Author: LED Lamps

Dust Protection Ratings for Industrial LED Spotlights

dust protection ratings

In rugged work sites, LED spotlights must be protected from a myriad of dangerous elements, such as water and dust. When addressing the presence of small, solid particles (dust), operators may refer to various dust protection ratings for lighting equipment.

Although Ingress Protection (IP) ratings are often associated with waterproof protection, part of the rating refers to dust. This is particularly useful for locations that are exposed to combustible particles, such as metal processing facilities, grain storage buildings and more.

Read on to learn more about how LED spotlights stay operational in dusty environments.

IP Rating (Dust)

In an IP rating, the first number is applied to advise individuals about protection from solid objects. It is crucial to highlight that the second number refers to protection from liquids and water sprays. In some cases, an optional third number is applied to reference protection from hard impacts.

A scale of 0 to 6 is applicable to protective ratings for dust. On the scale, the lowest rating (0) suggests that the LED spotlight does not offer any form of protection from dust. Within that scale, a range of 1-4 is applicable to resistance against rough contact, via tools, fingers or hands. With this in mind, IP3X or IP4X is recommended for protection from small objects.

Protection from Hazardous Dust

As we move up the scale, the level of protection increases. At the range of IP5X, finer particles are addressed. An LED spotlight with an IP5X rating (or higher) is protected from dust, as well as sand. Testing method to ensure such protective mechanisms includes exposing the unit to circulating dust.

Complete protection from dust is offered in LED spotlights with IP6X ratings. At this level, the luminary’s housing is dust tight. Most consumer-grade products may come equipped with IP5X ratings, while industrial variants that require higher levels of protection (industrial-grade) are IP6X.

Where are LED Spotlight Beams Used in Mining Operations

LED SPotlight

Narrow LED spotlight beams have useful applications in the mining sector. Compared to a flood light beam, which is wide, such lighting configurations are tight and designed to illuminate targets located in far distances.

In the US, safety standards for mining luminaries are governed by MSHA. The organization ensures the equipment can withstand rough elements inside and outside the location. An example of an MSHA standard is the use of low voltage lighting inside mining areas.

Outside Mining Locations

Before actual mining takes place, the target location must first be surveyed and prepared. During this stage of the project, spot lights may already be frequently used. At elevated positions, LED light towers around the established perimeter can be setup to mark the area. On the ground, handheld spotlights are commonly utilized for general illumination.

During excavation, vehicles that operate at night benefit from narrow, intense spot beams. As trucks, lifters and other types of heavy-duty vehicles move materials in and out of the area, makeshift dirt roads and paths are often obscured. Such lights help improve visibility at the site.

Inside (Underground) Mining Locations

Underground mining sites require spot lights for increased safety. Hard hats with LED spot lights provide clarity in dark sections of the site. The units may also be equipped with flashing configurations for signaling, as well as different colors.

Various LED spotlight light colors are utilized to boost illumination in smoky or extremely dusty environments. When coupled with an intense spot light beam, underground miners are able work with better accuracy.

Depending on the task, LED mining lights should be equipped with explosion proof designs. For instance, non-sparking materials including copper-free aluminum with a powder coat finish perform well in combustible environments.

Hard or industrial-grade plastics and polycarbonate are also frequently preferred by mining operators. The materials are less prone to creating sources of ignition (sparks), compared to conventional metals.

Post Mount LED Spotlights vs LED Light Bars for Trucks and Emergency Vehicles

Post Mount LED Spotlights vs LED Light Bars for Trucks and Emergency Vehicles

Emergency vehicle operators are frequent users of LED spotlights. The units are applicable to illuminating far-flung targets during inspections, monitoring and everyday tasks. There are two main types of LED spotlights found on emergency vehicles: post-mount LED spotlights and LED light bars.

This article compares the two portable lighting options and highlights their applications in law enforcement, emergency services and industrial projects.

Post Mount LED Spotlights

Post-mount LED spotlights are compact luminaries, which are installed on the side of the vehicle – close to the side mirror (on the driver’s side). A long handle is accessible from within the cabin, allowing individuals to position the light at targets. Basic controls may also be fed through the post mount, depending on the model.

This type of LED spotlight is common in law enforcement vehicles and police cars. The portable light promotes safety during confrontations, as the operator does not need to exit the vehicle to use and position the luminary. Most post-mount LED spotlights are circular and may double as a signal light.

A major drawback with post-mount lights is installation, requiring an individual to drill holes into the vehicle (A-pillar). This makes such installations difficult to commit to, especially for rental fleets.

LED Light Bars

LED light bars are slim, rectangular units that can be designed to offer spot and/or flood beam illumination. This type of light is usually found in industrial operations, ranging from agricultural tractors to remote service trucks. The luminary mounts on the roof or at the front of the vehicle. Installation is less intrusive and can be seamless, when using magnetic mounting solutions or grill mounts.

Adjusting an LED light bar is usually done manually. Though it is possible to purchase a model with remote control features. This allows operators to position the light beam from the inside of the vehicle, if needed.

Advantages of Pivot and Swing Arm Mounts for LED Spotlights

Swing Arm Mounts for LED Spotlights

LED spotlights are useful for illuminating far objects or targets. Equipped with a tightly-focused beam, the units benefit from a wide range of accessories and designs, such as handheld grips (for portable LED spotlights) and surface mounts.

Read on learn about alternative mounting options for LED spotlights.

Swing Arm Mounts

Swing arm mounts offer versatile placement and positioning of LED spotlights, when mounted permanently on a flat surface. The lengthy arm is typically divided into 2 or 3 parts, connected by joints, which allows for overlapping movements and placing. When used with an LED spotlight, operators can move the light head around corners, shelving or machines.

Moreover, swing-arm mounted LED spotlights are very effective for security applications. An infrared LED spotlight could enhance image-capturing for video cameras at night. This is done by pointing the compact LED light head, which emits a non-visible beam, at the target as the monitoring device records footage.

Attaching a U-bracket mount at the end of a swing arm mounting component can further extend its versatile features.

Pivot (Swivel) Mounts

Pivot mounts also provide similar benefits, compared to swing-arm mounts. The main difference is the lack of extended features due to the missing arm components. Because of this, pivot mounts for LED work lights are perfect for compact space requirements, such as on boats, control stations or vehicles.

A pivot mount is equipped with a ball at the center for functional positioning. In most cases, a swivel mount is capable of full rotation. The feature is advantageous for quick, reactive positioning completed manually by hand. In live applications, a patroller can position the light head swiftly on objects with minimal effort.

This type of mount also offers hands-free benefits for busy operators. Due to the missing arm component, pivot mounts for LED spotlights are ideal for illuminating far objects without obstructions.

Top 3 LED Spotlights Distribution Designs and Features

spotlights

LED spotlights are not all created equal. The term ‘spotlight’ refers to a tight light beam, designed for long-distance or intense illumination.

It is important to highlight that, within this definition, LED spotlights can vary greatly. In fact, lighting manufacturers may classify LED spotlight distribution in three main groups: Type I, Type II and Type III.

Read on to learn more about these LED spotlight distribution classifications.

Type I

Type I provides a two-lateral configuration, with a lateral width of 15 degrees in the cone. This helps the unit achieve robust candlepower ratings. The LED diodes are positioned away from each other, producing a wide-version of a spotlight beam. Type I LED distribution is ideal for illuminating paths and public walkways.

Type II

Type II is like Type I, but offers slightly wider light distribution for larger spaces. Taking on a lateral width of 25 degrees, this option is suitable for roadside locations and side streets. The LED light distribution can be applied to elevated positions, as long as the required width during illumination does not exceed 1.75 times the height of the luminary.

Type III

This type of LED distribution is the widest out of the three, with a lateral width of 40 degrees. The angle of the units ensures proper illumination, when mounted at heights not exceeding 2.75 times the measurement of the target. Taking this into consideration, this type of light distribution is mostly used for side-lighting on roadways.

Lastly, other types of LED light distribution provide wider lighting conditions, such as Type IV. Furthermore, some variants emit full, circular light distribution (Type V), like an LED strobe lamp. This type of unit can be found in commercial parking lots. A square version of Type V light distribution is Type VS, which promotes even light intensity at various angles.

Profile LED Spotlights for Stage Lighting Systems

LED spotlights can be found in a wide range of industries, from construction to performance art. Focusing on the latter sector, stage lighting systems typically incorporate Fresnel, PC and profile spotlights for intricate illumination.

 

Out of the three options mentioned above, profile spotlights offer some of the most unique lighting solutions for commercial stages. Read on to learn more about this type of spotlight and its applications in performance art.

 

Profile LED Spotlights 101

 

When used to support live performances and concerts, profile LED units are designed for consistent spreads and angles. The luminaries provide a fixed-beam with constant width measurements. In order to manipulate the beams (making them larger or smaller), operators must move the entire fixture. However, it is possible to adjust the lens. This allows the creation of soft or hard edges on the light beam during operation.

 

Newer versions of profile LED spotlights come with a robust lens, which can be adjusted to widen or tighten the width of the beam. Moreover, some units feature different zoom ranges, such as settings of 15 degrees and 35 degrees, as well as settings of 30 degrees and 40 degrees. These beam angles are still within the range of spotlight beams and are particularly useful for highlighting multiple objects or characters in a single scene.

 

Technical Specs and Applications

 

A major advantage of using profile LED spotlights is positioning at far distances. Operators can position the lights from far locations, which offers more space for equipment around the stage.

 

By comparison, a Fresnel spotlight must be used within close proximity to the target on the stage. Both units are used for illumination of specific objects. When use for such purposes, the beam’s shape can be manipulated using shutters.

 

Lastly, because profile LED spotlights are installed far away from the stage, it is crucial for the units to come with sturdy mounting options, such as a U-bracket component.

Effects of Red and Blue LED Lights on Plant Growth

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Previously, for optimized plant growth, indoor growers were fond of using full-spectrum lights, which are designed to mimic natural sunlight. Cultivators believed that such lighting options were more robust than conventional units, capable of facilitating the food-making process in a reliable manner. Advancements in LED lights technology have provided other, potentially more effective lighting methods for indoor farmers. Instead of leveraging full-spectrum luminaries, individuals incorporate red and blue LED chips to initiate an ideal response from the plants.

LEDs and Photosynthesis

Red light, with a wavelength measurement of 625 – 740 nm, and blue light, with a wavelength measurement of 435 – 500 nm, actively interact with plants and promote photosynthesis. Chlorophyll components inside plants are more prone to absorbing red light bands, compared to other colors. As a mainstream color option, it is cost-effective to use red LED lights inside grow rooms.

On the other hand, blue light affects plant growth during the flowering stages. Compared to red light, less concentrations of blue are needed for large yields. Only a small amount is required to regulate the functions of the stomata, which is related to the plant’s ability to take in carbon dioxide and manage water levels.

Compared to full-spectrum grow lights, using red and blue LED fixtures for indoor cultivation can result in increased growth rates, up to 20 percent (according to Purdue University).

Reducing Heat Generation

Red and blue LED chips for indoor cultivation can help decrease the negative effects of heat generation during growth. The solid-state units consume very little energy during operation, resulting in cool illumination. This feature allows farmers to consolidate more chips in a lighting system for dense configurations over the plot.

From a distance, greenhouses that incorporate red and blue LED grow lights appear pink or purple (depending on the ratio of colors). Some lighting systems may include hints of green light, which generally have the same benefits as blue-colored variants.

Preventing Light Spillage with LED Spotlights

led spotlights

Compared to LED floodlights, LED spotlights emit a dense, powerful beam that is capable of reaching far distances. Because of this lighting characteristic, the fixtures can contribute to light spillage around the target area.

Light spillage refers to stray light beams that illuminate nearby areas outside of the target. It is important to control light pollution, as it can be a major source of disturbance for people and animals. In fact, the issue is so prevalent that local governments typically impose regulations to reduce light spillage in residential neighborhoods and commercial spaces.

Addressing Light Pollution with Shields

There are several ways to decrease light spillage, when using LED spotlights. One of the most effective methods include the application of light shields. Also known as cutoff fixtures, the grade of the shield dictates the amount of coverage. For example, a full-cutoff LED spotlight will not allow light beams to pass over 90 degrees. By comparison, a non-cutoff lamp provides full, 360-degree illumination.

Light diffusers can also help control stray light beams. Although such lighting accessories reduce the intensity of the fixture, the components do not ‘cut’ the natural formation and angle of the beam.

Color Temperature and Dimming

Some lighting techniques for reducing light pollution involves changing the characteristics of the LED light. Low color temperature LED spotlights are less prone to contributing to glare on shiny surfaces. This is particularly useful for units mounted on a pole (used for illumination in parking lots), typically pointed downwards.

For a straightforward approach to preventing light spillage, individuals may consider incorporating a dimmer with the LED spotlight. To automate this process, one could install a timer to set the dimmer on a high setting, during late night periods. Minimal dimming settings can be applied to the LED spotlight when transitioning from day to night and vice versa. To see large online selection of LED spotlights please visit http://www.larsonelectronics.com/c-571-led-spotlights.aspx

 

Reducing LED Spotlight Intensity with Neutral-Density (ND) Gels

led spotlight

Reducing LED Spotlight Intensity

Illuminating small spaces with bright lights can cause glare and unwanted blinding to occur. In studios and for lighting systems without dimmable features, operators may install accessories over the luminary to reduce brightness.

One of these accessories is called a neutral-density or ND filter. This lighting accessory typically comes in the following grades: 0.3 (ND3), 0.6 (ND6) and 0.9 (ND9). When used correctly, ND gels can improve lighting quality for the entire space – resulting in diffused effects.

Light Intensity vs Color Temperature

LED spotlights are known for their tight, powerful beams. When incorporated with other types of luminaries, the light could overpower other beams in the location. As a result, illumination could appear uneven. Operators may cover an LED spotlight with an ND gel, so that it does not ruin the illuminative characteristics of the entire lighting system.

Modern ND filters are constructed of colored sheets of polyester. Previously, the accessories were made out of dried gelatin. The issue with low-quality, gelatin-based ND gels is their tendency to melt when exposed to high temperatures. For mounting close to theatrical spotlights, this type of ND filter is not recommended.

Benefits and Applications

It is important to clarify that ND light gels are very effective in controlling light intensity – not color temperature. In application, an ND filter can be applied over a window, in order to reduce the intensity levels of natural sunlight entering the location.

An ND gel may have varying grades of filtering on the surface to accommodate partial dampening of the light beam. For example, when filming in extremely bright outdoor locations, an ND layer with a slightly darker tint in the upper section could actively filter sunny skies while allowing more light to pass in the lower section of the filter. This type of filtering accessory is called a graduated ND gel.

Improve Outdoor Signage Visibility with LED Spotlights

Outdoor Signage

Large and colorful outdoor signs are effective marketing tools for local businesses. When placed in a high-activity area, outdoor sgnage could catch thousands of “eyes” passing through the location.

To improve the effectiveness of outdoor signs, many businesses are installing LED spotlights near the signs to make them easier to see at night or during hazy conditions. Read on to understand how LED spotlights can boost business exposure (when used with an outdoor sign) and increase the value of roadside marketing campaigns.

24/7 Exposure

When paired with LED spotlights, outdoor signs receive 24/7 exposure. Even with the business closed, a well-lit sign can still serve as a landmark for people on the road. With other signs around, adding LED spotlights to your signage could help make it standout.

LEDs are reliable sources for outdoor signage lights. Designed for long periods of operation, a robust LED spotlight offers up to 50,000+ hours of operation. The luminary’s solid-state construction also increases performance during rough handling. For areas where outdoor signs are installed, this could include curious animals tampering with the light or pedestrians walking over the units (most LED spotlights are installed on the ground with the light head pointing toward the sign).

LED Spotlight Configurations

There are several ways to illuminate an outdoor signage. The most direct way is to point the LED spotlight at the sign. When using this configuration, it is important to maintain space between the sign and the luminary to prevent the creation of glare spots (usually associated with intense light beams hitting shiny surfaces). This also ensures the entire sign is lit up.

Another option includes installing lights that point straight up at the front of the sign. This configuration provides general illumination over the entire area. If the sign is very close to a walkway, this setup is not recommended, as people walking over the light could get blinded.