June's Blog comes from our team in Anolis North America and looks at the important subject of architectural luminaire testing for accurate ratings. Charlie Hulme is the National Business Development Manager for Anolis Lighting. He is a member of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America and holds LC Certification from The National Council on Qualifications for the Lighting Professions.

 

Testing for Accurate Ratings in outdoor Architectural luminaires

By their very nature, outdoor architectural luminaires are some of the hardest working technology enhancements known today. Constantly bombarded by the adverse weather conditions and the working environment around them, these luminaires must be able to not only withstand these potentially damaging obstacles, but they must also be able to sustain their performance over many, many years.

Knowing that these pressures exist in the architectural lighting industry, specific product ratings and testing requirements have been developed and adopted worldwide. Looking at the large investments that are often made to illuminate the most alluring architectural designs, let’s take a closer look at three such product ratings which can better assist you as make your choice in a dependable lighting solution.

IP RATING

What is an IP rating?

IP (or "Ingress Protection") ratings are defined in international standard EN 60529 (British BS EN 60529:1992, European IEC 60509:1989). They are used to define levels of sealing effectiveness of electrical enclosures against intrusion from foreign bodies (dust, dirt, tools, fingers, etc.) and moisture.

What do the numbers in an IP Rating mean?

The numbers that follow IP each have a specific meaning. The first indicates the degree of protection (of people) from moving parts, as well as the protection of enclosed equipment from foreign bodies. The second defines the protection level that the enclosure enjoys from various forms of moisture (rain, drips, sprays, submersion, etc.). The tables below should help make sense of it:

First Digit - Ingress protection from foreign objects

X: No data available to specify a protection rating

0: No Protection against contact and ingress of objects

1: Protected against objects larger than 50 mm (hands, large tools, etc.)

2: Protected against objects larger than 12.5 mm (fingers or similar objects)

3: Protected against objects larger than 2.5 mm (tools, thick wires, etc.)

4: Protected against objects larger than 1 mm (wires, small screws, large ants, etc.)

5: Keeps enough dust out to prevent failure

6: Dustproof (no ingress)

Second Digit – Ingress protection from liquids

X: No data available to specify a protection rating

0: No Protection against contact and ingress of objects

1: Dripping water falling vertically, equivalent to 1 mm rainfall per minute

2: Dripping water when tilted 15 degrees, equivalent to 3mm rainfall per minute

3: Spraying water, for at least 5 minutes, 10 liters/minute @ 50-150kPa (7.3-21.8 psi)

4: Splashing of water for 10 minutes

5: Water jets for at least 3 minutes, 12.5 liters/minute @ 30kPa (4.4 psi), distance 3m

6: Powerful water jets for 3 minutes, 75 liters/minute @ 1,000kPa (150psi), distance 3m

7: Immersion, 1m for 30 minutes

8: Immersion, 1m or more (as per manufacturer) continuous submersion

Looking at the table above, if a fixture as an IP rating of 67, such as our Eminere™ line of outdoor LED luminaires, it would be both dustproof and able to handle submersion in water at a depth of up to 1 meter, for as long as 30 minutes.

IK RATING

IP ratings for luminaires are commonly referenced, but another important specification is the IK resistance rating, especially for fixtures using a glass cover. Initially related to the IP sealing test, the IK rating first became a specific way to measure the impact resistance of a product in back 1995.  It is now related to the EN 62-262 European standard.

 It doesn’t rate the mechanical life, but the capacity of a product to face environmental aggressions (i.e. getting whacked by hail, rocks, angry electrical contractors, etc.).

The IK impact resistance is rated through a specific test carried out with a
Charpy Pendulumimpact tester:

 

 Charpy Pendulum


This device measures the resistance of a product submitted to 3 repeated identical impacts.

The impact energy (in joules) depends on 2 elements:

The distance between the hammer and the tested sample, and the hammer weight.

According to the resistance level rated during the test, an IK code is assigned to the product. This code ranging from IK0 to IK10, determines the energy level the product can absorb:

Chart

Achieving the highest IK rating possible, our ArcSource™ Inground 24MC Integral is rated as an IK10 and can also be equipped with anti-skid glass for the highest standards of certification while having no impact on the outstanding quality of color-mixing capabilities. Additionally, the luminaires have also achieved an IP68 rating to give you added assurance on their performance longevity.

VIBRATION TESTING

Roadway lighting, especially luminaires used on bridge structures, are often subjected to constant vibration. Standard IP rated fixtures will frequently fail in these applications, and most state transportation departments now require testing of luminaires that are used on roadway and bridge lighting projects.

Vibration can occur as arhythmic forced vibration, which is what happens when intermittent shocks are applied, like a vehicle hitting a pothole. Rhythmic forced vibration is what happens when a device is subject to continuous vibration when equipment is mounted on, or is in close proximity to, a vibration source such as industrial machinery that is imbalanced, misaligned, worn, or loose. Harmonic vibration can also occur where external vibrations set up and feed mechanical resonance.

To mitigate it, you want to keep the overall mass as low as possible, keep the fixture housing as rigid as possible, and if possible, design it so its natural resonant frequency falls outside of the intended operating range of the installation. Vibration dampers are sometimes used to provide a break between the source of the vibration and the fixture.

Modern LED sources have improved the performance of vibration resistant fixtures by eliminating fragile filaments or discharge lamps, and luminaire vibration testing is covered by the ANSI C136.31 test standard.

At Anolis Lighting, we use Intertek in Kentwood, Michigan, to test our fixtures to this standard, and we recently submitted our Anolis Divine 160 for evaluation. For a copy of the Intertek report, please contact your Anolis Lighting representative.

CONCLUSION

As you can see, Anolis Lighting has taken many steps to ensure the performance longevity that can be threatened in an outdoor lighting design. Manufactured using the highest quality components and software, our line of LED luminaires have been crafted to provide both the beautiful white and alluring colors that are required in today’s architectural lighting market. Backed by our worldwide subsidiary and distribution network, we are able to meet the demands of the most challenging design projects through an array of powerful and long-lasting lighting solutions.

 

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