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What is LED Explosion Proof Lighting?

Explosion proof lights design contains sparks in case of an internal explosion. It prevents the explosion from escaping – hence the term “explosion proof.” The lights lower the risk of a explosive reaction from spreading. The fixtures feature thick casings that cover the luminaires. The thick casing covers all internal components. An explosion proof box house sensors, switches and drivers.

The design of an explosion proof fixture is very interesting. It forces gas to take longer, complicated routes through different channels and pathways. As it travels, cools down to a safer temperature before release. Explosion proof lights are not airtight. They allow gases to enter their aluminum casings.

What is Intrinsically Safe LED Lights?

Intrinsically safe lighting fixtures differs from explosion proof lighting in that they are designed so 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.

Are all LED Lights Explosion Proof?

Not all LED Lights are explosion proof rated. The standard for explosion proof in North America is UL844 standard. Without this certification by a certified testing lab, the light is not an explosion proof rated fixture. Another standard is ATEX, but this rating is an European standard designed for countries in Europe.

What is the difference between Class 1 Div 1 and Class 1 Div 2?

Class 1 Div 1 Hazardous Locations are areas that have flammable gases, vapors, and liquids and are present at all times. Class 1 Div 2 Locations are areas that have the same flammible gases, vapors, and liquids but are not present at all times.

What is the difference between Class 1 and Class 2 Explosion Proof Lights?

Class 1 Lighting deals with flammable gases, vapors, and liquids. Class 2 Lighting deals with combustible dust particles.

Are Vapor Tight rated fixtures explosion proof?

No. A Vapor tight fixture is designed to keep non-explosive gases and dust from entering the fixture and causing premature failure of the fixture. It is not designed to keep an explosion, caused from the fixture, from escaping into the external hazardous environment its installed in.

Explosion Proof Lights - Requirements and Classifications


Class 1 Explosion Proof

Class I areas are those in which flammable gases or vapors are or may be present in the air. They're in quantities sufficient to produce explosive or ignitable mixtures.

Class 1 Division 1

Flammable concentrations of combustible liquids, vapors or gases exist under normal working conditions.


Class 1 Division 2
Flammable concentrations of ignitable vapors, liquids, or gases exist under abnormal working conditions.


Class 1 Areas
Group A (acetylene)
Group B (hydrogen)
Group C (ethylene and propane)
Group D (propane, butane, methane, and benzene)

Class 2 Explosion Proof

Class II locations are hazardous because of the presence of combustible dust.

Class 2 Division 1

Combustible concentrations of flammable dusts exist in the atmosphere under normal working conditions.


Class 2 Division 2

Combustible concentrations of ignitable dust exist in the atmosphere under abnormal working conditions.


Class 2 Areas
Group E (metal dust)
Group F (charcoal and carbon)
Group G (wood, plastic, starch, and flour)

Class 3 Explosion Proof

Class III locations are hazardous because of the presence of ignitable fibers. Fibers or flyings are unlikely to be air suspended in quantities to produce ignition.

Class 3 Division 1

Combustible fibers or materials that produce ignitable particles exist under normal working conditions.


Class 3 Division 2

Combustible fibers or materials that produce flammable particles exist under abnormal working conditions.


Class 3 Areas

These are not categorized into groups but comprise of sawdust and cotton

Explosion Proof Lights Have a Robust Design for Containment


LED Refinery Lighting

Use Explosion proof lights in these areas

Chemical processing plants

Aircraft maintenance areas

Enclosed fueling stations

Paint spray booths

Offshore oil and gas rigs

Chemical storage units

Ship tanks


Oil and Gas Storage

Grain silos

The main task of explosion proof lights is to stop an explosion from escaping, whenever one occurs. 

Explosion Proof lights are designed to contain any explosions that happen inside the light. They are not vapor tight fixtures. They are designed, certified and tested so that any issue inside the light is not transferred to the hazardous environment in which they are installed.

They should not be confused with intrinsically safe lights. An intrinsically safe light is designed so that it never creates a problem, such as a spark. They tend to be lower power, low voltage lights and are typically battery powered, like a flashlight.

Why you would choose LED Over Metal Halide

Long Lifespan - Results In Lowering your Maintenance Costs

LED Explosion Proof Fixtures have many benefits over conventional explosion proof lights. These fixtures have an average life expectancy of 50,000+ hours. Metal halides have an average lifespan between 12,000 and 20,000 hours.


LED explosion proof fixtures maintain their lumens extremely well. Their lumen maintenance (L70) is typically over 50,000 hours. During the same period, you would have to replaced 2 to 3 HID bulbs. Explosion proof LED lights are more energy efficient than traditional explosion proof lights. Long lifespan of LEDS contributes to lower operating and maintenance costs.

They Emit Less Heat

LEDs are solid-state lighting devices and function reliably because of their heat-saving features. They only produce an average of 3.4 BTUs per hour and are not affected by low temperatures or humidity.


This translates to lights that work when workers enter hazardous rooms. Metal Halide require larger fixtures to act as a heat sink to eliminate all the heat generated by the bulbs. While LEDs produce heat, its a fraction of what Metal Halide produces.

They Support Your Eco-Friendly Initiatives

Since LEDs are more energy-efficient, they reduce the demand on the power grid. And in the process lower greenhouse gas emissions. LEDs convert 95% of the energy they draw into light and only waste 5% as heat. Conventional lights waste 95% of the energy they draw as heat and only convert 5% into light.

If your company is thinking of implementing eco-friendly initiatives, switch to LED. LEDs do not contain dangerous substances. Their disposal process isn't as costly as that of HID and fluorescent lamps.

LED Explosion Proof Jelly Jar installed in substation