One category of our industrial lights are termed “Explosion Proof” which leads many people to wonder why you’d need to design a light to survive an explosion. But in truth, they get their name from how they are designed to avoid catastrophe.
Explosion Proof light fixtures are designed to completely encase the hot lamp in an air tight environment so volatile gasses in a factory work room, from such things as spray paint or heavily used solvents, won’t make contact with the socket and spark an explosion. To ensure this the lights are designed using heavy cast aluminum components that screw tightly together and have heavy tempered glass that is most often protected by a robust cage. All together their need for function creates a form that is simultaneously simple and sophisticated.
Crouse Hinds is the largest manufacturer of this style of light but other names to look for are Appleton and Wheeler. And you’ll find explosion proof lights designed to hang, mount flush to the ceiling, wall mounted, incandescent and also fluorescent. Many styles of the fluorescent fixtures have a space age aesthetic with their large heavily protected ballasts contrasting with the long fluorescent lamps.
But in a factory lamps aren’t the only things that need to be explosion proof. Several years ago I was sourcing a truck load of explosion proof lights from a closed paint factory and toured through room after room of a building that spanned several acres. Explosion proof lights were everywhere, but also present were clocks and telephones designed for the hostile environment. And in some rooms where heavy equipment needed to be switched on and off huge electrical panels were encased in cast aluminum boxes with moving levers that mated with the circuit breakers behind them.
Explosion proof lights are a popular choice today for kitchen areas where their strong industrial design compliments the prevelance of stainless steel and granite. But many also find places throughout their home. Urban lofts and commercial spaces such as retail showrooms and restaurants are a natural fit, but we find them to also be a good compliment to homes with post and beam construction and converted barns. But however you use them their scale and styling will add a dramatic touch that won’t go unnoticed.