Hazardous Location Lighting – Luminaires in Difficult Conditions

Hazardous location lightingIndustrial facilities need good, safe and efficient lighting. Hazardous location lighting in facilities such as those in the petrochemical industry or storing or processing any type of hazardous materials need full proof lighting systems to conduct their business. Hazardous locations need fixtures that can handle highly corrosive elements, flammable gases and vapors and combustible dusts.

Hazard Location Lighting Best Practices

Hazardous environments are not always the same. The National Electrical Code and the Canadian Electrical Code have divided hazardous location combustible dusts and flammable gases and vapors into three classes.

  1. Natural gas, petroleum and chemical belong to the Class I locations.
  2. Combustible dusts that can be found inside plastic, coal, pharmaceutical and flour processing locations belong to Class II. 
  3. Flammable fibers produced in wood, cotton and textile industries belong to the Class III. 

Class I is broken further into these groups: A, B, C, D. These groups indentify the explosive pressure that gas, vapor or dust create.

Group A: Acetylene (has the greatest outward pressure during an explosion.
Group B: Hydrogen.
Group C: Ethylene.
Group D: Gasoline.

Class II hazardous locations are divided into groups E, F, G.

E: Combustible metal dust (aluminum and magnesium).
F: Coal, printer ink powder, coke.
G: Cake mix, grain dust and flour.

There are no further groups divisions in Class III hazardous locations.

Lighting fixtures in Class I need to be sealed in order to prevent the hazardous element from getting into the fixture. Enclosed fixtures are, therefore, the best solution for this class of hazardous locations. Lighting fixtures in Class II need to work well and safe under explosive dust, because grain silos and other industrial factories place them where they get covered by these materials. In these conditions, fixtures need to be enclosed in order to prevent dust from getting in and to keep the temperature low. Also, the composition of the lighting fixture has to be set so it emits less heat. In order to prevent accumulation of flammable materials on the luminaires, their surfaces need to be contoured.

When choosing a safe luminaire, go for the long lasting ones. Long lasting lamps reduce the risk of accidents caused by maintenance because there are longer periods between regular maintenance.


Hazardous locations can be very dangerous places if lighting fixtures are not best suited for the environment that they are operating in. There are certain classifications you need to know about so you can decide what lighting fixture is best suited for your hazardous location. 

Considering the complexity of these lighting applications, contact a local Lumax sales rep to help you make the best choices for you individual needs.