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LED Lighting Supply / LED Industrial Lighting / Explosion Proof Lighting

Explosion Proof Lighting

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Frequently Asked Questions

We spoke to our customers to find out the questions they have about LED Explosion Proof Lighting and Blast Proof Lighting Fixtures. Here are some of those questions and answers. If you have questions, feel free to call us at (888) 423-3191 to speak directly with one of our lighting experts.

Want to learn more? Read our Blog Post on Explosion Proof Classifications

General

What are Explosion Proof Lights?

Explosion-proof lighting is designed to be used in locations where there’s a risk of explosion/ignition due to the presence of flammable gases, liquids, or dust. Engineers designed explosion-proof lighting so that it contains an explosion if created inside the fixture, within the light fixture itself. More importantly, it’s inherently designed to prevent that explosion from escaping the fixture.

Explosion-proof lighting is commonplace in industrial and commercial applications, such as oil and gas facilities, chemical plants, underground mines, water treatment plants, paint spray booths, and grain elevators.

How Do You Determine If a Light Is Explosion Proof?

In the USA, the light requires a certification to UL844 standard. Beyond that, you have to determine what certification applies – Class 1 Division 1 and Class 1 Division 2 are the most common.

There are other certifications – like ATEX, that apply to other countries. In the USA, Canada, and locations near here, make sure it is UL844 certified.

What Is the Difference Between Flame Proof and Explosion Proof LED Light Fixtures?

A flameproof light is one that’s built with materials that inhibit flames. An explosion-proof LED light is designed to operate in an explosive environment. Never use a flameproof light in place of an explosion-proof light. Only certified Explosion Proof LED lights will work in these types of environments.

Are All LED Lights Explosion Proof?

Not all LED lights are explosion proof. The fixture tested under the UL844 certification meets explosion-proof requirements. Do not confuse vapor-proof with explosion-proof, they are not the same thing. Never use vapor-tight fixtures in an environment where explosion proof lighting is required.

What are the Classifications of LED Explosion Proof Lighting?

Class I Locations: Flammable Gases, Vapors, or Liquids

Class I are areas where vapors and/or gases can ignite and are present in enough quantity to create an explosion. Vapors are gases present over a liquid material under normal conditions. But they may emit gases that may be flammable.

Division 1

Division 1 are areas where the flammable vapors or gases are present all or most of the time under normal operating conditions.

Division 2

Division 2 is areas where ignitable gases or vapors are not present under normal operating conditions. Or they are areas next to Class I, Division 1 locations where barriers, walls, or doors do not exist.

Groups of Class 1 Locations

There are 4 groups defined for Class 1 Locations that represent the type of gas or vapor.

Group A: Acetylene
Group B: Hydrogen
Group C: Ethylene
Group D: Gasoline / Propane

Class II Locations: Combustible Dust And Hazardous Substances

These are locations that are hazardous because of the presence of combustible dust. The dust must be present in large enough quantities to create an explosion or fire. To be classified as dust, the material must be 420 microns (0.420 mm) or smaller.

Division 1

This is similar to Class 1 Division 1. These locations contain combustible dust which is suspended in the air in quantities that can produce an explosion if ignited under normal operating conditions.

Division 2

This is similar to Class 1 Division 2. These locations do not have combustible dust under normal operating conditions. However, there are times when this area may accumulate dust in quantities large enough that when ignited causes an explosion.

Groups of Class 2 Locations

There are 3 groups defined for Class 2 Locations and represent the type of dust or combustible particle.

Group E: Electrical-conductive dust
Group F: Carbonaceous dust
Group G: Agricultural and polymer dust

Class III Locations: Ignitable Flyings and Fibers

Class III locations are areas that have the presence of ignitable fibers or flyings. It’s important to note that these fibers or flyings are not likely to be in suspension during normal operating conditions. These are conditions that sometimes happen, but do not always happen.

Division 1

Class III, Division 1 locations have equipment that produces the ignitable fibers or flyings. This location has concentrations of ignitable fibers or flyings that exist all or some of the time under normal operating conditions.

Division 2

Class III, Division 2 locations outside of the manufacturing area that are exposed to ignitable fibers or flyings. This location has concentrations of ignitable fibers or flyings that typically do not exist under normal operating conditions.

Groups of Class III Locations

There are no groups in Class III locations.

Explosion Lights

What is Blast Proof Lighting?

Blast-proof lighting is just another way of saying “Explosion Proof Lighting”. The concept of “Blast Proof” is a light designed not to create a “Blast”, or “Explosion”.

Why Would an LED Bulb Explode?

An LED bulb, by itself, should never explode. But if this bulb creates a spark in an explosive environment, it could cause an explosion. An explosion created inside a LED Explosion Proof Light will never escape the fixture.

Hazardous environment classification

What Are Intrinsically Safe Lights?

Intrinsically safe lighting fixtures are a form of explosion proof lighting. But they differ in the way they’re designed. By design, they cannot create an explosion or spark. For the most part, they tend to be low power, low voltage lighting, and often are battery-powered.

What Are the Best Applications for LED Explosion Proof Light Fixtures?

LED Explosion Proof Lighting can replace, 1 for 1, metal halide and fluorescent fixtures. in indoor and outdoor explosive locations. You can use an explosion-proof lighting fixture indoors or outdoors. You can use them in new or existing facilities for the following applications:

Chemical processing plants
Aircraft maintenance areas
Enclosed fueling stations
Paint spray booths
Offshore oil and gas rigs
Chemical storage units
Ship tanks
Refineries and Oil and Gas storage
Grain silos
Water Treatment Facilities

What’s the Difference Between Class Division 1 and Class 1 Division 2?

Flammable gases, vapors, and liquids and are present at all times: use Class 1 Division 1

Flammable gases, vapors, and liquids and are present some of the times: use Class 1 Division 2

Can You Substitute a Class 1 Fixture for Classes 2 or 3?

No. Unlike divisions described above, you cannot swap an explosion-proof lighting fixture among classes. It is either rated for the Class you need or it isn’t.

Can you use a Division 1 Fixture of a class in a Division 2 Area of the Same Class?

Yes, that assumes that both have the same grouping certification. For example, C1D1, Group C can substitute in C1D2, Group C areas.

What’s the Difference Between Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3?

Class 1: Gases – Areas in which flammable gases or vapors are present.
Class 2: Dust – Areas in which combustible dust suspends in the air or can accumulate on equipment.
Class 3: Fibers Areas in which ignitable fibers are present.

BEFORE YOU BUY

How Does LED Ex-Proof Lighting Work?

The light is designed to prohibit an explosion starting within the fixture from escaping. It is not vapor-tight, as some may think. The light’s design includes a series of channels. These channels cause hot gas or flames that might start inside the fixture to cool down. By the time it leaves the fixture, it’s been de-fused.

When Does It Make Sense to Use Explosion Proof Lights?

There are rules and regulations that mandate the use of these lights. They’re used in any environment, indoors or outdoors, where a spark from a light could cause an explosion. A refinery or underground mine are good examples of where to use explosion proof lighting fixtures.

Where Are Your LED Ex-proof Lighting Fixtures Manufactured?

Our Explosion Proof LED Lighting fixtures are manufactured in our overseas facilities. We stock these fixtures in the USA.

Do you need BAA / TAA (Buy America Act) certified fixtures? We can also supply BAA / TAA versions of some of our explosion-proof fixtures. Our BAA versions usually carry a 4-week production lead time.

What Temperatures Can Explosion Proof Lighting Handle? Do you offer LED High-Temperature Explosion Proof?

Our temperature rating for explosion-proof lights is between 121F to 140F (up to 185F for Exit Signs). All our lights list the operating temperature of each light in the specification sections of each product.

Are Explosion Proof Lights Shatterproof?

Our explosion-proof lights are all IK10 (impact) rated. This is the highest impact rating that’s available. All our fixtures come with a tempered glass lens that is IK10 rated shatterproof.

What Mounting Bracket Options are available?

The main and most common mounting options available are:

Pendant – the wiring runs through the pendant into a junction box.
Trunnion / Yoke Mount – wired with flex pipe to a junction box.

There are some custom mounts that are also available:

Slip Fitter / Pipe Mount – For pole mounting – square fixture
Surface Mount Arm – for wall mounting
Stanchion Mounting – for pole mounting – round fixture

Explosion Proof Jelly Jar

What are the Types of Explosion Proof Lighting?

Our explosion-proof lights are also IP65 or higher rated, so you can use them both indoors or outdoors. Our lights are adaptable. They can replace many existing metal halide and fluorescent fixtures including:

Round Lights and Square Lights
Linear Strip Fixture
LED Explosion Proof Flood Lighting
Jelly Jars
Temporary Work Lights
Exit Signs

Do your Fixtures Come with a Whip or Cord?

It does not. Everything inside these areas needs to be explosion rated. This includes junction boxes and conduit that supplies power to the fixture. Unlike a normal high bay, an exposed power cord/whip does not make sense.

INSTALLATION

What’s the best way to install Explosion Proof Lighting?

Always use a licensed and certified electrician who is knowledgeable in explosion-proof installations.

Everything in the area (light, conduit, switches, junction boxes) must be rated accordingly (not just the lights). Using an electrician familiar with these rules, guidelines, and processes will keep everything safe.