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Everything You Need to Know About Explosion Proof Lighting
Dec 20, 2018

Everything You Need to Know About Explosion Proof Lighting

Explosion proof lighting is integral for any business that operates in hazardous environments, where potentially explosive gases and vapours are present. Employees working in a hazardous environment are constantly exposed to the threat of potential explosions that may occur if safety precautions are not implemented properly.

Therefore, it is imperative for you to understand how explosion proof lighting can benefit your business and the safety of your workers. However, it can be confusing to define what constitutes an explosion proof lighting fixture and how it differs from standard lighting fixtures. This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview on explosion proof lighting that will help you make a more informed decision for your business.

What is Explosion Proof Lighting?

Explosion proof lighting refers to lighting fixtures that are able to contain sparks that could potentially ignite the flammable and explosive gases in the atmosphere. Therefore, explosion proof lighting does not refer to lighting equipment that are resistant to explosions but rather, the capacity to prevent external explosions from occurring in a hazardous location.

An explosion proof lighting fixture is typically encased in a thick frame that is usually made from a sturdy material like steel or aluminium. Ex proof lighting fixtures are also equipped with extremely durable lenses that can withstand harsh working conditions and prevent cracks, which can result in leaks.

Why Choose Explosion Proof Lighting?

Installing explosion proof lighting significantly reduces the risk of explosions by preventing the ignition of surrounding flammable gases and vapours. Furthermore, the National Electric Code (NEC) published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) mandates that all lighting equipment used in hazardous locations need to be explosion proof.

Due to the robust design of explosion proof lighting fixtures, the risk of explosions and ignitions occurring are extremely low. Thus, this greatly improves the safety of employees working in hazardous locations as well.

explosion proof lighting

Ex Proof Design

In a standard light fixture, the bulb, contacts, wiring, and any switches are all directly exposed to the local atmosphere. The spark from a loose contact or the movement of the switch, and even the heat of the bulb can be enough to ignite a flammable atmosphere. In an explosion proof light fixture, any explosions that may occur are contained inside the fixture.

Components in a standard lighting fixture such as the bulb, wiring, contacts and switches are exposed to the atmosphere. As such, any sparks caused by the sudden change in energy inside the fixture may potentially be able to ignite the flammable gases in the atmosphere. Conversely, the components of an explosion proof lighting fixture are encased to prevent potential sparks or flames from escaping the internal housing unit.

However, this does not mean that there has to be an airtight seal around the components of an ex proof lighting fixture to prevent the flammable gases in the surrounding atmosphere from penetrating the housing unit. It just means that the explosion proof lighting fixture will be able to contain the explosion within its housing unit. This prevents the explosion from spreading outside the unit which could cause additional damage to equipment and injury to employees.

High Durability

An ex proof light typically has higher durability compared to its standard lighting counterpart. As explosion proof lighting fixtures are often built with sturdier and heavier materials, they are able to withstand harsher working environments. This means that explosion proof lights will not be as easily damaged as standard lighting fixtures which makes it a better option for operations in confined spaces. Therefore, the high durability of explosion proof lighting fixtures helps to reduce maintenance and furbishing costs for your business.

Greater Mobility

Thanks to being built with a stronger frame and thicker tempered glass lenses, explosion proof lights are highly resistant to vibrations. This allows for greater mobility as the ex proof lights can be transported from one place to another by forklifts or other transport machinery without the risk of getting damaged easily. On the other hand, standard lighting fixtures are not as mobile as even the slightest bumps or movement might cause them to be damaged and malfunction. As such, explosion proof lighting fixtures are more portable than standard lights, which makes it the ideal choice for businesses that require mobile illumination for operations.

Greater Efficiency

Explosion proof LED lights are more energy efficient compared to traditional lighting fixtures. An ex proof LED light consumes approximately 90 percent less energy than a standard lighting fixture. This means that explosion proof LED lights are capable of working at their original level of illumination and can last up to 100,000 hours. As such, explosion proof LED lights have longer lifespans than conventional lighting fixtures. Therefore, installing explosion proof LED lights will allow you to save on operation and production costs.

Lesser Heat Emissions

Explosion proof LED lights also emit less heat thanks to their heat saving features. This generally reduces the chances of producing sparks which means that flammable gases and vapours in hazardous locations will not be ignited.

Explosion Proof LED Lights Are Eco-Friendly

In addition to their energy saving advantages, explosion proof LED lights do not contain toxic or harmful substances, such as mercury and lead, that are harmful to the environment. Therefore, using explosion proof LED lights instead of traditional lighting fixtures allow businesses to be eco-friendly as well.

Conclusion

As industrial experts, we understand the numerous benefits that explosion proof lighting can bring to your business. Therefore, we highly encourage you to incorporate the use of explosion proof lights especially if your business operates in a confined space at a hazardous location. Moreover, the low visibility and mobility of confined spaces, such as oil rigs and petrochemical plants, makes it necessary to install explosion proof lights in order to carry out maintenance and inspection.

Supermec offers a wide range of explosion proof lighting fixtures to cater to your business needs. All of our lighting solutions are customised to meet the strict guidelines and standards in the industry. Contact our friendly sales team at sales@supermemc.com to find out more about our ex proof lighting solutions. Alternatively, you can visit our ecommerce platform where you can browse through the complete range of our explosion proof lighting fixtures for hazardous areas at your leisure.


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