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  • Writer's pictureIBA LED


When it comes time to retrofit your U.S. processing plant, you may see a bewildering array of LED options. The problem is that finding state-of-the-art, commercial-grade LED fixtures that are well-suited to your facility is not so simple. Many LED manufacturers on the internet make claims that are simply not true, or do not factor in the specific needs of your industry. Their information may be telling you what you want hear, but does not provide data to back it up.

Slaughterhouse high-bay lighting, for example, has a unique set of requirements. Choosing the correct lights will save energy and money, reduce cleaning time and provide workers with comfortable and well-lit working conditions.

Consider the following factors when choosing lighting for your slaughterhouse:

  • Ease of Cleaning

  • Brightness / Lumens

  • Life and Longevity

  • Certification and Durability

For safety and efficiency purposes these plants must be extremely well lit. A major concern for operation managers is that food particles get trapped or stuck to lights each day at these processing plants. For this reason, slaughterhouse lights are power-washed daily and the fixtures must be constructed to handle the wear and tear of constant high-pressure wash-downs. Installing fixtures that are designed specifically to clean quickly and thoroughly is a key element in running an efficient operation. Paint used on these high bays should be powder-coated to ensure that over time no particles can flake off the fixture under these cleaning conditions.

Choose lighting that you are sure has been battle-tested under the difficult conditions required by your industry. Ask yourself the following:

  1. Does the product truly meet specific codes and requirements?

  2. Are they in compliance with strict Federal guidelines that many foreign manufacturers know nothing about?

  3. Is the light you are looking at IP66 & IK08 rated, 240/277 volts, Ra>85 certified?

  4. Are any major processing companies in the US presently using these high bays now?

Keep in mind that simple UL and DLC certifications do not guarantee that the light actually meets the needs of a demanding specialty market.

As you can imagine the cost associate with replacing these lights can be significant. Life and longevity is key to avoid unanticipated costs due to failure. Most warranties for quality high bays are 50,000 hours. This means that these lights should work for a minimum of 5 years or more when burning 24/7 before the modular high bay drivers would need to be replaced.

What to Look for when Choosing Your Lighting:

You know what features you want, now how do you determine what makes one LED different from another? Two LED lights can look exactly alike, even when turned on. The problem is that they can be far apart in quality and performance.

It may seem pretty complicated to figure out how to choose between lights. Fortunately, there are really only three major factors to consider in the construction of your lighting.

  1. What type of Driver is being used?

  2. Are quality LED Chips being used?

  3. Is there a quality Aluminum Heat Sync?

The Driver

The driver is the most important element of the LED. It is the main controller, and serves as the brain for the fixture. Big box stores and major distributors use cheap Drivers to keep manufacturing costs down while still charging the customer for a superior quality product.

The driver is the most important element of the LED. It is the main controller, and serves as the brain for the fixture. It is the heart of the light’s durability; 99% of the time, if a light fails, it is directly related to a faulty driver. Most LED fixtures are modular, so the driver can be replaced if it fails. You should note, that the replacement driver must be compatible with the existing LED Chips or it will not work properly and fail shortly after installation.

LED Chips

LED chips deliver the long-lasting and intense light that LED lighting is known for. These chips hardly ever burn out, so they can be less important in making your final choice. Like the driver, chips are modular so if one gets damaged, it can be replaced.

When choosing LED’s, kelvin or color of light often comes into play in making your decision. Since the goal for a processing facility is to be bright as possible, 6,000 kelvin is recommended.

Heat Sink

The heat sink is completely aluminum. It is designed to absorb the heat displaced by the driver and LED chips. This heat sink plays a major role in extending the life of the light.

Since aluminum can be very expensive, lower quality manufacturers keep their cost down by reducing the amount of aluminum in the heat sink by replacing it with plastic. This factor must not be overlooked when choosing industrial grade products.

In some of the best fixtures, copper will be combined with aluminum to further aid in extracting the heat away from the LED’s and driver.

Manufacturers can use all three of these components to reduce the cost of lighting. Bulbs built with reduced drivers, lower quality LED’s and less aluminum can reduce the initial price, but create significant maintenance costs and reduce overall efficiency in the long run. Cheap is not always better.

If you would like more information concerning this light or any other information concerning Commercial Industrial Grade LED Lighting please feel free to contact IBA at 434-566-2109 or visit our website at We would love to hear from you.

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