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ATEX and IEC Ex Flame-proof Explosion Proof Lighting & Equipment
Explosion Proof Lights
Explosion Proof Motors - Motors for Hazardous Locations
Industrial and Vaporproof Emergency Failsafe Lighting
Industrial Cord Reels and Tool Taps
Industrial Work Area Heaters
Machine Vision Lights
Megatower™
QC Series Industrial Portable Lighting - Quick Change Mount
Rig Lights
Stadium lights
String Lights and Temporary Light Stringers
Tank Cleaning Lights
Three Phase Motor Soft Starters
Vapor Proof LED Lights
Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs)
Vehicle Mounting Plates
Workboat Light Fixtures & Lighting Equipment
Yacht Engine Room Lights
Color Changing LED RGB Lighting
Explosion Proof Cord Reels
GOLIGHT Spotlights
Larson FUTURE - Lease Lighting
Remote Area Lighting and Scene Lights
Utility Bucket Mount, Receiver Hitch & Trailer Mount Lighting
Aevum Control Lighting and Equipment - IIoT
Butane and Solvent Extraction Room Lighting and Equipment
DC to DC Transformers and Power Supplies
Explosion Proof Fans & Blowers
Explosion Proof Paint Spray Booth Approved Lights
Explosion Proof String Lights
Explosion Proof Switchgear & Controls
Fleet Service Lights and Lighting Equipment
Industrial Equipment Trailers
Industrial Handlamps & Droplights
ISO 14644/FS-209E Clean Room Lighting
LED Blasting Lights
Night Time Fishing Lights
Portable AC Power Supply Units
Portable Power Distribution Panels
Power Distribution Panels with KVA Transformers
Self-Contained Lighting
Service Pit Lighting
Solar Generators & Solar Powered Lighting
Agricultural Farm Equipment Lighting & Beacons
Explosion Proof Cameras & Surveillance Systems
Explosion Proof Emergency Lights
Explosion Proof Heaters
Garage & Gas Station Canopy Lights
LED Grow Lights
LED Lights
NDT Ultraviolet Lights
Portable Hazardous Location Lighting
Radio Communication Towers and Equipment
Salt Water Processing Equipment
Shelter & Tent Lighting
Thermal Monitoring Cameras and Systems
48V LED Equipment Lights
ATEX Rated Explosion Proof Lights
Automotive Lighting
Class Rated Signals, Alarms, and Systems
Hazardous Location Area Lights and Portable Lighting
HID Equipment Lights
Hot Work Permit Lighting and Equipment
Hunting Lights
Industrial lasers
Industrial Transformers
Light Towers
Outdoor Lighting
Remote Security and Surveillance Systems
Temporary Construction Lights
Vehicle Mounted Spotlights
Equipment & Heavy Machinery LED Light Package Fitouts
Phase Converters - Single to Three Phase
Marine Shore Power Cords and Equipment
24 Volt Military Lights
Disaster Relief / First Responders / Search & Rescue Lighting
Plastic Handcuff Key
110/120 Volt Flood Lights
Post Mount Spotlights
Magnetic Work Lights
Crank-up Light Masts
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Intrinsically Safe Lights
Military Flashlights
LED Waterproof Lanterns
Work Area Lights
12 Volt Flood Lights
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Boat Spotlights
New Boat Lights
HID Boat Lights
Boat Dock Lights
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Remote Control Lights
Control Lights
Tow Lights
Magnetic Control Lights
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NEW Lights and New Products
Evaporative Coolers
Police Equipment
AC/DC Transformers
Power Supplies
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Military Spotlights 24V
Infrared Filters, Covert Covers, and Blackout IR Lenses
Military Equipment
Ultralife Batteries
Remote Control Pan Tilt Base
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Larson Electronics Spotlights
Larson Electronics Parts
Replacement Lamps
Cords - Brackets
Portable Wheeled Generators
Non-Hazardous Location Extension Cords / Plugs / Outlets
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HID Work Lights
HID Dive Lights
HID Off Road Lights
Acro Lights HID Lights
Halogen Lights
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Acro Light Flashlight
Xenon HID Flashlights
Powerlight Flashlight
HID Flashlights
Xenon Flashlights
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LED Status Lights
Forklift Lights
Tractor Lights
HID Post Mount Lights
Roof Mount Lights
Post Mount Light parts
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Flashlight Holder
Magnet Spotlight Base
Tripods-Magnetic Base
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Recharging Spotlights
Fire Rescue Lights
LED Street Lights
Utility Lights
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Hazard Lights
Strobe Lights - Battery Operated
Strobes & Beacons
Strobe Light Bars
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Headlights - Headlamps - Hard Hat Lights
Flashlights
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Suction Mount Lights
Magnetic Spotlights
12/24 Volt Spotlights
Gifts For Men
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New 12 / 24 Volt Lights
Explosion Proof Accessories and Replacement Parts
Explosion Proof Lighting
Explosion Proof Hand Lamps (Drop Lights)
Explosion Proof Lights - Stand/Dolly
Explosion Proof Tank Lights
Explosion Proof Phones and Intercoms
Explosion Proof Extension Cords
Black Friday & Cyber Monday Specials
Crane Lights
Explosion Proof Light Rentals
General Light Rentals
Light Tower and Light Plant Rentals
Power Distribution Rentals
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Power Plant Lighting
Refinery lights
Environmental Services Lights
Aerospace Lights
Chemical Plant Lights
Food Grade Safe Lights
Film and Entertainment Lights
Handheld Meters and Devices
Waste Water Treatment Lights
Mining Lights
Ship Yard Lights
Work Site Lighting
         

   
04/22/10 Why are Explosion Proof Lights Different?

Marine engine rooms, commercial paint booths, chemical storerooms, grain silos, tank farms; what do they all have in common? Each and every one of these is a potential bomb waiting to go off. Under certain conditions and with the right combination of circumstances, the possibility of a catastrophic explosion occurring becomes a near certainty. When the conditions are right in any of these settings, the only thing keeping the unthinkable from happening is the lack of an ignition source. In an atmosphere that has become contaminated with volatile gases, or heavily saturated with combustible dust, all it takes is one tiny spark to set in motion a chain of reactions that can lead to fires, explosions, and injuries.

In many of these settings, it is in fact common for a flammable atmosphere to be present, and there is no practical way to completely avoid producing these conditions. Because these conditions are often created as a part of the normal operations of industry and cannot be totally negated, the next obvious solution is to remove all possible sources of ignition. Doing this is easier said than done, since in industry there are so many sources that must be considered. Everything from light switches to fans are possible sources of ignition, and they simply cannot be entirely removed the workspace. It’s because of this that specialized versions of equipment that must be operated in these hazardous environments have been developed and are mandated for use in hazardous locations by OSHA.

Equipment for use in hazardous locations has several ratings and categories that indicate the suitability of the equipment for use depending upon the level of danger a particular location may create. For the control of ignition sources, most regulations deal in mandating either intrinsically safe electrical equipment, or explosion proof equipment. The differences between the two are subtle, but important. Intrinsically safe equipment is basically any equipment that is incapable of producing sufficient energy to cause ignition. Explosion proof refers to equipment that can contain and isolate possible sources of ignition, preventing them from making contact with the open air. It would seem obvious that intrinsically safe would be the highest safety rating, and in fact it is. Intrinsically safe rated equipment is suitable for use in all the hazardous location groups and ratings as defined by OSHA regulations. Despite this, intrinsically safe equipment is not always the best choice because of the limitations created by its higher costs and generally low power characteristics.

Explosion proof equipment on the other hand is not as constrained by the limitations imposed by the intrinsically safe rating, and allows for a broader and more powerful spectrum of equipment to be used, and at cheaper cost. Since the explosion proof rating only requires that sources of ignition be contained, and temperatures be kept below certain levels for varying division ratings, the basic design of equipment can remain intact, with additional design incorporated to contain its normally open sources of possible ignition. A basic example would be a simple light switch. In normal conditions, a light switch has at its core a contact point where two metal conductors are put into contact with each other to form a closed circuit, thereby transferring electrical energy to the lamp.

It is at this contact point that a possible ignition source is created as the two conductors come into contact with each other and produce a small spark or arc. Isolating this spark can be as simple as encasing the entire switch within a sealed and non conductive exterior such as rubber, thereby removing the conductive portion of the switch from contact with the outside atmosphere.  This is a greatly simplified example, but it demonstrates the basic premise. To better understand the full premise behind making electrical equipment explosion proof, and just how much is involved in the design, it is better to look at something a bit more complicated.

For a better idea of just how much goes into producing explosion proof rated equipment, let’s look at the Larson Electronics Explosion Proof LED Drop Light: Part # EHL-LED-7W.  

One of the first things you’ll note is how different this drop light’s appearance is from ordinary drop lights. While the overall shape and design appearance is the same, it is somewhat stouter and much more rugged looking. This is due to the necessity of incorporating a stronger basic body assembly. As well as sealing possible sources of ignition from contact with flammable dust or vapors, the assembly must be able to contain any ignition of gases within its housing; if a bulb were to explode, or gases to get inside and ignite, the housing is capable of containing these long enough for them to cool below ignition temperatures before they can escape. In a traditional drop light, there is no sealing, and the assembly is a great deal less rugged.

The next thing you would notice is that the lamp is constructed of non sparking materials. The body is made from high strength composites, the metal cage and lamp housing is aluminum, and the cord is chemical and abrasion resistant. This allows the lamp to be accidentally dropped, and greatly reduces the chances that an errant spark is created when it contacts the ground. Further enhancing the safety of the lamp is a clear impact resistant enclosure that seals the bulb itself from the outside environment. The bulb and the enclosure are both protected from impacts by a strong aluminum cage, reducing the chances of damages from impacts. Traditional drop lights have little to no concern for the metals used in construction aside from production cost, and rely on thin steel and tin for most of their metallic components.

In this particular lamp, LEDs are used instead of a typical incandescent or fluorescent bulb. These LEDs create less heat than traditional bulbs, and produce a greater amount of light with less power. As well as being more efficient, the LEDs are also a great deal more resistant to damage from dropping or impacts. Traditional bulbs rely on a fragile tungsten filament to produce light through resistance to electrical current. This fragile filament is easily broken by vibration or impacts. As well as being easily damaged, a traditional bulb relies on a gas filled enclosure surrounding the filament to increase the life of the filament. This glass enclosure is also easily broken, and represents an ignition hazard if it breaks during use and exposes the hot filament to an explosive atmosphere. With the LED bulb, there is no gas filled enclosure to break, and no heated filament to present an ignition source. This has the effect of further improving this lamps resistance to creating an errant ignition source.

Lastly, you’ll note that all the parts of this assembly are tightly and securely sealed together. Unlike traditional lamps, all the seams and connections are sealed with gaskets and fillers that isolate the internal electronics of the unit from the outside. Contaminants are kept out, and possible ignitions are kept in, removing the possibility of a chance ignition of the volatile compounds that may be present.

As well as being ruggedly designed and explosion proof, this lamp is also very energy efficient. The LED bulb uses a fraction of the power a normal bulb consumes. At only 7 watts, this LED lamp produces the light equivalent of a standard 100 watt incandescent. The life of the LED is significantly longer as well, with the LED bulb rated at approximately 50,000 hours of life, while a traditional incandescent is typically rated well below 5000 hours. This means less trouble and expense with replacing the bulb. As well as consuming less energy, the LED bulb produces far less heat. In a standard drop light, none of the above features are present. It is commonly understood that frequent bulb replacements and occasional burns from contact with the hot housing assembly are a part of using the standard incandescent lamp. Not so with LEDs.

As you can see, there is a great deal of consideration and design that goes into creating a high quality piece of explosion proof equipment. Although the basic premise is still to produce a simple and efficient source of illumination, the added requirements of an explosion proof rating increases the demands for durability and ruggedness. In these lamps provided by Larson Electronics, those requirements are met and exceeded.





Related Categories/Products
Category/Product (click on link below for more information)
Intrinsically Safe Lights
Explosion Proof Lights
Explosion Proof Paint Spray Booth Approved Lights
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Intrinsically Safe LED Penlight - 50 Lumens - 13.75 Hr. Runtime - C1D1 & C2D1 - (3) AAAA Batteries
Explosion Proof LED Drop Light / Trouble Light -10 Watt LED - 50 Foot SOOW Cord
Explosion Proof LED Drop Light / Trouble Light -10 Watt LED - 120V AC - 25 Foot SOOW Cord
Explosion Proof LED Aluminum Drop Light - Class 1 Div 1 - 25' SOOW Cord
Explosion Proof LED Drop Light & Reel - Class I, Div. I - 10 Watt LED - 50' SOOW Cord - 1050 Lumen
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*RENTAL* Intrinsically Safe Blower (Fan) - Runs off Air Compressor - Class I, II, & III - 25' Duct
Replacement Battery for EXPRL-95 and EXPRL-96 series intrinsically safe lights
Replacement Charger for EXPRL-95 and EXPRL-96 series intrinsically safe lights
Replacement Battery Charger for the XPR-9863E model Intrinsically Safe Flashlights
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