LED emergency floodlight for hazardous and marine environments

Published:  25 July, 2011

A new floodlight combining maintenance free LED technology and a self contained backup battery has been introduced by hazardous area lighting specialist Chalmit.

The Solas is designed for use in both Zone 1 hazardous areas and harsh marine environments.  Uniquely it provides the same level of light output under either normal or emergency conditions.  This performance and durability offers a new solution for both lighting designers and engineers tasked with providing a safe working environment.

“We are excited about the possibilities the new Solas LED can provide,” explained Chalmit Marketing Manager Gareth Bruce.  “The initial concept was to replace an existing emergency floodlight, the 261E.  In this product the batteries were contained in a separate Ex e box.  The use of LED’s and smart driver technology has allowed the complete solution to be contained within the luminaire enclosure.  Not only is the Solas a more efficient, compact and price competitive replacement for the 261E, it has also created a host of new applications due to its increased flexibility.”

Traditionally, battery backup emergency floodlights have been reserved for specific platform abandonment applications.  The development of quality long life LEDs is proving to have a much wider appeal.  Such floodlights can now be used for continuous operation under normal lighting conditions.  In contrast to high intensity discharge floods, the Solas is effectively maintenance free offering over sixty thousand hours of continuous operation.  Another advantage of using LED technology is the efficient use of the light generated.  The Solas has a high light output ratio resulting in over four thousand lumens with minimal losses.  These levels can be compared to a seventy watt high pressure sodium (HPS) floodlight.  However unlike HPS lamps the use of LED results in a much whiter light closer to that of natural daylight.

The luminaire is compliant with both ATEX and IEC Ex standards and is suitable for use in a wide range of ambient conditions from -55 degrees C to +55 degrees C.  The universal voltage; 110V – 254V AC/DC 50/60Hz, makes the Solas a truly global product.  An industrial, non-hazardous version is also available that provides the same levels of ingress protection (IP66/67) and maintenance free capability.

In addition to normal emergency operation where the battery engages when the mains power goes off, the Solas can also be fitted with a remote inhibition switch.  Similar in function to the earlier 261E, this enables the LEDs to remain de-energised (Off) when the mains power fails.  By operating the switch, the LEDs can be energised and run from the internal batteries.  This gives instant illumination with one hundred percent output, unlike HID lamp technologies. The use of remote switching thus ensures battery duration is maximised.

This flexibility means the Solas is ideally suited to provide emergency escape lighting for example; during platform abandonment conditions, where the sea must be illuminated to ensure lifeboats can be safely launched.

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