LEDs use only a ¼ as much electrical energy, annual savings are significant and result in a faster return on investment than other forms of lighting, leading to a faster net profit after recovery of initial costs.
With Federal regulations poised to begin phasing out traditional forms of lighting and energy costs projected to continue increasing, LED lighting is at forefront of technology that promises to revolutionize all forms of illumination now and into the foreseeable future. The businesses that embrace this new technology now, will be among the first to begin realizing the benefits in the form of reduced operating costs, improved productivity, and of course, a safer more enjoyable work environment.