Industrial high bay lights are heavy duty lighting systems that are designed and built to thrive in the most demanding installation environments. Industrial lighting is often challenging due to the presence of moisture, dirt, dust, corrosive environments, extreme temperatures, dirty electricity and vibration.

These operating conditions can be found in a variety of industrial and manufacturing facilities, including automotive assembly plants, steel mills and foundries, aerospace manufacturing and rework facilities, machine tool shops, foundry and welding facilities, pulp and paper mills, chemical manufacturing and processing plants, grain handling facilities, food processing plants, paint and rubber manufacturing facilities, shipbuilding and repair shops, and power plants.

The harsh environments place high demands on the ruggedness and reliability of the luminaires.

In addition to mechanical, electrical and environmental factors, other factors are at play such as high ceiling installations, wide open spaces and long hours of operation, all of which challenge owners and operators of industrial facilities to cut lighting costs, which would significantly reduce profits.

As energy costs rise and energy regulations continue to tighten, every opportunity for energy savings is being tapped to keep a tight rein on power expenditures in energy-poor facilities. The bottom line is that energy efficiency goals should not be achieved at the expense of the quality and quantity of lighting.

Lighting can impact worker safety and job performance. An inadequately lit facility is an environment ripe for errors and accidents. Reduced productivity and injuries due to poor lighting can wipe out business profits or savings in lighting.

In the past, the use of high-intensity discharge (HID) lighting systems, particularly metal halide fixtures, was extremely common in high-bay applications because they offered additional advantages over incandescent lamps, such as high wattage capability and better luminous efficacy.

However, the value proposition of HID lighting is limited by its long start-up and restart times, restrictive dimming capability, catastrophic housing failure (lamp explosion), high lumen depreciation (LLD), and shortened life under high frequency switching or high wattage operation.

In industrial applications, the reliability and durability of the lighting system is decisive because the luminaires are often installed at difficult-to-reach heights, making lighting maintenance challenging and costly.

Another drawback of HID lighting is its low lighting application efficiency (LAE). The omnidirectional emission of HID bulbs results in significant optical losses at the luminaire level.

These high intensity near point sources also result in a concentration of luminous flux directly below the luminaire. As a result, HID luminaires must be installed at high densities to achieve uniform light distribution over a wide space. Industrial luminaires using high-output fluorescent tubes can provide uniform light distribution and improved switching capabilities.

However, as with HID lamps, the life of the luminaire is greatly reduced when it is switched on and off frequently. There are other problems with fluorescent lamps that make them unappreciated in heavy-duty industrial applications. These problems include poor dimming performance, low efficiency or failure at extreme temperatures, flicker (strobe effect), etc.

An excellent lighting solution can make a significant contribution to the success of an industrial facility. Industrial applications require the use of robust, efficient, and trouble-free lighting system. Safety concerns, poor operational reliability, low LAE, poor controllability and the high maintenance costs of traditional lighting systems are driving the trend toward the use of LED luminaires.

The leap in source efficiency is just one of the main reasons for moving to LED lighting. By using lighting efficiently and delivering light effectively, LED lighting has tremendous potential for energy savings. In addition to energy and maintenance savings, facility managers no longer need to worry about potential ignition issues that can occur when hot particles from the quartz or ceramic arc tubes and tungsten electrode materials of metal halide lamps fall as thermal debris.

UFO LED high bay lights systems offer a much lower risk of fire.

LED lighting offers the safety, durability and reliability critical for trouble-free operation in harsh industrial environments, which reduces maintenance and helps save on long-term operating costs.

This transformative technology redefines color quality for industrial applications and the limits of luminaire design to improve lighting uniformity for a better, safer work environment. With embedded programmability, intelligence and networking, LED technology unlocks a host of value-added features that transform lighting from a necessary expense to a strategic asset.

Industrial grade UFO LED high bay lights are designed to be installed at a ceiling height of no less than 6.1 meters (20 feet). However, this is not a hard and fast rule. Some high bay lights are also designed for use in low bay areas.

Industrial LED luminaires are very versatile in terms of form factor, light output and optical distribution, which allows each lighting solution to be customized to the function of the space and the complexity of the task being performed.

Given the space requirements of production facilities, lighting systems with high lumen output are required. High bay LED lamps are available in packages ranging from 15,000 to 100,000 lumens, with nominal correlated color temperatures (CCT) typically greater than 4,000 and color rendering indexes (CRI) in the 80s.

Despite these advantages, high-bay LED lamps for industrial applications are complex systems that can only achieve higher performance than traditional lighting systems if the LEDs and subsystems (thermal, driver and optical) are properly selected, designed and engineered to address the major inconveniences of conventional technology and address the challenges inherent in LED technology and the operating environment.

Interconnection (electrical contact) reliability can be a major factor in the ultimate lifetime of industrial lighting products.

In addition to high thermal and electrical stresses, solder joints between LED packages and printed circuit boards (PCBs) are often subjected to high mechanical stresses caused by continuous vibration of heavy industrial equipment and large coefficients of thermal expansion (CTE) due to extreme temperature changes.

For high-power LED applications, solder joints must have excellent creep resistance to minimize the strain generated during thermal cycling, provide a strong metallurgical bond between the solder alloy and the base metal to be soldered, and create an efficient path for high volume heat and electrical conduction.

The formation of higher reliability and high operating temperature interconnects requires the use of creep and vibration resistant solder alloys and LED packages with appropriately sized anode and cathode pads.

It is also important to tightly control the soldering process and develop an optimized reflow profile.

Despite the tremendous improvement in energy conversion efficiency from electrical power to optical power, LEDs still convert a significant portion (over 80%) of their power input into heat.

Without proper heat dissipation, heat flux can build up inside the semiconductor package, causing the LED to operate above the maximum rated junction temperature. Overheating of the LED accelerates the degradation of the package material, reduces the internal quantum efficiency of the LED due to increased dislocations and growth in the active region of the diode, and creates the risk of thermal runaway.

LED luminaires without proper thermal management may end up with a short lifetime. The junction temperature of an LED is determined by the drive current, the thermal path and the ambient temperature. High operating currents increase the heat buildup inside the LED.

Because of this, the drive current must be controlled to ensure that the heat introduced into the junction does not overwhelm the thermal path. On the other hand, the heat path from the LED junction to the environment must be established to provide a heat transfer rate that exceeds the rate at which heat energy is introduced into the junction.

The goal of thermal engineering is to minimize the thermal resistance of the components along the entire thermal path so that waste heat does not accumulate in the LED.

The high volume heat transfer path involves the use of

  1. LEDs with thermally optimized package designs that allow for the creation of high performance solder joints;
  2. metal core printed circuit boards (MCPCBs) and thermal interface materials (TIMs) with low thermal resistance;
  3. heat sinks with high thermal conductivity, maximized effective surface area and convective heat transfer coefficients;

In general, high-power LED lighting systems use passive heat sinks that dissipate heat through natural convection. When heat cannot be effectively dissipated by natural convection, active thermal management is used.

The optical design of UFO LED high bay lights deals primarily with effective light transmission from the light source to the target area and uniform distribution of illumination.

The miniature and compact nature of LEDs provides the opportunity to customize the light emitting surface (LES) to any application and provide a uniform light distribution that cannot be achieved with HID luminaires.

Glare control is less of a problem in high bay applications than in low bay applications due to the high mounting height.

This saves money on secondary optics when the luminaire is mounted in large area lighting applications. The directional light output of LEDs allows these products to provide area illumination with low optical losses. Secondary optics such as lenses and reflectors can be used when tight beam control and high efficiency light extraction is required.

Lens arrays are a common choice of optics for high bay applications. Lens arrays consist of arrays of small optical units that can precisely direct the luminous flux of individual LEDs through critical vertical and horizontal planes.

Secondary optics designed for industrial grade high bay lamps should have high thermal stability because high power LED structures tend to produce high thermal stress on phosphor and binder materials.

TIR optics are typically injection molded from acrylic or polycarbonate. The high temperature of the phosphor can cause rapid degradation of the acrylic lens.

While polycarbonate lenses perform better than acrylic lenses in terms of high temperature resistance, their thermal stability is challenged by the extremely high ambient temperatures found in many industrial environments.

The performance of a luminaire in extreme environments, such as water spray, humidity, dust and atmospheric corrosion, is often an indispensable performance marker in industrial applications.

Industrial grade industrial lamps installed in harsh environments should be constructed to withstand these adverse conditions.

LED luminaires used in wet locations and dusty environments are sealed to a high entrance protection (IP) rating.