The Heat is ON! HBR LED luminaire brings industry leading performance and value to the LED high bay/low bay lighting category. The impact of heat on LED’s cannot be stressed enough, although we often overlook this key factor when determining the best LED fixture to specify and install. Price is often the primary factor in order to have an acceptable payback and stay within budget. Other factors like light levels and light coverage are also very important. But what about heat?
When reviewing the specification sheet of LED fixture manufacturers you will usually find reference to rated life, often expressed in hours. For example, 50,000 hours at L70 means the LED luminaire is rated and often tested (TM-21, LM80 standards) to achieve 50,000 hours with a 30% reduction of original light output, or 70% of initial light. Thus “L70.” Sometimes, but not always, there is also reference to ambient operating temperature, minimum and maximum, for the luminaire to achieve its life rating.
But what if the luminaire operates outside of this ambient temperature range? The lighting industry addresses this by making adjustments to the luminaires performance, referred to as thermal factor. Most artificial light sources act adversely if the air temperature is extreme. No exception with the LED light source. When operating an LED luminaire outside its recommended ambient temperature range 2 things happen, reduced light output and reduced life. And it is not just the LED board but the LED driver as well that does not like excessive heat buildup.
One of the main attributes of LED lighting is long life and the benefit of a virtually maintenance free luminaire. If the wrong fixture is supplied, that is, one that does not have a high and/or wide enough operating temperature range, then one of the main reasons to purchase the LED fixtures is compromised. As the operating temperature continues to climb outside the LED fixture rating the lumens and life follows a precipitous decline. It all depends on the ambient rating, and the rating is directly influenced by the heat sinking.
Most new LED fixtures can operate satisfactorily at 25C/77F. Very little or no heat sinking may be required. Heat sinking becomes essential as the temperature of the LED’s and the ambient operating environment (air surrounding the board and driver) rise up. Increasing lumen levels also means increasing heat generated from the LED components. As more heat sinking is used to obtain higher operating temperatures the fixture costs go up. Some very high lumen LED fixtures have heat sinks that can weigh 10 pounds or more. Heat sinking is not free. Since the higher performing fixtures cost more the sellers and buyers often ignore, or are not told of, the detrimental effects of heat.
When operating an LED luminaire outside of its temperature limits, not only do you sacrifice life, lumens and premature component failure, but also any applicable warranty. Lumax Lighting is careful to stipulate ambient temperature ratings for their LED luminaires. The HBR LED high bay / low bay luminaire has a published operating range from as low as -35C/-31F to as high as 60C/140F in a 4 bar system (see spec sheet for details) providing incredibly broad coverage for virtually any application. To be certain you do not compromise life, lumens and warranty of your LED system your best option for commercial/industrial high bay / low bay applications is the HBR LED fixture from Lumax Lighting.