Commonly referred to as “wet location” fixtures, vapor tight light fixtures are sealed and gasketed luminaires that provide general illumination for indoor and outdoor environments where exposure to water, humidity, and dust is likely to occur. These luminaires are usually mounted on ceilings, soffits, walls, or in any other commercial and industrial building or facility where exposure to water or dust (or other elements) is a concern.
As we have discussed in previous posts, the way LEDs operate provides inherent advantages over fixtures that utilize fluorescent lamps. LED wet location fixtures are adaptable to a wide range of wet, humid, and dusty lighting applications. This adaptability is a key benefit of enclosed and gasketed LED fixtures.
Often the biggest question when it comes to LED vapor tight lighting is whether to utilize an LED tube within an existing fixture, or to install a new LED vapor tight fixture. Ultimately, that decision is driven by the customer and their expectations and constraints as they pertain to budget and desired performance. But both are possibilities.
Below we present the three most common benefits of LED vapor tight lighting, including energy savings, maintenance cost reduction, and improved lighting performance.
The wattage of a 4 foot LED vapor tight light fixture typically ranges from 12 watts to 55 watts, resulting in a 40%-60% percent reduction in energy consumption over fluorescent vapor tight lighting. The LED fixture wattage range is so dramatic due to the need to adapt to the many different applications of vapor tight lighting. Since it is common for fluorescent wet location fixtures to utilize between one and four lamps per fixture, by using LED vapor tight lights in these applications, it is possible to save over $5,000 per year for a building or facility with 100 fluorescent vapor tight fixtures.
Maintenance Cost Reduction
The way LEDs generate light and progress through their functional life results in a much longer operating life compared to conventional fluorescent light fixtures. Another advantage realized from LED vapor tight lights is that they are not negatively affected by cycling (turning on and off), so they are more reliable in scenarios where lighting may be turned on and off frequently. Additionally, light emitting diodes function extremely well in cold environments and would not be subject to the negative effects on product lifetime experienced by fluorescent lamps in similar applications.
As a result of the multi-point design, LED vapor tight fixtures often provide a very evenly distributed light pattern. The result, in regards to LED vs fluorescent, is a more even foot candle distribution from the LED conversion. In addition to the even distribution of light, LEDs are available in a range of color temperatures (correlated color temperatures) and as a result provide a range of options to increase the visual perception of “brightness." This aspect is crucial in manufacturer or food processing facilities where employees need high performance task lighting, and for outdoor retail applications where tenants and companies want to ensure that their products and branding are clearly visible.
So what’s next? A solution-focused supplier should ask you about your project objectives. Are there budget constraints, energy reduction targets, or lighting performance requirements? The appropriate partner will want to get an understanding of your desired OUTCOME, NOT just what specific products they can sell you. Not all LED vapor tight fixtures are created equal. There are different levels of value from different manufacturers for different applications, and by working with a company that has the product expertise to recommend a solution that meets your project priorities, you will ultimately achieve the best results.