Safety and precaution have become a chief concern for businesses worldwide. While the various government agencies globally have been trying relentlessly to bring stricter laws for implementation of safety protocols at the workplace, company management themselves are now becoming more aware to minimize the loss of lives and money.
In such a scenario, the importance of safety products such as Explosion Proof Lighting has come to the forefront. They go a long way in helping workers operate smoothly, especially in a hazardous environment. A hazardous location is an area with high concentrations of combustible particles of liquids, gases, fibres, dust and other materials which can cause a fire. All the equipment used in a hazardous area must be specially designed so that they do not catch fire – Explosion Proof Lighting being one of them.
What is Explosion Proof Lighting?
Commonly known as Ex Lighting, these lighting devices ensure any ignition or spark is contained within the light fixture itself and does not lead to a potential fire or explosion. You can get a detailed understanding of it in our article What is Explosion Proof Lighting.
Why should you use Explosion Proof Lighting?
Now, let us come to our main point of discussion – why are these light fixtures used?
Many factors make these a choice of lighting equipment for hazardous areas. Here to name a few:
Ex Lighting are specially designed to isolate sparks within the unit so that they don’t explode. This works in two ways. If there is an explosion or a fire outside, the Ex Lighting fixture does not explode by itself, adding fuel to the fire. Moreover, the light fixture itself does not explode to start a catastrophe.
One of the most defining features of these lighting fixtures is the thick casing which does not allow easy entry of gases and liquids inside the main body of the light. The hot flammable material has to take a complex route to enter the light fixture, by which time they cool down.
This is especially useful for confined spaces such as oil storage tanks, which may be poorly ventilated or isolated. Ex Lighting can minimize the chances of an explosion to a great extent.
Variety of choices
Every business is unique and may have a different kind of lighting requirement. Well, the same facility may need different kinds of lighting in different areas. Explosion Proof Lighting is available in various forms – the most common being fixed and portable lights.
Ex Lighting is classified into various types depending on the area where they are being deployed and its lighting requirement. This classification is based on Article 500 of NEC. Hence, there are classes, divisions and groups elaborating on the nature of an environment. This also defines the design of Ex Lighting to be used in that particular area. You can refer to our article, Types of Explosion Proof Lighting, for more details.
Adherence to Compliance
All Ex Lighting must have a certification from an official regulating body which ensures their quality. The products follow the ATEX direction in Europe, while in the USA and Canada, the certification may be obtained from bodies such as UL LLC, Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) and ETL Mark.
ATEX is the name commonly used for two European Directives controlling explosive environments – Directive 99/92/EC and Directive 2014/34/EU. In case of Ex Lighting, Directive 2014/34/EU applies. Any equipment with its own source of ignition and to be used in a potentially explosive environment needs to obtain this ATEX certification. The certification ensures that the equipment can be safely used in such an environment.
A consumer must check the certification before purchasing or implementing Ex Lighting in any facility.
Performance and Efficiency
Now, let us talk about the business side of it. Using Ex Lighting in a hazardous work environment helps increase productivity and efficiency. These lights are powerful and can provide varying levels of lighting depending on the business requirement. A bright and clear work environment ensures workers operate smoothly, avoid errors and identify accidents quickly.
On the psychological front, when workers are assured of the safety of the working environment, they tend to concentrate more on the work rather than the safety side of it, which leads to better performance and higher productivity.
Speaking about the performance of Ex Lighting itself, their design and technology enable them to deliver superior performance at all times. Most Ex Lightings are LED lights, which can run for at least 50,000 hours and can sometimes extend up to 100,000 hours. They come in various models to fit the requirement. Some Ex Lighting come with timers to program them to turn on or off automatically. They can be dimmed depending upon the lighting requirement of a particular area. They are also available in different colours.
When it comes to lighting a hazardous area, there can be no parallel to Ex Lighting. Reducing the risk of inflammation makes them an essential component of any business. Their easy transportability, robust design and myriad application make them a choice of lighting for businesses worldwide.