By BizLED Bureau
Nov 27, 2015: Industrial applications of LED lighting are being slowly but steadily increasing. LEDs have unique and compelling characteristics that make them ideal for industrial lighting applications, particularly, the fact that LED lights consume less power, emit little heat and have longer life, has made them very popular.
When choosing a lighting source, industrial facilities look for energy efficiency, sustainability and cost as key metrics for investments. Today, LED lighting meets these metrics, and hence are becoming the lighting technology of choice in the industrial sector.
Characteristics that make LEDs suitable for industries
LEDs are more durable, reliable and don?t need the maintenance requirements that are associated with traditional lighting, for example, re-lamping, re-ballasting, etc. With properly designed fixtures, LED lights are being developed to cater to all industries that can operate well in all temperature environments. These are inherently controllable (instantaneous on/off and dimming), and are much more energy efficient, hence they are suitable for industrial purposes.
Today, LED lights are so well-designed that they work well in a broad range of environments, including industries, factories, etc. LEDs perform well as they manage heat dissipation perfectly as that is one of the prerequisites for lighting operating at any temperature?hot, cold or anywhere in-between.
LEDs also perform extraordinarily well in cold environments, an area (like cold storage) that has been particularly challenging for other types of lighting, such as fluorescent and HID.
An important indicator of the quality of an LED solution‘s heat/thermal management is junction temperature, which measures the internal temperature of the LED chip within the lighting fixture. For specified operating intervals?usually 6,000- and 10,000 hours?these values are commonly available as are part of industry standard tests performed by independent testing labs.
Increase in LED efficacy has made LEDs ideal for industrial applications. Today, a complete range of fixtures?from relatively low- to extremely high lumen outputs?are available to industrial customers, allowing facilities to select the intensity that is appropriate for its specific needs. Light levels can be further enhanced through proper optics that ensure that light placement is aligned with the application, for example, narrow racked aisles have different requirements than open spaces. Further, with efficacy ratios approaching 100 lumens per watt, there is no more energy-efficient illumination source available.
Intelligent LED fixtures (with occupancy and daylight sensors and a small computer) can wirelessly network them while providing a software management and reporting interface. Adding sensors to basic LED fixtures can increase energy efficiency, however these add-ons (occupancy or daylight harvesting sensors) are single-purpose tools, typically with fixed settings that control the on or off state of a fixture or group of fixtures.
Consumers? awareness must
But consumers should be aware of the facts about LEDs before changing over to this technology. They should be aware of the test data, standards, and try to get feedback people who are already using LED lighting in their facilities. The users should ask for full test results (LM-79, LM-80 and TM-21), and relevant listings (UL, cUL, NOM, or CE, for example) from the suppliers.
Types of LED lights for industries
Industrial LED lights are available in different sizes, shapes and configurations. LED industrial lights include bay lights, area lights, downlights, tower lights and spot lights, etc. There is also a big market for retrofitting existing fixtures with bulbs and tubelights.
Today these lights offer various features such as illumination of an area with no scattered light, availability in compact or standardised module dimensions, one time integration of the lamp socket in luminaires by means of M4 screws, etc.
Bay lights are generally used in warehouses, factories and industrial sheds as their light do not get scattered. High bay lighting is used where the ceiling height ranges from 6-9 m with wattages ranging from 90 W to 250 W. Low bay lights are used where the ceiling heights range from 3-5 m. Low bay lights are found in wattages from 18-90 W.
Spotlights and tunnel lights can be used for lighting vast areas like factories, gymnasiums, yards, advertising boards, parking lots, stadiums and parks.
LED tunnel lights are also used to illuminate dark areas with the added benefit of emitting low heat and consuming less energy?a feature that adds up to significant savings since lighting in tunnels is required all through the day.
Highway lights: The visibility factor is extremely important in the design of highway lighting, as factors like photometric properties of light sources, lighting geometry, targets, road conditions, road surfaces and surroundings need to be taken into consideration.
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