If you are operating a facility that has high operating temperatures, finding LED lighting solutions that can withstand high temperatures is crucial and is becoming increasingly difficult. Previously, a facility with a high-heat environment would have used Metal-Halide (MH) lights or High-Pressure Sodium (HPS) lights to illuminate the facility. The quality of the light would be marginal at best, but at least the lights would function. Today, MH and HPS are mostly out of production, if available are high maintenance, and use too much energy to be cost-effective. LED lights are the answer for most lighting requirements today, but most LED lights will not operate for very long in a high-heat environment. This page explores the requirements, components, and benefits of high-temperature resistant LED lights, to help you make an informed decision when selecting a lighting option for high-temperature environments.
Introduction to High-Temperature LED Lights
Most LED lighting solutions will fail when it comes to lighting in environments with high temperatures. Heat bakes the electronics in the LED driver and that causes premature. Heat also causes LEDs to suffer lumen depreciation, which means the LEDs rapidly lose their ability to emit light.
High-temperature LED lights, on the other hand, are designed to withstand extreme heat conditions, making them a suitable choice for high-temperature locations. High-temperature LED lights are engineered with advanced thermal management systems to provide continuous performance in elevated-temperature environments. These lights are designed to operate reliably even when exposed to temperatures up to 100° Celsius / 212° Fahrenheit, making them ideal for applications where conventional LED lighting will fail.
Factors to Consider When Choosing High-Temperature Resistant LED Lights
When selecting high-temperature resistant LED lights, several factors should be taken into consideration to ensure optimal performance and compatibility with the intended application:
- Temperature – The heat-resistant LED light fixtures should be rated to meet or exceed temperatures of at least 80°C/176°F. Heat rises. If the ambient temperature is high at the work surface, the temperature is much higher up by the ceiling where the lights are mounted.
- Optional Remote LED Driver – There should be a build option to employ a remote LED driver. With a remote LED driver, the LED driver is mounted on a wall or the floor where the heat is less intense. The power runs to the driver and from the driver to the heat-resistant LED light fixture. Using a remote driver can increase the ability to withstand heat to as much as 100°C/212°F.
- EXTREME-LIFE Rating – L70 is a measure of how long the LEDs will maintain 70% of the original light output in a given operating environment. To have an EXTREME-LIFE rating, the LED light fixture should maintain 70% of the original light output for over 100,000 hours. This would be noted as “L70 @ 100,000 hours at 100°C/212°F with a remote LED driver.”
- IP Rating – The Ingress Protection (IP) rating indicates the lights’ resistance to dust and water. As high-heat environments typically have all kinds of processes taking place, a heat-resistant LED light fixture should have a minimum of an IP66 rating protecting the components against dust, dirt, sand, debris, and powerful water jets.
- Light Output – Facilities with high-heat environments need sufficient illumination for the workers to accurately perform their tasks and for safety. Wattage is one way to control the amount of light emitted by a high-temperature LED light. To provide the required amount of light, high-temperature LED lights need to be available in different wattages.
- Optics – Optics control the distribution of light. Selecting the correct optics depends on the mounting height of the high-temperature LED lights. If the optics are too wide the light will be a light cloud far above the work surface where it is needed. If the optics are too narrow, the light will be emitted more like a spotlight with dark surrounding areas and a high max/min ratio.
- Efficiency – Efficiency matters. The purchase price of high-temperature LED lights is a minor part of the total cost of ownership. While maintenance should be close to zero, energy use will be the largest cost. For example, a 200w high-temperature LED light operated 18 hours a day, 5 days per week at $.25 per kWh is $234.00 per year. Consequently, the lumens per watt (LPW) is very important. High-temperature LED lights should emit 130 LPW.
- Vibration – Lighting in industrial facilities is frequently subject to vibration that can cause degradation to the components in the light fixtures. Most industrial lighting including high-temperature LED lights should be tested and rated to withstand vibration with a 3G or 5G rating.
- Impact Resistance – Once mounted and installed, it is less likely yet not implausible that an industrial light fixture can get hit by something. The light fixtures should be IK10 rated against impact, so a minor or harder impact doesn’t require the expensive labor and replacement cost of a high-temperature LED Light.
- Finish – High-temperature LED lights require heat-resistant and preferably heat-dissipating powdercoat finishes that have proven long-term resistance to a potentially harsh surrounding environment such as the ones from Akzo Nobel.
- Surge Protection – As industrial locations are prone to electrical surges, high-temperature LED lights should come with surge protection to protect the electronics in the high-temperature LED lights. 10KV is a great start with some locations needing an upgrade to 20KV. It should be noted that LED lighting should NEVER be wired on the same circuit as HID lighting or machinery.
- Field Repairable – A very important aspect of high-temperature LED lighting is that the light fixtures have a modular design and can be repaired in the field. While nothing might ever go wrong with an LED light fixture, if something does it should be easily repairable onsite with parts and common tools. This reduces if not eliminates shipping costs for returning fixtures for repair or premature loss of the light fixture.
- Mounting Options – As every facility is different, there are many different requirements for mounting high-temperature LED lights. Make sure there is a suitable mount on the high-temperature LED lights that work for your location.
High-Temperature LED Lights Summary
High-temperature LED lights offer a reliable and durable lighting solution for environments with extreme heat conditions. When properly engineered and manufactured high-temperature LED lights will be able to withstand high-temperature facilities while providing energy efficiency and an extended lifespan. By choosing high-temperature LED lights, you can illuminate your space under the toughest conditions, ensuring safety, productivity, and cost savings.
High-Temperature LED Lights Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
You have high-temperature LED light questions. We have answers. If you have a question that isn’t answered below, contact an Access Fixtures lighting specialist at (800) 468-9925 or click here.
What is the maximum temperature for LED lights?
The maximum temperature for LED lights depends on how the LED light fixture is engineered and manufactured. Most LED lights are engineered and tested for 25°C / 77°F and a target L70 of 50,000 hours. It is referenced as this.
L70 @ 50,000 hours operating at 25°C / 77°F
That means that if the LED light fixture is operated at 25°C / 77°F, once 50,000 hours of use have taken place the LEDs will emit 70% of their original light output.
As the operating or ambient temperature increases, the life of the LEDs drops. For example, a more robustly built LED high bay is rated L70 @ 182,000 hours operating at 25°C / 77°F. That same LED high bay light would have a diminished L70 at 50°C / 122°F. It would be L70 @ 104,000 hours operating at 50°C / 122°F, which is a 42% shorter LED life.
High-temperature LED lights are engineered and manufactured to operate at much higher temperatures. HAWT, by Access Fixtures, is a high-temperature LED light that is rated L70 @ 100,000 hours operating at 80°C/176°F with an attached LED driver or L70 @ 100,000 hours operating at 100°C/212°F with a remote LED driver.
Does heat affect LED lights?
Yes. As the operating temperature increases, the functional life of the LEDs in the LED lights decreases. Read “What is the maximum temperature for LED lights?” above.
Are high-temperature LED lights suitable for outdoor applications?
Yes. High-temperature LED lights are designed to withstand high heat and harsh weather conditions, so they can be used effectively in outdoor settings. This is relevant in locations such as deserts and other locations that need lighting but have high temperatures even when it gets dark.
Can high-temperature LED lights be dimmed?
Yes. High-temperature LED lights offer 0-10v dimming capabilities, allowing for adjustable light levels based on specific requirements. Note that this is not the same time of dimming as a dimmer that operates on voltage. Click here for more information about 0-10v dimming for LED light fixtures.
Do high-temperature LED lights require special installation procedures?
No. Installing high-temperature LED lights follow similar procedures to regular LED installations.
Are high-temperature LED lights more expensive than other LED lighting options?
The initial cost of high-temperature LED lights may be higher than other LED light fixtures, but that really doesn’t matter. A regular LED light fixture will not function for very long in a high-heat environment. The LED driver electronics will fail, LEDs will suffer lumen depreciation, or both. The cost of replacement LED light fixtures, the downtime for the facility, and the labor to replace the LED light fixtures will be far higher than the cost of doing the project correctly with high-temperature LED light fixtures.
Where can I purchase high-temperature LED lights?
You can find high-temperature LED lights at Access Fixtures.
Click to shop for High-temperature LED lights.
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