3 min read

Our third blog in the sports light series will outline the various applications in which these fixtures can be used. Although the name suggests that the lights are used for sports applications, there are actually a variety of uses for the lights. So, with that said, here are some instances where sports lighters could be the go-to.


Sports Applications

What: Starting out with the obvious is the various sports applications that use sports flood lights. Splitting this into two subcategories we have large and small sports applications. Examples of large applications can be soccer fields, football fields, and baseball diamonds. Examples of small applications are basketball courts, tennis courts, and hockey rinks. Although all the examples of large and small applications both have similar needs with regards to the lighting, there are some features which are appreciated more between the two categories.

Why Sports Lighters: Since sports lighters are typically designed with sports applications in mind, it is no surprise that a lot of the features are important for this application. That being said, this blog will highlight a feature that showcases the importance of the fixture for both large and small sports applications.

Looking at large sports applications, a sports flood light that is mounted at heights well over 100ft performing well is very important, as visibility on a field is a must have for both players and audiences alike. This is something that a sports lighter takes care of easily.

For smaller applications, the mounting height will be lower and so this might not be as important. However, with the light fixtures closer to the area of play, having the light angled correctly is very important to ensure the players are not blinded while using the facility. With a variety of angle and beam configurations, once again sports lighters are well equipped.


Outdoor Industrial Applications

What: Outdoor industrial applications can mean a large range of things. This includes construction sites, loading docks, and ship/trainyards to name a few. Overall, the similarities between these applications are that they are outdoors and require a robust and effective light fixture that will work through tougher conditions.

Why Sports Lighters: So why would a sports lighter be an effective fixture for these applications? For starters, many of these examples would require a light fixture to be mounted at a large height and project light to a certain spot. Looking at a construction site as an example, a fixture may be mounted on a crane which would of course be high up as well as needing to illuminate an area bright enough for workers to see what they are doing. More than just needing to work at large distances, fixtures used in these applications need to be robust and not break easily. An LED sports light, such as the RAB SFL-LED, is designed so that even when mounted up high, things such as strong winds will not affect the fixture. For these reasons, sports lighters can actually be the perfect fixture for an outdoor industrial application.


Large Indoor Spaces

What: Like outdoor industrial applications, the application of a large indoor space can seem like a quite broad category. This application includes spaces such as airplane hangars or manufacturing plants. Essentially as the name states, just any large indoor space requiring high quality light.

Why Sports Lighters: As with the previous categories, one of the main factors that points to a sports light being the ideal fixture is the height at which the light needs to be mounted. Taking an airplane hangar as an example, the space needed to store a plane will by nature be quite large which in turn means that lights will have to be mounted at quite a large height. Beyond that however, another important feature of the sports lighter that makes it effective here is that there isn’t much maintenance needed. This means you are able to just put the fixture up and then not worry about it which is great as continually going up to a large height for maintenance can end up being a big pain, not to mention the potential risks to workers as well.


As you can see, many of the features a sports lighter has makes it ideal for a large variety of applications, apart from just lighting up the local football field. RAB’s SFL-LED has various mounting options available where outdoor industrial and sports applications can use either the slipfit or the yoke mount while indoor applications can use the highbay yoke mount.

If you want to learn more about this type of lighting check out the first two blogs in the series. These blogs cover the differences between a sports flood and a general flood as well as some essential tips for facility managers with regards to LED sports lighting. You can find these blogs here.

Convinced that sports lighter might be ideal for your next project? Why not check out RAB Design’s SFL-LED as a great sports flood lighting option.




4 min read

This is the second in a series of blogs covering sports flood lights. In this blog, we talk about key considerations for facilities management personnel when it comes to lighting their sports facilities. A Facility Manager has to think about many different things such as creating a great experience for the facility users, always keeping the lights on (literally and figuratively) and creating efficiencies for all of the different assets they manage (light fixtures being an important asset) in their facility. A large percentage of outdoor sports fields in Canada still use HID fixtures and often times it’s a choice between plowing through with HID fixtures and doing the cost-benefit analysis to make that switch to LED.

By comparing HID to LED sports lights in detail, you may be able to uncover some of the less obvious benefits to help you with your buying decision.

There are many benefits to using LED over HID in general and this blog covers some of them while using a sports flood as an example of how these benefits can be seen. Overall, an LED fixture will tend to have a much better lighting performance versus its HID counterpart. The benefits in a sports specific scenario are that the LED lighting benefits both the players on the field, court, or rink as well as the viewers who will have a much better time watching the game. Improved lighting performance may be a benefit that is more apparent when thinking about lighting, however there are many other aspects to think through. Let’s dive in.


Longer Lifetime

One of the biggest benefits of an LED fixture over an HID fixture is the significantly longer lifetime that the LED fixture provides. Along with the overall lifecycle of the fixture, an HID fixture tends to lose significant lumen output as it ages, and in the case of a sports flood, the brightness of the light is very important because of its application.

A longer lifecycle for the fixture means that the fixture runs at optimal performance and efficiency, with the least amount of maintenance requirements. Sports flood lights tend to be a significant capital expenditure so spending less money over the lifespan of the fixture is really important. Looking closer at the actual numbers behind the lifespan of the fixture we can see that while LED fixtures tend to last around 100,000 hours, an HID lamp will last somewhere between 10,000-25,000 hours. This means that on average you will need to replace 4-10 HID lamps to make up the amount of time of one LED fixture’s lifespan.


More Energy Efficient

When people think about LED vs HID one of the main factors of the discussion is how energy efficient LED lights are. This of course is the same when looking at the sports flood application. The main issue HID has with energy efficiency is that HID lights lose substantial energy to infrared (heat) emissions, whereas LED lights don’t have that problem. In case of sports floods RAB Design’s 500W SFL-LED fixture serves as an ideal replacement for a 750W Metal Halide fixture, and 600W SFL2-LED fixtures serve as an ideal replacement for a 1000W Metal Halide fixture.

Energy losses can occur in different ways. A form of energy loss is the rigid design of HID fixtures not allowing them to be directed in the correct direction. As covered in the first blog of the series, the angle and pattern in which sports flood lights are distributing light is crucial to the applications in which they are used. HID lights are omnidirectional, which means that energy is lost reflecting and redirecting the light to where it needs to go. LED lights are designed with engineered optics and emit light directionally, meaning there may be a need for fewer LED fixtures in comparison to HID fixtures. This redirection means that for an HID sports flood light can get trapped in the fixture which is of course energy wasted.

A final point to look at is how much power is actually being used in an HID fixture compared to an LED fixture of the same wattage. The rule of thumb is that the ballast of an HID fixture consumes an additional 10% of the total wattage. So, a 1000W Metal Halide fixtures has a total system wattage of 1100 Watts compared to 600W LED fixture.


Easier Maintenance

Aside from just the general lifespan of the fixture, there is a risk in HID sports lights that certain parts, such as the filament, will break with too much vibration. It is not uncommon for filaments to break in sports floods as they are installed high off the ground where wind can be a large factor creating vibrations. HID components such as lamps and ballasts, and HID fixtures themselves are getting harder to source with overall shrinking demand and global supply chain challenges. It can take months to repair HID fixtures at which point your season is hugely impacted. In a country like Canada where the use of sports floods is seasonal, any downtime repairing a fixture is a large portion of the active season. As an example, if we look at an outdoor hockey rink with a season of 4 months, a light being out of commission for 1 month is the equivalent of a quarter of the season or 3 months in a year.

The shorter lifetime of HID lamps along with the possibility of parts breaking means that it will need to be replaced a lot more frequently than its LED counterpart.



Along with just cost, another issue with needing to replace a sports flood fixture multiple times is safety. These fixtures can be on the top of a 100-foot pole which can be a risky operation for workers to undertake. Some of the materials in an HID fixture are also toxic which means that there is an added risk to installing as well as removing the fixture for the worker. LED sports flood lights don’t contain these toxic materials, they run cooler than HIDs, and also need to be replaced a lot less frequently meaning that risks to the safety of workers can be vastly reduced.

As LED fixtures tend to be smaller than HID fixture there is also an added benefit when it comes to transporting and installing the fixture as well in comparison to bulkier built HID fixtures that tend to be bigger as they require more space for ballasts and lamps.
As mentioned earlier, continually having to replace and conduct maintenance activities on the asset will be more costly in the long run. LED fixtures such as the RAB Design’s SFL-LED Series, give the Facility Manager peace of mind thanks to limited maintenance and maximum uptime for various assets and facilities.

If you’re unsure if it’s time to make that switch from HID to LED, we have a checklist that should help you decide. Click here to access the checklist.

Stay tuned for the 3rd and final installment of this series or check out the first blog here if you haven’t already!


3 min read

Outdoor sports lighting can be a complex field with many different variables and considerations. In this blog series, we will distill some of the key ideas to help you decide if it is right for your sports field.

This is the first of a series of blogs covering sports flood lights. Sports lighting is used for baseball, football, soccer, tennis courts, hockey rinks, and more. This blog outlines some of the major differences when comparing a sports flood light to a regular flood light. Beyond the obvious fact that a sports lighter is a specialty fixture intended for outdoor sports fields, regular floods are often used as the lower cost option.

There are several things to consider when thinking about the right fixture to use at your facility/field, the most important one being light level requirements. Light level requirements can vary depending on the classification of the field, the level of competition, the users of the facility, existing light levels, and existing light sources being used. For example, in a university football field, prescribed light levels as recommended by the IES Handbook are from 200 lux/20 footcandles to 1000 lux/100 footcandles on the horizontal and 50 lux/5 footcandles to 300 lux/30 footcandles. A lighting layout comparing light levels from a sports lighter to a regular flood will provide an indication of the difference in light levels and uniformity of light spread. Reach out to lightingdesigns@rabdesign.ca to get a conversation started on a custom layout design for your facility/field.

Moving on, we will now look at some of the key differences between a general flood light and a sports flood light.


Higher Lumen Output

One big difference is that sports flood lights tend to be the higher end option. Sports flood lights generally deliver higher lumens, sometimes over 100,000 lumens. A big benefit of the higher lumens is that the sports flood lights can be mounted at larger distances and heights. These lights need to be able to perform, even if they are 100 feet in the air, for example if they are mounted on a pole overlooking a football field. Sports lighting is designed to project a beam of light out a certain distance and from a certain mounting height (See chart 1 below). Flood lighting on the other hand is designed to illuminate at a shorter distance out from the pole or mounting location.
General purpose floods usually go up to about 60,000 lumens and are ideal for mounting heights of 20 to 40 feet. As stated earlier, this means for mounting heights greater, specialty sports floods provide a significantly higher lumen output.
Higher lumen output is derived through higher wattage or more power being consumed by the fixture. A good metric when comparing fixtures is efficacy or lumens per watt or LPW. RAB Design’s sports light has an efficacy of 150 lumens per watt. It is DLC 5.1 Premium which is key to securing rebates, depending on your region.


Different Beam Patterns and Options

Sports flood lights will typically have more options for beam patterns compared to regular floods as sports floods need to have a much larger variety of patterns and angles to fit how they are being used. The narrow beams are needed to project the light out a greater distance, 200 to 240 feet, the 60 degree angle reaches 145 feet to 175 feet and the 80 degree beam would be under 105 feet (see chart 1). In a way a sports flood light is really more like a spotlight that is projecting light out to a certain spot while a general purpose flood light is just looking to spread the light out.

A clear example of why the angle of the beam pattern is so important for a sports flood compared to a regular flood can be seen in the example of lighting up a baseball diamond. For areas that need greater amounts of light, you need a better control of that beam of light. In this example, on a baseball diamond the outfield poles would require a narrow beam of light 20 degrees to illuminated from the bases back towards the poles along with a wide 80 degree beam to illuminate out to 80 feet from the pole.

Let’s say there’s a pop fly and the outfielder is looking upwards to catch the ball, the last thing you want is for the player to be blinded by the light. Being able to configure the beam to shine at an angle that avoids this problem is key for sports floods.


Beam angles for different distances, sports lights vs versus flood lights, showing different degree angles of lights on poles


Weight & Footprint

Sports lights have a larger footprint and weigh more compared to regular floods. This is an important consideration for Installers
If you found this blog useful, blog stay tuned for the next blog covering sports flood lights coming out soon!

Also, as a helpful tool, we have included a checklist to help you decide whether sports flood lighting is the right choice for your facility, so be sure to check that out.

Exterior Lighting at a school
3 min read

Exterior lighting is an essential part of every school grounds. If done right, it provides the students, staff, and surrounding neighbors with safety, security, and peace of mind. 

With the arrival of LED technology and lighting controls, exterior lighting can also provide energy and cost savings.

When choosing luminaires for an exterior lighting project, there are many important variables to consider. To help you out we have listed three important exterior lighting factors for three levels of schooling: Elementary & Middle schools, High schools, and University Campuses.

Elementary & Middle Schools

In terms of square footage, elementary and middle schools have the smallest school grounds. They are often in residential neighborhoods and require special considerations.


Glare is an important safety issue for schools. Glare can be distracting to drivers and may even temporarily blind them. Exterior lighting around a school should limit glare for the safety of students and residents.

When choosing luminaires, you will want to check its BUG rating. The lower the better it is at directing light where it is supposed to go.


A tough luminaire can absorb the impact of playground ball games and harsh weather conditions. 

We recommend wall packs with a polycarbonate lens and die-cast aluminum housing. Accessories, such as a wire guard, can also improve the durability of a luminaire.

Certifications such as IP65, and Approved for Wet Locations are also important to withstand harsh weather conditions.

Light Trespass

Elementary and Middle Schools are common in residential neighborhoods where light trespass is an important consideration. Residents should be comfortable in their homes without unwanted light trespass.

Look for full-cutoff luminaires or consider adding a cut-off shield accessory to your install. 

The luminaire’s BUG rating is another indicator of how good the fixture is at directing light where needed. Generally, the lower the BUG rating the better the luminaire is at directing light. 

High Schools

Like elementary and middle schools, high schools are also commonly found in residential areas, but with a much larger campus size. 


Security is more important for high schools due to higher rates of vandalism. A motion sensor-enabled luminaire works in tandem with security cameras to identify potential vandals. 

Motion sensors can also help reduce unwanted light trespass from security flood lights and provide energy savings when motion is not detected.

Energy Savings

A bigger campus size means more luminaires are needed to cover perimeter lighting, multiple entrances, and parking lots. This is where lighting controls can provide big energy savings by dimming or turning off lights during off-hours.

We also recommend switching to LED luminaires for even more energy savings.

Dark Sky Compliance

Having dark sky compliant luminaires helps the residents and wildlife by reducing harmful light pollution. 

Blue light is a big contributor to light pollution, try to use warm color temperatures in your install. Full-cutoff luminaires and cut-off shield accessories also help direct light only where it’s needed to reduce light pollution.

University & College Campuses

Large sprawling campuses with different exterior lighting needs. It’s hard to pinpoint just three exterior lighting factors because of the many different types of exteriors on campus (E.g., residential dorms, lecture buildings, parking structures, pathways, sports facilities, statues, etc.). We’re going to focus on the broad lighting best practices for a large University or College campus. 

Safety and Security

Exterior lighting is vital to night-time safety and security on campus. Pathways, entrances, and emergency phones should be well lit to provide students and faculty with a sense of security. 

Lighting Controls

Simple lighting controls such as timers and occupancy sensors can provide big energy savings for a large campus. Many rebate programs also have a controls element, be sure to check your local rebate program to see which controls are eligible. 

Consistent CCT

A college campus will require many different luminaires, make sure you keep a consistent CCT for all of your exterior installs on campus. A consistent CCT improves the overall look on campus and makes it more comfortable for students and faculty. 




< 1 minute

Lighting 101 Infographic

Links for the other blogs to the Lighting 101 Series:

Lighting 101: Key Lighting Terms You Need to Know

Lighting 101: Key Certifications to Look For

Lighting 101: Commonly Asked Questions About LED Lights

4 min read


Are LED Lights Considered Good for the Environment?

Yes, LED lights are better for the environment than traditional light sources as with proper heat management they can last much longer. LEDs deliver the same amount of lumens as traditional luminaires, but with less energy consumption. For example, a 400W HID luminaire can typically be replaced by a 150W LED luminaire and still deliver the same lumens.


LED Lights Efficiency

Do LED Lights Burn Out?

Yes, all light sources will eventually burn out. However, LED sources typically last much longer than traditional light sources. They usually have a longer L70 rating. For example, a quality LED luminaire will have at least an L70 rating of 50,000 hours, while an HID luminaire may only have a rating between 6,000 to 15,000 hours.

Do LED Light Bulbs Save Money?

Yes, LED lights save money on energy consumption. They produce a higher rate of lumens per watt, meaning they are much more efficient and use less energy to produce the same amount of light.

What Does L70 Rating Mean?

L70 is a means of measuring lumen maintenance.  The L70 refers to the point when an LED lamp source is producing 70% of its initial lumen output.  For example, the RAB NTH-LED20 initial lumen output is 2089, its L70 rating is 100,000 hours.  So at 100,000 hours the luminaire will be producing roughly 1462 lumens.

Why is this rating important when considering a luminaire?

This rating allows you to know how long you can depend on a luminaire to produce an acceptable amount of light.


LED Lights Concerns

Do LED Lights Produce Heat?

The short answer is yes, LED luminaires produce heat. The long answer is that while LED diodes produce heat, it isn’t where you might think. The heat is generated at the back of the LED chip.  So, the back of the diode gets really hot, but the front/exterior of the luminaire remains cool to the touch.

In order to obtain long life, it is crucial to manage the internal temperature (junction temperature) of LED diodes.  This can be accomplished in a variety of methods, one of the most common being the implementation of heatsinks to pull the heat away from the LED diode and disperse it.

What Colour Temperature (CCT) is Best for Your Eyes?

Ideally, the best light for your eyes is that of natural light, which would be around 5000K and higher. Natural light boosts your vitamin D and has a tremendous effect on your circadian rhythm. In the absence of natural light, it is best to design the light to the needs of the space. For example, in an environment such as a doctor’s office or surgical room you would install a luminaire with 5000K or higher CCT for bright blue-white light – something crisp and clean. On the other hand, In a recovery room, you may want to step down to something 3000K to 2700K, that is more calming and cozy.

What luminaire is the right luminaire for my application?

This is all relative.  In order to figure out the right luminaire for the application you have to consider the following:

  • Budget – What is the budget for this application?
  • Rebates – Are there rebates available to offset the cost of the initial purchase of materials and labor?
  • Time – How soon is the project going to start?  When does it need to be completed?
  • Usage – What is the usage of the given space?  Is it a manufacturing plant, a supermarket, an office space?  If work is being conducted, what type of work, is it a machinist shop where detailed work is being done or is it a warehouse?
  • Demographic – What is the average age of the people occupying the space?  Is an older demographic that will need more light, brighter light?  Is it a young demographic that will not need as much light and would benefit from a warmer color temperature?
  • In some applications, more than one luminaire might be needed to properly illuminate space.

Key Benefits

LED Lights Key Benefits

Are LED Lights Dimmable?

Yes, LED luminaires can be dimmed provided that:

  1. The driver controlling the LED is a dimmable driver.
  2. You use the right dimmer.

For example, some LED luminaires have a 0-10V dimming driver which would require a 0-10V dimmer.  Others work off of ELV (Electronic Low Voltage), in this application you would use an ELV dimmer.

  1. You size the dimmer to the application. LED luminaires have a much larger inrush current (amount of power it takes to turn something on) than traditional light sources. In order to compensate for that initial inrush current, you have to upsize your dimmer.  

Can I use LED lights outdoors?

Yes, LED luminaires can be used in outdoor application ratings provided they have the appropriate IP or UL rating.  For outdoor applications, the appropriate IP rating could be anything from IP44 to IP68.  IP65 rating should cover most outdoor applications.  When using UL as a guideline for outdoor use, look for a damp (think lighting under canopies, soffits, etc.) or wet location rating.  When in doubt, contact a professional for help selecting the right luminaire for the job.

Should I change my light bulbs to LED?

Yes, the benefits to switching to LED from traditional light sources have been addressed ad nauseam over the past 15 years. LEDs are more environmentally friendly, and typically have a longer lifespan than traditional light sources. They also save on energy and labour costs, and are easier to control than some traditional light sources, like HIDs.

5 min read

DLC, DLC Premium DLC Lighting Certifications DLC Premium Lighting Certifications Logo

DLC certification is a utility based initiative and one of the most important lighting certifications that customers look for. Many organizations offer rebate programs based on meeting DLC standards on a variety of luminaires such as but not limited to wall light, flood light, ceiling panels and high bays. DLC certifications require you to comply with 3 main aspects to the lighting which are distribution, color and longevity. These aspects must be tested by an accredited laboratory to be DLC certified. Testing results are submitted directly to the DLC by the manufacturer.

Furthermore, DLC premium takes it a step further due to the fact that it requires higher efficiencies and an additional light depreciation metric which most often results in higher rebates. Instead of burning out like traditional light fixtures, LEDs dim or depreciate their output over time. The industry accepted lifetime for an LED is when it reaches 70% of its original input, also known as an L70 projection. DLC Premium would require a L90 projection, which is when the fixture is expected to lose 10% of its output. Currently, DLC is in its 5.1 phase.   

Notable RAB products with DLC Premium lighting certification would be LFX8-LED, HELIX-LED, WP-LED and many more!


UL Certification

UL stands for Underwriters Laboratories, UL standards are employed throughout many industries to assure specific product performance and safety. If a luminaire has a UL marking along with a control number, it means it has met all safety requirements for that specific environment. There are 3 main UL markings, dry locations, damp locations and wet locations. Products with dry locations certification are typically used indoors and above-ground rooms, such as bedrooms, kitchens, offices, retail stores. It is the most common certification amongst lighting and it is also known as UL Listed within the industry. 


Damp Locations Rated

Damp locations certification is approved for lightings that are regularly exposed to moisture and condensation. However,  it is important to note that your luminaire can only handle a limited amount of water exposure which means that it cannot be directly exposed to snow or rain. Main applications for this marking would be outdoor usage with some coverings such as patio or perimeter of stores. 


Wet Locations Rated

Wet locations rating means that the fixture can essentially be installed anywhere and has minimal limitations dealing with liquid as this rating allows the luminaire to come in direct contact with most types of liquids. If the product is UL listed, it indicates that the product has been tested to meet the safety standards of the United States by Underwriters Laboratories. While cULus indicates that the product has been tested to meet the safety standards of Canada and the United States by Underwriters Laboratories.



Similar to UL, An ETL certification means that products have been tested to set safety standards. ETL has 24 different marks/certifications to indicate anything from safety to health and environmental benefits.

A product bearing the ETL Listed mark with the “us” identifier at the 4 o’clock position has been tested and deemed compliant to U.S. product safety standards only. An ETL Listed mark with a “c” identifier at the 8 o’clock position means the product bearing it complies with Canadian product safety standards only. And an ETL Listed mark with both “us” and “c” identifiers at the 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock positions respectively, signifies that the product bearing the mark complies with both U.S. and Canadian product safety standards.

UL and Intertek (parent organization of ETL) are some of the few NRTLs (Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories), a third-party testing program overseen by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Main difference between UL and ETL is that ETL does not publish their own standards. Instead, they test components to established standards of other NRTLs such as UL, ASME and ASTM. 

IP IP Lighting Certifications-IP65 Logo IP Lighting Certifications-IP66 Logo

IP known as Ingress Protection defines the level of protection for the luminaire against outside bodies like debris, dirt and different forms of liquid. The numbers that follow IP each have a specific meaning. The first number represents the degree of protection from moving parts, as well as the protection of enclosed equipment from foreign bodies. The second number indicates the protection level that the enclosure enjoys from various forms of moisture. 

There are 4 common IP certifications amongst lighting, IP65, IP66, IP67 and IP68. IP65 suggests that the luminaire is “dust tight” and protected against water projected from a nozzle. IP66 indicates that it is “dust tight” and protected against heavy seas or powerful jets of water. IP67 highlights that it is “dust tight” and protected against immersion of water for 30 minutes at depths of 150mm – 1000mm. Lastly, IP68 is rated as “dust tight” and protected against continuous submersion in water.


Hazardous Locations (UL884)

It is locations where explosion or fire hazards exist due to the presence of flammable gases, flammable or combustible liquid-produced vapors, combustible dusts, or ignitable fibers. Hazardous Locations are classified by the likelihood of an ignitable concentration of combustible material being present. There are two systems in place, including the traditional North American Division system as well as the alternative Zone system.

 UL844, explosion proof lighting for Hazardous Locations–is one of several lighting certifications used in conjunction with National Electrical Code Classes, Divisions, and Groups of atmospheres for the selection of fixtures for normally and not normally hazardous locations where volatile flammable liquids, flammable gases, and combustible materials may be present in the atmosphere. Common examples of hazardous locations that require luminaire would be sawmills, grain silos or waste water treatment plants. 

We previously covered this certification more in-depth in our LED Lighting In Hazardous Environments Blog!


NEMA 4X  NEMA 4X Lighting Certifications Logo

NEMA stands for National Electrical Manufacturer Association. NEMA ratings are standards to justify the environment that the electrical fixture can be used in and are mainly applied to fixed electrical enclosures. There are many NEMA ratings for different circumstances but the one we employ for our luminaires would be NEMA 4X. NEMA 4X highlights that the luminarie is suitable for Indoor or outdoor use primarily to provide a degree of protection against corrosion, windblown dust and rain, splashing water, hose-directed water, and damage from external ice formation.

Shoutout to Ed Wynne of RAB Design for his expertise throughout the blog!


Lighting term 101 blog featured image
6 min read

What are Lumens?

When purchasing any type of luminaire, Lumen is a crucial lighting term to look for, as it helps the user to understand and choose the most suitable one. It measures the light output from a luminaire, with higher lumen translating to having a brighter fixture and lower lumen translating to a dimmer fixture.

You can determine a rough estimate on how much lumens you need through calculating the square footage of the area, then multiplying that number by a universal foot candles measurement for different common residential and commercial settings: 


For example, if you have a 100 sq ft. bedroom then you would need 1000-2000 lumens (100 x 10, 100 x 20). 

A fun fact about lumen is that for every square meter on earth, the sun puts out 127, 000 lumens. A word of advice from RAB Design, do not look at the sun directly unless you have adequate eye protection. 

What Does Wattage Mean?

Wattage is another common lighting term that shows up in all luminaires. It is the amount of power required for the luminaire to produce the lumen output. The higher the wattage, the more light it produces, however, with a higher wattage the operating costs for your luminaire increases.  In most scenarios, you would want the wattage to be lower assuming your lumen requirement is satisfied. It is worth noting that Incandescent and fluorescent light sources would require more wattage to produce the same amount of lumens as an LED light source.

Lighting Efficacy

Light efficacy is a follow-up lighting term of wattage and lumens. It measures  how well the light source produces visible light and it is calculated by lumens per watt. Most products typically have this measurement provided due to the increasing importance of efficacy nowadays. Nonetheless, it is still very simple to figure out light efficacy of a given product based on other measurements. Simply divide the total lumens produced by the luminaire by the wattage required to power it. For example, RAB ORA4-LED80 produces 8827 lumens and has input wattage of 78. 8827 divided by 78 gives an efficacy of 113 lumens per watt consumed.

Lighting term-lighting efficacy chart based on different types of light


 The US Department of Energy believes that huge energy savings can be made by switching to LEDs, cutting business and homeowner electricity bills by $50 billion a year. With improved efficacy of lighting, the US is actually projected save 490 terawatt-hours of energy by 2035. This is nearly twice the amount of energy that the Energy Information Administration predicts will be produced by solar power in 2035.

 According to the U.S. Department of Energy, cool white LED lighting products can produce 60–92 lm/W, compared to 10–18 lm/W for incandescent bulbs and 35–60 lm/W for Compact Fluorescents (CFLs). However, low-quality LED lighting products that are not designed properly may be no more efficient than incandescent bulbs. 


The lighting term voltage represents the pressure from an electrical circuit’s power source that pushes current through a conducting loop enabling them to power devices. There are two types of voltages- Alternating Current (AC) or Direct Current (DC). Alternating Current alternates between positive or negative polarities hence the name, while Direct Current always has the same polarity, being either negative or positive. The most common Alternating Current voltages in regards to lighting are 120, 240, 277, 347 and 480. 120-277 voltage, 120-347 voltage and 347 voltage are typically what RAB offers in most of their luminaires. An everyday example of DC voltage would be a battery and most often DC voltages in lighting are 12 and 24. 

Other common terminologies would be line voltage and low voltage. Line voltage is the amount of voltage which a power line delivers to its destination or the point at which it is being consumed and in lighting this would be regarded as AC voltage. In North America, 120V AC is what is most frequently used in residential applications, 277V is typically used in commercial applications and 347 or 480 would be applied in industrial applications. Lastly, low voltage is typically defined as 50V or less and in most lighting applications low voltage would be DC voltage. Examples of lighting applications for low voltage would include landscape lighting or under cabinet lighting. 


Colour Rendering Index (CRI)

CRI is the measurement of the quality of how colours look under a light source, compared to how they would look under sunlight. The index ranges from 0-100, with 100 indicating that the colour would look the exact same under this light source as it would the sun – a perfect match to natural light. A general rule of thumb is that the higher the CRI rating is, the better the colours will look under a luminaire. This rating is important to consider when planning for retail or museum applications, when specific lighting that brings out the best of what it lights up is the key to success.

Lighting term-colour rendering index

Colour Temperature

Colour temperature describes a light’s appearance from a light source. This lighting term is very often referred to as Correlated Colour Temperature (CCT). CCT is measured in degrees of Kelvin (K). For most lighting applications, it will range from 2700K to 6500K. The lower the CCT, the “warmer” or more yellow the appearance of the light source will be. On the other hand, the higher the CCT, the “cooler” or more bluish the appearance of the light source will be. For context, it is commonly accepted that 6500K is the best Kelvin temperature to match natural daylight.

It is very important to keep colour temperature in mind when planning lighting for different applications. A warmer colour temperature will create a more cozy, inviting space, while a cooler colour temperature will feel brighter and more energizing. An office space, for example, is more likely to have cool, bright colour temperatures, while an evening restaurant is more likely to have warmer, cozy colour temperatures. Another example to consider is different kinds of shops. A jewelry store would ideally have very bright, cool temperatures to enhance the already-sparkling diamonds they sell. This could be around 5000K. On the other hand, a butcher shop would be more likely to have a warmer colour temperature to bring out the freshness of the meat.

Lighting term colour temperature scale


Light Distribution Types

Light Distribution is the projected pattern that a fixture will disperse onto a surface. There are two commonly recognized standards for light distribution types – NEMA Distribution and IESNA Distribution. Looking at NEMA Distribution, this defines a luminaire’s light distribution by its horizontal and vertical beam spread. These patterns are well-suited for defining flood and sport light applications. There are 7 NEMA beam types:

On the other hand, IESNA Distribution patterns define a luminaire’s light distribution more specifically by the shape of the area that is lit by the luminaire. These distribution patterns are typically used when designing with area or roadway lights. There are 5 IESNA beam types:

A special thank you to Ed Wynne of RAB Design for his expertise putting this blog together!

Adjustable LED Lighting in a basketball court
< 1 minute

Adjustable LED Lighting infographic

Check out a few of our adjustable lights that we are proud to offer at RAB Design!

l'éclairage DEL réglable murale
7 min read

Table des matières:
1. Les avantages de l’éclairage DEL réglable pour les distributeurs
2. Les avantages de l’éclairage DEL réglable pour les entrepreneurs
3. Les avantages de l’éclairage DEL réglable pour les utilisateurs                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Les progrès technologiques dans le domaine de l’éclairage DEL ont permis aux fabricants d’offrir des luminaires DEL plus polyvalents offrant la possibilité de régler la luminosité et de choisir le CCT. La flexibilité et les avantages additionnels de ces luminaires sont non seulement bénéfiques aux distributeurs de produits électriques, mais aussi aux entrepreneurs, aux gestionnaires de bâtiments et aux utilisateurs finaux. Nous vous invitons à découvrir ci-dessous certains aspects abordés afin d’apprendre comment l’éclairage réglable peut être bénéfique.

Les avantages de l’éclairage DEL réglable pour les distributeurs de produits électriques

Réduction de la complexité des SKU

Un seul SKU pour l’éclairage DEL à luminosité réglable et à CCT sélectif pourrait remplacer de nombreux SKU existants, réduisant ainsi la complexité liée aux commandes, à la gestion et à la maintenance des bases de données de plusieurs SKU, et permettant de libérer plus d’espace dans les entrepôts et les salles d’exposition pour d’autres produits.

Ainsi, dans l’exemple ci-dessous, un SKU pour CCT sélectif fait baisser le nombre de SKU de 3 à 1.


En ajoutant les luminaires à luminosité réglable à cette équation, le nombre de SKU baisse encore plus, passant de 6 SKU dans l’option spécifique à un seul.

l'éclairage DEL réglable luminosité et CCT

Facilite la satisfaction de la demande et la gestion des inventaires

Pour répondre aux diverses demandes locales de luminaires DEL, un distributeur électrique type doit pouvoir offrir plusieurs options de puissance et de CCT pour un produit particulier. Dans un contexte de constante évolution des exigences de la clientèle, le risque est de voir des produits périmés rester sur les étagères. Vous pourriez entreposer des luminaires dont les consommateurs ne voudraient plus.

Grâce à des luminaires plus polyvalents, un distributeur de matériel électrique peut répondre à de nombreuses demandes, lui permettant ainsi de satisfaire une variété de besoins sans prendre de risques additionnels liés à des inventaires inutilisables.

Les avantages de l’éclairage DEL réglable pour les entrepreneurs

Moins de déplacements inutiles

Vu la diversité des besoins et des attentes des clients, un entrepreneur doit s’assurer qu’il dispose de luminaires dont la tension, la puissance et la température de couleur correspondent exactement aux besoins du client. Lorsque vous arrivez sur un chantier avec un luminaire à installer, le client peut changer d’avis et le problème qui se pose alors est le suivant : “Ai-je le bon produit qu’il recherche dans le camion? ou dois-je retourner commander un produit différent pour ce client? Le fait de devoir faire des allers-retours pour prendre un autre article peut faire perdre beaucoup de temps. Ainsi, avec un luminaire réglable, les déplacements sont considérablement réduits, car vous disposez d’une large gamme de skus dans un seul et même luminaire.

Souplesse au travail

Tout en réduisant les déplacements pour aider un client, vous lui offrez également une flexibilité remarquable lors de l’installation d’un appareil. Cette option est utile pour les clients susceptibles de ne pas savoir exactement quelles sont les spécifications dont ils ont besoin, ou encore ce qui serait idéal dans une application spécifique. Par exemple, prenons l’éclairage dans les cuisines. Dans les cuisines aux tons terreux et boisés, une température de couleur plus chaude convient, tandis que les couleurs primaires plus vives et les appareils en acier inoxydable conviennent bien à une température de couleur blanche plus naturelle. Ce sont là quelques-uns des nombreux détails qu’un client peut ne pas connaître avant que l’entrepreneur n’arrive pour installer l’éclairage.

l'éclairage DEL réglable CCT

Solutions simples et rapides

L’éclairage réglable présente également l’avantage de réduire l’entretien à long terme. A mesure que les besoins des clients évoluent, inutile de consacrer temps et argent au remplacement de l’ensemble des luminaires. Grâce à un éclairage réglable, certains luminaires obligent l’entrepreneur à changer ces paramètres à l’intérieur du boîtier, alors que d’autres sont placés à l’extérieur pour des changements rapides et faciles d’accès, et ces deux options ne nécessitent pas de nouveau luminaire. En appuyant simplement sur un interrupteur, vous pourrez régler la puissance ou la température de couleur.

Exemple de RAB Design

La série de luminaires muraux WP-LED de RAB Design a récemment fait l’objet d’une transition afin d’offrir des SKUs ” tout-en-un ” réglables. Avec des options de température de couleur de 3000K, 4000K et 5000K, ainsi que 5 réglages de puissance différents (80W, 70W, 60W, 50W, 40W) dans un seul luminaire, cette unité unique offre 15 combinaisons différentes de réglages. Ce qui auparavant aurait été 15 skus différents est maintenant proposé de manière pratique dans un seul luminaire performant.


Les avantages de l’éclairage DEL réglable pour les utilisateurs

Ces nouveaux luminaires flexibles offrent toute une série d’avantages aux distributeurs et aux entrepreneurs, mais comment aident-ils les utilisateurs finaux, c’est-à-dire les personnes faisant quotidiennement usage de ces luminaires?

Moins d’entretien pour les gestionnaires de bâtiments

En tant que propriétaire ou gestionnaire d’un bâtiment, les appareils d’éclairage offrant diverses options de température de couleur et de flux lumineux sont des atouts essentiels pour limiter les besoins d’entretien et gagner ainsi temps et argent pour le futur.

Un exemple permet de mieux l’expliquer. En tant que propriétaire d’un immeuble, vous louez un bâtiment qui est utilisé comme magasin. Les derniers locataires l’utilisaient comme un magasin de vêtements destiné principalement aux adolescents. Ils souhaitaient donc un éclairage plus faible et de couleur plus chaude pour créer l’atmosphère recherchée. Maintenant, de nouveaux locataires ont emménagé et veulent vendre des bijoux. Ils ont donc besoin d’un éclairage le plus clair et le plus blanc possible pour mettre en valeur leurs précieux diamants. Ainsi, au lieu de remplacer l’ensemble de l’éclairage de votre magasin par de nouveaux luminaires d’un blanc éclatant, il vous suffit de régler les interrupteurs à l’intérieur de chaque luminaire selon les préférences des nouveaux locataires.

Ce système permet d’assurer l’avenir de votre éclairage, sans remplacement de luminaires pour répondre aux différents besoins.

Adaptables à différentes hauteurs de plafond

Dans les bâtiments industriels et les espaces de bureaux présentant différentes hauteurs de plafond, différents niveaux d’éclairage sont nécessaires pour maintenir une diffusion uniforme de la lumière dans un espace spécifique. Pour conserver un aspect uniforme en utilisant le même luminaire, vous pouvez régler la puissance lumineuse dans différentes zones. Par exemple, dans une zone à plafond bas, vous pouvez régler les paramètres sur un flux lumineux plus faible, afin de correspondre à celui de la zone à plafond plus élevé.






Courtoisie de M. Geoffrey Walling de RAB Design

Un système de contrôle d’éclairage économique

Les gradateurs et autres contrôles peuvent entraîner des coûts additionnels à votre projet, représentant une charge financière considérable pour de nombreux utilisateurs finaux. Cependant, si vous optez pour un système à luminosité et à CCT réglables, vous pourrez disposer d’un système de contrôle d’éclairage efficace et économique et éliminer tous vos anciens gradateurs et contrôles d’éclairage coûteux. Les utilisateurs finaux auraient désormais le contrôle total de leurs luminaires, pour un coût initial nettement inférieur.

Souplesse aux résidents

En tant que locataire d’une résidence ou employé d’un bureau, même si vous ne vous préoccupez pas de l’achat de l’éclairage, les luminaires réglables peuvent néanmoins vous apporter flexibilité et commodité au quotidien.

Tout d’abord, comme pour l’entrepreneur, lorsqu’un luminaire est installé, vous avez la possibilité de voir toutes les options et de choisir la puissance et la température de couleur souhaitées dans un cadre spécifique.

Enfin, si vous cherchez à faire des économies en réduisant votre consommation d’électricité, il suffit de régler les paramètres des luminaires déjà installés. De la même manière, si vous refaites la décoration et que vous souhaitez que la température de couleur d’un luminaire soit en harmonie avec une nouvelle couleur de peinture, un simple ajustement suffit, plutôt qu’un remplacement complet


Alors, pourquoi maintenant ? Avec une technologie en constante évolution et un éclairage DEL économique, la question est : pourquoi pas maintenant ? L’éclairage réglable présente de nombreux avantages pour toutes les entreprises concernées, sans augmentation des coûts ni impact négatif sur l’environnement.

En conclusion, peu importe qui et quand vous utilisez l’éclairage réglable, celui-ci offre l’avantage de faire plus avec moins. Pour les distributeurs, cela se traduit par une réduction des skus nécessaires, simplifiant la gestion des inventaires et de la demande. Pour un entrepreneur, cela signifie moins de déplacements et une plus grande flexibilité sur le chantier, ainsi qu’un entretien réduit à long terme. En général, les clients bénéficient d’une plus grande flexibilité dans leur éclairage, en utilisant moins de produit.

Découvrez quelques-unes de nos luminaires réglables dont RAB Design est fier de vous offrir!

l'éclairage DEL réglable murale
6 min read

Table of Contents:

  1. The Benefits of Adjustable LED Lighting for Distributors
  2. The Benefits of Adjustable LED Lighting for Contractors
  3. The Benefits of Adjustable LED Lighting for End Users
  4. Summary

Technological advances in LED lighting have made it possible for lighting OEMs to offer more flexible LED luminaires that are lumen adjustable and CCT selectable. The additional flexibility and convenience of these luminaires is not only beneficial to Electrical Distributors, but to Contractors, Building Managers, and End Users as well. Take a look below at some of the details we’ve discussed to learn about how adjustable lighting can be beneficial to you.

The Benefits of Adjustable LED Lighting for Electrical Distributors

Reduced SKU Complexity

One Lumen Adjustable and CCT Selectable LED lighting SKU could replace many existing dedicated SKUs, thereby reducing the complexity that comes with ordering, managing, and database maintenance for multiple SKUs, as well as saving space in warehouses and showrooms for other products.

In the example below, a CCT Selectable sku brings the SKU count down from 3 to 1.

When we add Lumen adjustable luminaires to the equation, the SKU count is reduced even further from 6 SKUs in the dedicated option, to just one.

Easier to Satisfy Demand and Manage Inventory

To satisfy a diverse range of local demand for LED Luminaires, a typical electrical distributor would need to carry multiple wattage and CCT options for a product. With constantly changing customer needs, this can lead to dead inventory sitting on the shelves. You may be stocking lights that customers won’t want in the future.

With more flexible luminaires, an electrical distributor is able to satisfy demand for multiple jobs, meeting a variety of needs without taking on the additional risk of having dead inventory.

The Benefits of Adjustable LED Lighting for Contractors 

Less Back and Forth

With a range of customer needs and opinions, a contractor needs to ensure that they are carrying a light with the exact voltage, wattage, and colour temperature that a customer is looking for. Once you arrive at a job with a luminaire to install, a customer may change their mind, and you deal with the problem of, “do I have the right sku they’re looking for in the truck with me?” or, “do I need to go back and order a different sku for this customer?”. It can be time consuming to worry about going back and forth to pick up a different sku. This is why, with an adjustable luminaire, back and forth is significantly reduced, as you have a large range of skus all in one fixture that you’re carrying.

On-The-Job Flexibility

Along with less back and forth when helping a customer, you also provide them with an exceptional range of flexibility while installing a fixture. This is helpful for customers that may not know exactly which specifications they need, or what would look ideal in a specific application. For example, look at lighting in kitchens. For kitchens with earthy, wooden tones, a warmer colour temperature works, while brighter primary colours and stainless steel appliances work well with a more natural white colour temperature. This is just one of the many details that a customer may know nothing about before you as a contractor arrives to install the lights.

Colour Temperature Adjustable LED Lighting

Quick, Simple Fixes

Adjustable lighting also brings with it the benefit of less maintenance over time. As customers’ needs change, there’s no need to spend the time and money to replace full light fixtures with different ones. With adjustable lighting, while some fixtures require the contractor to switch these settings within the housing, others have it placed on the outside for quick, accessible changes, and both of these options have no need for a new luminaire. With a simple flip of a switch, you can adjust the wattage or colour temperature.

An Example from RAB Design 

RAB Design’s WP-LED Wall Pack series recently transitioned to offer adjustable “all-in-one” SKUs. With colour temperature options for 3000K, 4000K, and 5000K, as well as 5 different wattage settings (80W, 70W, 60W, 50W, 40W) all in one fixture, this single sku boasts 15 different combinations of settings. What would have been 15 different skus in the past is now offered conveniently in a single efficient luminaire.

WP Adjustable LED Lighting Skus

The Benefits of Adjustable LED Lighting for End Users

These new and flexible lighting fixtures provide a range of benefits for both distributors and contractors, but how do they help end users – the people that see these lights above them everyday?

Less Maintenance For Building Managers

As the owner/operator of a building, lighting fixtures that provide various options for colour temperature and lumen output are key assets to reducing maintenance needs, saving you time and money for years to come.

This is most easily explained with an example. Say, as a building owner, you lease out a building that is used as a store. The most recent tenants used it as a clothing store mainly targeted at teenagers, so they wanted dimmer, warmer coloured lighting to create the atmosphere they were looking for. Now, new tenants have moved in who want to sell jewelry, so they need the brightest, whitest lighting possible to show off the sparkling diamonds. Instead of having to replace all of your store’s lighting with new, bright white lights, you simply need to adjust the switches inside each light fixture to match the new tenants’ preferences.

This essentially “future-proofs” your lighting, with no need to replace fixtures in order to meet different needs.

Adaptable to Different Ceiling Heights

In industrial buildings and office spaces with different ceiling heights, different light levels are required to maintain uniform light distribution throughout a specific space. In order to conserve a consistent look using the same fixture, you can adjust the lumen output in different areas. For example, in a lower ceiling area you would adjust the settings to a lower lumen output, in order to match the look of a higher ceiling area.

Adjustable LED Lighting for different ceiling heights

Adjustable LED Lighting for different ceiling heights

Courtesy of Geoffrey Walling of RAB Design

A Low-Cost Lighting Controls System

Dimmers and other controls can add additional cost to your project and that can be a huge financial burden for many end users. However, once you go with a lumen and CCT adjustable product, it acts as an efficient and inexpensive lighting control system and you can throw all of your previous dimmers and high-cost lighting controls out the window. End users would now have full control over their luminaires, at a significantly lower entry cost. 

Flexibility for Residents

As the tenant of a home or employee in an office, although you may not deal with purchasing lighting yourself, adjustable fixtures can still help to provide you flexibility and convenience on a day-to-day basis.

First of all, similar to the contractor’s side of things, when a fixture is being installed, you have the opportunity to see all your options and select which wattage and colour temperatures you prefer in a specific setting.

Additionally, if you are looking to lower electric consumption to save on costs, you can simply have the lumen settings adjusted on the already-installed lights. Similarly, if you are redecorating and would like a light’s colour temperature to compliment a new paint colour, this is a simple adjustment to be made, rather than a full replacement.



So, why now? With constantly improving technology and cost-effective LED lighting, the question is why not now? Adjustable lighting is able to benefit every party involved in a number of ways, without increased costs or negative impacts on the environment.

In the end, regardless of who you are and when you use it, adjustable lighting provides the benefit of doing more with less. For distributors, this means reducing skus needed, which provides simpler management of inventory and demand. For a contractor, this means less back and forth and improved on-the-job flexibility, along with less maintenance in the long run. Overall, customers are provided with more flexibility in their lighting, while using less products.

Check out a few of our adjustable lights that we are proud to offer at RAB Design!


NMV Cellar Tunnel Application
< 1 minute

Hazardous Environment Lighting Infographic

NMV-LED Non-Metallic Vapourproof Luminaire 


Hazardous LED Fixture in an Industrial Plant
6 min read

Selecting appropriate hazardous LED lighting that meets specific certifications is not only important for properly illuminating a space, but also for the safety of yourself and others using that space. Each environment comes with different challenges, so we would like to walk you through some tips to take into consideration when looking at luminaires for farms, marine, and mine applications.

Lighting Challenges in Agricultural Applications

Many agricultural lighting applications contain hazards that require a special type of luminaire. Here are some of the key challenges and specs to look for in a luminaire for these applications.

Dust Explosions

Agricultural applications, like grain elevators, are a high risk for explosions given the right ingredients. These enclosed spaces are prone to the buildup of large amounts of dust suspended in the air. For example, grain produces dust when it moves. This combination of dust and air in an enclosed space creates a combustible mix that is flammable. When combined with an ignition source, an explosion can occur. Ignition sources could be anything from static electricity to a light switch, so using the wrong luminaire could easily have devastating consequences.



Hog Barns

With minimal ventilation and corrosive gases in the air, hog barns are also at risk for explosions or significant deterioration of materials within the building. As discussed in the Canadian Hog Journal, most of these buildings are completely enclosed for the pigs’ comfort, with a negative pressure ventilation system. Ventilation is decreased even further in winter months for warmth. This therefore increases a luminaire’s exposure to moisture and corrosive gases within the facility, pushing its limits to properly function.


Poultry Barns

Poultry barns are another environment in which you should carefully consider your lighting choice. Not only are they prone to buildups of dust like the previously mentioned applications, but they are also often steam cleaned to remove bacteria and viruses. So, you need a luminaire that can withstand this high pressure cleaning without issue.


There are many factors to consider in different agricultural spaces that could pose a danger, so this is why selecting a specific group of hazardous LED light fixtures for them holds a high importance in terms of your safety and others.


Hazardous LED Lighting Requirements

To greatly reduce the risk of dust explosion and provide peace of mind to your client, look for a fixture with the following certifications:


Hazardous Location Rated

We highly recommend using a Hazardous Location rated vaporproof – that is, completely sealed – luminaire, to prevent dust and dirt materials from entering and causing malfunctions or explosions.


UL844 Class II Div 2

One certification to look out for is UL844, specifically Class II Div 2 Groups F and G. This indicates that a luminaire has been evaluated and proven to safely withstand explosive dust atmospheres. By using a properly installed hazardous-rated LED fixture, you mitigate the presence of a potential ignition source that could cause an explosion in these environments.



In terms of highly corrosive environments, like hog barns, or extreme conditions, like high pressure steam cleaning in a poultry barn, we recommend a luminaire that is NEMA 4X rated. This means that it has been evaluated and rated to withstand corrosion and extreme environments, preventing unnecessary problems with your lighting in the future.



Hazardous LED Fixtures in a Marine Setting

Lighting Challenges in Marine and Offshore Applications

Lighting in Marine and Offshore environments comes with a whole set of different challenges that only specialized luminaires are ready to tackle.


Not every luminaire can withstand the tough conditions present in a marina, or beach and lake environments. Both freshwater and saltwater corrodes metal over time, but saltwater expedites this process roughly 5 times faster than freshwater. Even if the luminaire is not directly exposed to water, the humidity of ocean air can cause metals to rust 10 times faster than in air with normal humidity levels. Corrosion can lead to malfunctions, frequent replacements, and unsightly luminaires.


Water Ingress

Water ingress is another issue that arises when waves and storms cause large amounts of water to frequently hit the luminaire. The combination of water ingress and rust on a luminaire will significantly increase the risk of premature failure and cause a need for frequent and costly replacements. Choosing the right luminaire for a marine application will ensure it has the necessary durability and reliability, which saves you maintenance and replacement costs in the long run.

Lighting Requirements

To combat the harsh marine environments, you should look for a luminaire with the following requirements to ensure long-lasting performance with low maintenance.



A non-metallic luminaire is excellent at resisting corrosion, making it ideal for Marine environments. These luminaires typically have reinforced polycarbonate housing rather than metal.


UL Marine Listed

You will also want a UL Marine Listed mark on your luminaire. The UL Marine Listing guarantees that the luminaire has been rigorously tested and approved specifically for marine use. For these harsher environments, a luminaire needs more than standard wet location features to guarantee protection from moisture. A UL Marine Listed luminaire will ensure the fixture can withstand harsh marine conditions such as vibration, impact, water ingress, and salt-spray corrosion1.

1UL Standard for Safety for Supplemental Requirements for Luminaires for Installation on Marine Vessels. ANSI/UL, December 4, 2000.



Type 4X offers a superior level of protection from corrosion and extreme environments and is tested to withstand hose-directed water. With a Type 4X certification you can be sure you’re getting a corrosion-resistant luminaire that provides protection against windblown dust and rain.



Lighting Challenges in Mine Applications

With over 200 active mines, Canada is one of the world’s leading countries in minerals and metals mining. Luminaires play a critical role in assisting mine workers to perform their work safely by providing visibility of workspace tripping hazards.

Shock, Heat, and Vibration

Mining environments are not friendly for your typical luminaire, spaces are tight, and vibrations are frequent. Luminaires in mining applications must be tough, compact, and durable. Additionally, temperatures in mines can often reach over 40℃ when ventilation is not present. Hazardous-rated LED fixture is well-suited to reliably perform in extreme temperatures.



The most common cause of a mine explosion is a buildup of methane gas combined with a heat source. Methane is a highly combustible gas and depending on how much of it is present in the air, it will only require a small source of heat to spark an explosion. This makes it especially important to have reliable luminaires in mine applications, so a faulty circuit does not spark a chain reaction.


Lighting Requirements

Due to the dangerous nature of mining, there are regulations in place to specify the requirements of a hazardous location approved LED fixture. Look for luminaires with the following certifications:

Class I and Class II UL Hazardous Location Ratings.

Class I covers Explosive Gas Atmospheres and Class II covers Explosive Dust Atmospheres – both are present in mining applications. Each class is divided into divisions which are then further segmented into Groups. For mining environments, pay close attention to Class I Div 2 Groups B, C, and D (Atmosphere containing flammable gas), as well as Group A (Atmosphere containing Acetylene – a gas used in welding). A luminaire with these ratings has been rigorously tested to be safe to use in Explosive Gas Atmospheres (Class I) as well as Explosive Dust Atmospheres (Class II).


Table highlighting temperature ratings for hazardous location. Described under Lighting Requirements heading.



Our Recommendation – RAB Design’s Solution
The NMV-LED Non-Metallic Vapourproof Luminaire

RAB Design’s NMV-LED Non-Metallic Vapourproof Luminaire was designed with all these severe environments in mind. This uniquely versatile and energy-efficient luminaire is the perfect solution where vapour and dust-proof, explosion-proof, hazardous, or marine-rated lighting is needed. Its durable, but hardy design ensures safe usage in a diverse range of applications, including the previously mentioned grain elevators, marine settings, mining applications, and more.

Click on the link below to head to our Infographic for more information and a breakdown of our recommendations!


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