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Dust and dirt’s effects on thermal management

All electronic devices are destroyed by heat. LED lighting is not any different. Superior thermal management must be considered when designing fixtures. For heavy industrial lighting, it is much more important with a good thermal management. This involves limiting the accumulation of dust and grime as well as heat buildup inside the fixture. Overheating and early failure will result from an unclean, dust-covered insulating layer.

In industrial settings, dirt and dust collect on light fixtures and form an insulating layer that prevents heat from dissipating. This produces overheating, which has the effect of prematurely failing the electronics inside the fixture, including the LED driver and control systems, and considerably accelerating the depreciation of light output. The installation of these types of lighting in potentially unclean environments is not always taken into account by manufacturers of LED high bay fixtures. Poor initial thermal management results from this, and worse thermal management develops with time.

Industrial facilities are frequently not air-conditioned, and even when they are, the A/C accomplishes nothing to reduce the temperature surrounding them because the units are positioned far lower than the ceiling height, where the fixtures are mounted. Even worse, as dust and grime accumulate over the fixture, a layer of insulation is formed that traps additional heat inside the fixture.

Industrial LED high bays should be built with superior thermal management and the capacity to resist potentially unclean conditions because heat kills all electronics, but the majority of them are not.

Yibai LED Lighting Solutions has been at the forefront of creating industrial LED high bays with excellent thermal control since 2012. With our fixture design, dust and filth have little effect because the majority of dust will harmlessly travel through the space between the LED modules and the driver compartment. Our LED fixtures are especially made to handle the grit, grime, and high temperatures found in industrial settings.

When it comes to LED high bays, the linear and “UFO style” shapes are both common.

  • Flat sheet metal is usually used in the construction of linear LED high bays, which has very poor thermal management. The flat sheet metal becomes covered in dirt and dust, which acts as insulation and prevents heat from dissipating, overheating the LEDs and circuitry.
  • Due to their similarity in design, round LED high bays are sometimes referred to as “UFOs” and are frequently fitted with heat sinks with vertical fins and no space in between the fins. As a result, the heat sink turns into a “dust collector,” which reduces its capacity to dissipate heat.

Lighting solutions by Nova series to assure their durability, LED high bays are extensively tested in circumstances that mimic hot, soiled environments. One of the various methods we test our LED lighting is by sprinkling dirt and dust into the vertical fins and LED driver chamber. In addition, we put them through a “boiling pot/torture chamber” test to ensure they would not only survive but thrive in the worst possible circumstances at temperatures equal to the highest ambient fixture rating of the fixture (which are not all that unusual).

People will eventually be worried about dust entering the fins, which will happen. Since there is no air flow, there is essentially no heat transfer between these fins thanks to the sufficient spacing between the LED modules in our LED high bay design. Dust does not collect on the sides but does in between these fins. They can still transfer heat to the adjacent air, which warms as it rises, bringing colder air up from below and sustaining convective cooling.

A true 65°C fixture for heavy industrial lighting

Optimal thermal design for heavy industrial facilities lighting

Take into account the ambient temperature, which is typically substantially higher at ceiling height than at floor level. The fixture will fail earlier than intended if the thermal design of the heat sinks and LED driver cannot withstand that heat as well as dust, gases, and other manufacturing debris.

What factors come into play when choosing LED lighting for hot, dusty, industrial settings such as factories, steel mills, or enterprises where it is frequently difficult, if not impossible, to do maintenance on the lights? You should think about three things.

The ceiling’s ambient temperature

First of all, it’s normally quite warm up there in the ceiling when you’re up high. The ceiling is often the hottest part of any space because hot air rises naturally. Even if you are in a climat controlled space, the fixtures won’t benefit because the units are normally set at a height of 7 to 10 feet; the hot air will still accumulate near the ceiling. Temperatures of 140-150°F or greater are not unusual in factories, unconditioned warehouses, steel mills, or foundries. To withstand these high temperatures and the unclean atmosphere, you must have a fixture with the greatest thermal design.

Heat sink design

There are numerous heat sink varieties, but the majority are not suitable for hostile situations. Let’s examine the most typical.

One of the most popular fittings is made of sheet metal. When considering this design, keep in mind that all of the electronic parts are housed in the same metal box and that they are all heat-sensitive. The driver and the LEDs continue to heat up because there is nowhere for the heat to go, which may eventually cause premature failure.

Poorly made LED lighting fixtures frequently lack any kind of heat sinks at all. Many others have fins that will gather dust and other debris, generating an insulating coating that significantly reduces their ability to disperse heat, shortening their lifespan, and degrading their performance.

Dust landing on flat sheet metal fixtures has nowhere to go, which is another issue. It gradually develops a thick layer that acts as insulation, further limiting the fixture’s capacity to dissipate heat and drastically shortening its lifespan and effectiveness.

Many fixtures dim themselves and reduce their light output by 30 or 40% when they reach the upper limits of their “rated” temperature because they are unable to handle the heat in a true manner. This dimming frequently begins far before the actual ambient temperature reaches its highest “rating.” To find out what happens to the output of the fixture you choose when it reaches greater temperatures, be sure to read the fine print. You should request to see it in writing from the manufacturer if it isn’t listed on the spec sheet.

On the other hand, each LED module in our Diamond and Nova series fixtures has its own heavy-duty vertical aluminum heat sink. Due to the space between the modules, cool air from below can be drawn up and around the heat sink fins. These heat sinks will heat the air near them. Following that, hot air will ascend away from the fixture. As a result, the fixture uses natural air movement to provide natural convection as well as conduction.

Keep in mind the LED driver

The lifetime of the LED driver, an electrical component, will be severely shortened by high ambient temperatures if it is not appropriately cooled by the fixture design. This increases the frequency of possibly expensive maintenance being required. Many manufacturers of fixtures fail to include the driver in the thermal design. It’s crucial to maintain a low driver case temperature because as the temperature rises, the driver’s life rapidly diminishes.

Because the driver compartment in our Diamond and Nova series is composed of aluminum and has the room all around it to allow for vertical circulation and natural convective cooling, this fixture’s design also guarantees that we keep the driver cool. As a result of this design, the driver may run at a lower temperature, extending its life and performance while also lowering maintenance expenses in the future.

A true 65°C fixture for heavy industrial lighting

The fixture is truly 65°C

Beware of the “advertised” ambient temperature rating that claims the fixture is 65°C. To convince you that their fixture will resist extremely high ambient temperatures, several manufacturers utilize potentially misleading spec documents. Contradictory information can be found in the spec sheets’ fine print and marketing claims. Make sure the fixture is truly 65°C.

Verify the fixture is a true 65°C rated fixture before choosing it for your LED lighting upgrade. The specification sheet for the fixture will frequently mention on the cover that it can withstand ambient temperatures up to 65°C or 149°F. However, avoid falling into marketing ploys. The fine print, which is usually tucked away at the very end or not even shown, must be read.

Although several extremely respected, well-known manufacturers claim on their specification sheets that their fixtures are 65°C rated, this is untrue.

In one example, the specification sheet’s tiny text acknowledges that when the temperature reaches 55°C, the fixture will automatically begin to dim itself. The fixture continues to dim as the temperature rises in an effort to lower the LEDs’ operating temperature. The light output is lowered by 40% once the temperature hits 65°C. Since approximately half of the light is lost at the “rated” temperature, we can conclude that the fixture is not truly 65°C rated. This illustration pertains to a brand-new fixture. Consider what will happen to the light output in the future.

To the manufacturer’s credit, they did at least disclose this information, albeit it was hidden in the small print where most consumers never bother to read. Just consider the performance and longevity consequences of the less reputable players. Before making any purchases, request to see it if it hasn’t been released.


On the other hand, the Diamond Series by Yibai LED Lighting Solutions is a real 65°C certified fixture that is specially made for hot, dusty, and/or industrial applications. Our unique thermal design enables the fixture to operate continuously in temperatures as low as 65°C without automatically dimming, unlike other “comparable” fixtures.

The Diamond Series LED high bay produces 97% of the claimed light output at 65°C. Compared to comparable fixtures’ 40% loss, this lighting only loses 3% of its lumens.

You can easily find all the crucial details about lumen output over time, lumen output vs. ambient temperature, dimming safety devices, and additional lumen multipliers to determine genuine performance in our spec sheets. We wish to assist you in your search for the best deal.

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