Lunar Accents Design is currently working with several clients who utilize LED array lighting in hazardous lighting environments. Please contact us if you are considering LED bars for a custom LED lighting application similar to this description. Our engineering staff specializes in methods of thermal management suitable for high-tech LED light bars, such as chemical storage containers. For additional information, please contact an applications engineer during normal business hours. Additional information regarding LED lighting design and thermal management is also available from our website.
Some lighting environments are hazardous due chemicals that could potentially explode if ignited. A few examples include fuel and oil tankers in need of internal repairs, and automotive service stations specifically designed for changing engine oil. Traditional lighting methods can be dangerous due to high voltage and risk of breakage. In addition, many forms of traditional lighting such as halogen and incandescent dissipate significant amounts of heat into the surrounding air. LED bars are a more suitable form of lighting in most hazardous environments for many reasons. LED light bars are extremely durable, and do not contain parts that can shatter or break. Incandescent and halogen bulbs do, and can result in a very dangerous situation if the hot filament within is exposed to a flammable substance. Light emitting diodes are very efficient, and produce less heat when compared to forms of traditional lighting. LED lights not only generate less heat, but also dissipate their heat in a very specific direction. Rather than dissipate into the surrounding air, an LED lighting device will tend to dissipate its heat backwards into the circuit board on which it is mounted. In heat sensitive lighting applications, this characteristic becomes invaluable. Although all heat must eventually dissipate, it will not do so into the general vicinity located directly in front of the LED lens. In special applications, a heat sink or network of heat pipes can transport thermal energy away from critical areas altogether.
Consider a large chemical storage container requiring low level lighting suitable for maintenance and inspection purposes. Green LED light bars mounted within the tank provides workers with sufficient illumination necessary to inspect the interior. When the operator activates a switch to apply power to the LED circuitry, current passing through the LED junction will generate light and heat. The light passes out through the lens to illuminate the interior regions of the storage container. The heat passes into a heat sink located behind the LED array. This heat sink passes through the container wall, so that it can carry thermal energy outward to the exterior side of the chemical storage tank. On the outside of the tank, a series of aluminum fins protrude outward into the air. The thermal energy initially generated within the LED junction will dissipate out into the ambient air through the surface of each aluminum fin. In addition, a small electric fan mounted to the top of the fins provides forced air convection. The electric fan helps to force heat away from the fins and into the ambient air surround the storage container.