HOW TO CHOOSE LIGHTING FOR YOUR AGRICULTURAL INSTALLATION
Choosing the right lighting system for your agricultural installation can decrease your costs and increase the safety and efficiency of your production process. Since the agricultural environment is unique, it’s important to consider specific factors before installation.
Here are some things to consider when choosing lighting for your agricultural installation:
Lighting shouldn’t be operated at temperatures above the manufacturer’s specified rating. When a building’s temperature increases, the life of the lighting components decreases. To improve cooling, lower (suspend) fixtures from the ceiling to create space for heat to rise and encourage airflow.
Lamps in barn environments are typically installed in enclosed fixtures, meaning they may have restricted airflow. This can lead to the lamps overheating, resulting in damage or lighting system failure. Buying lamps that are rated for your fixtures can help to relieve this issue.
INGRESS PROTECTION (IP) RATING
Ingress protection (IP) is the degree to which a fixture is protected and sealed against dust and moisture. Since barn environments have more dust and moisture, it’s important to pay attention to the IP rating when purchasing light fixtures. The table below shows the most common IP ratings for light fixtures.
|IP LEVEL||PROTECTION AGAINST SOLID PARTICLES||PROTECTION AGAINST MOISTURE/WATER|
|IP44||Protected against a solid object greater than 1 mm (for example, a piece of wire cable).||Protected against water splashing from all directions.|
|IP65||Dust-tight; protected against any size of dust particle entering the fixture.||Protected against water projected by jet spray valves.|
|IP66||Dust-tight; protected against any size of dust particle entering the fixture.||Protected against rough bodies of water and/or water projected by jet spray valves.|
|IP67||Dust-tight; protected against any size of dust particle entering the fixture.||Protected against water immersion up to 1 m for a maximum of 30 minutes.|
The corrosive environment in barns breaks down both metal parts and the electronic components inside the fixtures. Due to ammonia, barns tend to have higher than normal rates of corrosion. Make sure the fixture or lamp you’re purchasing is rated for corrosive environments.
There are many different types of controls available for lighting systems. If you have an existing control system, take note of the minimum load rating and make sure your new fixtures or lamps are compatible with the system. If your new lighting load is less than the controller minimum rating, upgrade the controller instead of increasing your load.
Talk to your supplier or distributor to ensure that your warranty applies to your intended lighting application. Warranties may have specific exclusions and conditions, so it’s important to know what exactly is covered. Keep your invoices and warranty documents in a safe place so you have them handy if you need to make a claim.
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