Low Glare LED Luminaire for Hazardous Areas, a New Approach

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Glare resulting from a poorly designed lighting installation is a real health and safety issue for hazardous area operations. The challenge this poses for lighting designers is outlined by Gareth Bruce, Marketing Manager at Abtech along with and new a solution in the shape of the Gamma LED luminaire.

Abtech's low glare LED lighting

Gamma LG - Low glare LED luminaire

An LED by its very nature is a bright point light source, LED luminaires commonly use multiple diodes to form their light engine. As a result this can lead to glare issues.

Abtech, manufacturers of hazardous area electrical equipment have announced the release of the Gamma LG. A low glare LED luminaire incorporating the company's innovative optical light guide technology, designed to minimise the effects of glare.

Glare is defined by the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) as ‘excessive contrast in a visual environment that is distracting’. This can result in a reduction in visual performance, a condition best avoided in heavy industrial environments. The worst instances of this condition are referred to as ‘disability glare’. This occurs when an excessively bright light source comes into direct contact with the eye. An LED by its very nature is a bright point light source, LED luminaires commonly use multiple diodes to form their light engine. As a result this can lead to glare issues.

In the industrial or hazardous area environment, there is a requirement for higher lighting levels around pumps and rotating machinery as recommended by the IES and defined in numerous country and site specific standards. This is to ensure equipment is clearly visible and can be easily and safely maintained, day or night. These areas are typically lit by a dedicated white light source. Gareth Bruce, Marketing Manager, explains some of the real world challenges in meeting these levels. “Hazardous and heavy industrial facilities are often congested with process equipment, pipe-work and structural obstructions. The requirements of the processes being undertaken and the physical constraints of the environment often determine the final location of machinery. This also means that the optimal location for a floodlight or lowbay is not always available. The challenge for the lighting designer is how to achieve the required lux levels in such areas without causing excessive glare”.

In terms of luminaire design, point light sources of any type have traditionally been concealed within lighting fixtures to reduce the effect of glare. Reflectors are then used to transmit and direct the light out of the body. This often results in the reduction of luminaire efficiency. For LED luminaires, such losses can be dramatic so the focus of product design has been a drive towards ever increasing lumen output, irrespective of glare. In recognition of this problem and in response to client feedback, Abtech have designed low glare LED optical technology. This transmits light from indirectly mounted LEDs into the required field of distribution via a patent pending tubular light guide optic. This technology provides uniform illumination without glare and has been incorporated into the new Gamma LG stainless steel floodlight/lowbay hybrid luminaire.

“The output provided by the Gamma is that of a clearly defined and high quality white light” explains Bruce. “However if looking directly at the luminaire, the impression is dramatic. Whilst the focal area is well illuminated, there is little glare or visual discomfort in the field of vision. This approach, combined with the maintenance free characteristics of LEDs, provides lighting designers with a safe and long lasting solution.”

The Gamma’s compact form and even optical distribution make it equally suitable for use as either a floodlight or a lowbay. It is ideal for use in height restricted or congested areas where there is a need for higher levels of white light, such as over pumps or rotating machinery.

The design of the Gamma has considered the rigours of operation associated with oil and gas production. In addition to harmonic and overvoltage protection (EN61000-3-2 & EN61000-3-3), the control gear features thermal cut off protection to maintain LED life. All Gamma luminaires are supplied with a five year complete system warranty.

Designated suitable for use in Zone 2 gas and Zone 21 & 22 dust, the Gamma is both ATEX and IECEx compliant. A Zone 1 version is also pending final certification approval. It is constructed from marine grade stainless steel with toughened glass, stainless steel fixings throughout and is designed to operate within an ambient range of -50°C to +55°C (T3/T4). These features ensure the luminaire is capable of withstanding the harshest of environments. Further details can be found at http://www.abtech.eu/products/zone-2-lighting/gamma-lg


Abtech Limited designs and manufactures a range of electrical connection solutions for hazardous areas including enclosures, control stations, cable glands and lighting. The company is ISO 9001:2008 accredited and has a proven track record of supplying major oil and gas companies around the world. The business holds a number of compliances to European ATEX and International IEC Ex standards along with local type approvals including TR CU (formerly GOST), CSA and InMetro. Abtech’s Head Office and manufacturing facility is based in Sheffield, United Kingdom. The company also has Sales Offices and assembly facilities in the USA, Germany, Netherlands and South East Asia, as well as a global network of Agents and Distributors.

For further information on the full range of Abtech products and services, please visit http://www.abtech.eu.

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Gareth Bruce
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since: 10/2014
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