LED technology is like any other technology… susceptible to electrical surges. It’s why you need to invest in surge protection to keep them from having to make costly repairs or replace them altogether. The cost to replace LED lights compared to traditional luminaires, and since these lights are far more susceptible than other lighting fixtures, it’s imperative to protect them.
How can you do that?
What are Surge-Over Voltages?
Surge-over-voltages are spikes that last several microseconds but can hit tens of kilovolts. Although there are short-lived, the amount of voltage they carry could lead to significant electronic damage, including premature aging or damage. This will cause service disruptions and involve hundreds to thousands of dollars in repairs.
There are several reasons why voltage surges occur.
Lightning Strikes – Any lightning strikes near a building’s distribution line can generate electromagnetic fields that will produce voltage spikes to adjacent lighting installations. Outdoor distribution power lines are especially vulnerable to lightning strikes.
Other reasons for voltages surges are:
- Swapping out contactors inside electrical cabinets
- Disconnecting transformers, motors, generators or anything with high loads of power
There are two circulation modes with surge-over voltages – common and differential. What are the differences between the two? Common modes show up between the ground and live conductors. Differential modes travel among live conductors, such as line-to-line.
When a luminaire is installed, it should be protected from both types of surge voltages.
Surges can Cause Damage to LED Lights
It’s not just direct lightning strikes that can cause significant damage to LED lights, but also indirect lighting. This kind of lighting can create over-voltages that surpass the sensitivity wattage of an LED light. When there is an overvoltage, it can lead to some or total loss of the LED modules and drivers. It can also cause electronic devices to die or reduce the brightness level.
Should the LED light still work, its lifespan is much less than before.
Surge Protection for LED Lighting
LED lighting systems, similar to other electronics, can be destroyed by voltage surges. They cause the LED drivers and distribution panels to wear out quicker than they typically would. They can also experience more frequent service interruptions. Lightning-induced voltage surges can break the lighting distribution panels’ circuit boards’ protective parts.
There is a vast array of documented cases of over-voltages damaging electronic lighting systems, and varying international standards and regulations dictate the necessary protection.
Surge Protection for LED Street Lighting Systems
More and more communities are opting for long-lasting LED technology for their street lights because of the reduced costs and maintenance needed. The changeover is happening for several reasons – bans of certain kinds of lighting technologies, energy-efficient, funding and more.
Despite the numerous benefits LED technology offers, it’s quite vulnerable to surges and replacing it is costly. When a surge happens to LED street lights, multiple lights are usually affected.
LEPRO has designed its LED parking lot light with a 10KV surge immunity, significantly exceeding the legally required 2KV. They will work even during severe weather, such as thunderstorms with persistent lightning.
Surge Protection for Indoor LED Lighting
The idea behind surge protectors is to ensure devices don’t become damaged in the event of a surge. Businesses can also benefit from surge-protecting lighting in their buildings beyond protecting their devices. It can help keep employees safe from accidents that could occur without adequate lighting.
Lepro LED High Bay Lights offer superior surge immunity, with six times more capability to withstand surges than recommended.