Vibration, Lighting and LEDs Q&A with Devon Jenkins

Vibration and alignment isn’t just a concern in regards to industrial machines, it effects lighting as well. Devon Jenkins, a Product Line Manager of Eaton’s Crouse-Hinds Business, took the time to speak with IMPO about the effects of vibration on lights and how LED lights can help solve some tricky lighting problems.

Vibration and alignment isn’t just a concern in regards to industrial machines, it effects lighting as well. Devon Jenkins, a Product Line Manager of Eaton’s Crouse-Hinds Business, took the time to speak with IMPO about the effects of vibration on lights and how LED lights can help solve some tricky lighting problems.

IMPO: Can you discuss why vibration in regards to lighting can cause downtime in manufacturing facilities?

Devon Jenkins: Yes — so for lighting — vibration is a real key problem because with traditional lighting excessive vibration can cause the lighting to go out because either the lamp or the valise may break.  Therefore the area is no longer safe because traditional lighting isn’t possible there. Then as a result of improper lighting, a manufacturing facility can experience downtime. However, with LED lighting, because it is solid state, it has high vibration resistance compared to HID lighting. Therefore with LEDs, in those high vibration areas our customers can continue to have lighting. So it is safer than it would be with a traditional light source and downtime is avoided.

IMPO: Could you speak to some things that manufacturers could do in order to improve their ability to pinpoint and address these issues?

DJ: As it relates to lighting, finding the proper mount is crucial. For example, our products are designed to use multiple types of mounts. We provide different types of mounting solutions that can be used in those potentially in hospitable areas and applications.

Working with the manufacturers is also important. We work with our distributors to sell to the end users, and we work with their team there to specify the proper light fixtures for their needs and applications. We provide plant managers and owners the information needed to maintain and service the light fixtures through our installation and maintenance sheets. However, we are still relying on the customer to really own that from the maintenance stand point.

With all lighting there is also maintenance schedules which are important to keep lights working as they should. These schedules are based on the facilities policies and regulations that they have in place. Typically with an HID light fixture you are looking at two critical components as it relates to the creation and emitting of light — that is the balice and the lamp.

Basically, each of these components have a life time and the lamp has a life time and when either the balice or the lamp goes out that’s when you are going to see maintenance and servicing. High pressure sodium lamp fixtures have an average lamp life of approximately 2,400 hours, so that means about every two years a plant manager will have to start changing out the lamps. With LED we have a lifetime that is significantly greater than 2,400 hours. We design around the standard called L70. Which means at what point the LED loses 30 percent of its initial light output. From there, we work to have light fixtures that have L70’s of at least 60,000 hours. Now instead of that interval for maintenance every two in a half years you are now looking at a maintenance schedule from anywhere between 7 to 10 years depending upon the application.

IMPO: What do you think sets Crouse-Hinds Business apart in regards to vibration resistant lighting?  

DJ: We design our light fixtures for easy installation and easy maintenance in a factory. We perform a lot of vibration tests on our light fixtures and we do what is called a three axis vibration test.

Overall, I think LED light fixtures really provide a great solution and application for high vibration. Part of our goal as a lighting development team is to ensure that we have LED light fixtures that are designed to meet those high vibration requirements. So we do put them through a lot of testing. Crouse Hinds has been manufacturing LED light fixtures for the past eight years and we are going to continue to invest in the technology and we look forward to feedback from our customers and plant operators in terms of things that we can do to enhance our product for those severe vibration applications. 

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