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    Light Your World Blog

    The importance of Surge Protectors for Outdoor LED Luminaires

    January 15, 2013


    The SP families of surge protection devices from Signify is part of the LED revolution in outdoor lighting and provides best in class electrical immunity protection for all Lumec LED luminaires.

    Surge protectors

    Just like our electrical appliances and computers at home that need surge protectors in case of lightning or electrical storms so do outdoor LED luminaires.

    The arrival of LEDs in the outdoor lighting market opened the door to new opportunities for highly efficient lighting solutions. LEDs have made it possible to light our streets, parking lots, urban areas and public parks more efficiently with a much longer lifespan. It has allowed manufacturers to develop and create lighting products that provide high performance like never before.


    LED luminaires are built with sensitive electronic components that need to be protected against electrical noise, sometime called electromagnetic interference (EMI).  Because these outdoor LED luminaires are installed outside in harsh electrical outdoor environments these sensitive electronic components need to be protected to avoid early failure.


    In the past, old lamp technology consisted of robust core and coil ballast and high discharge lamps that were not affected by this phenomenon.


    What are we protecting our LED luminaires from?

    It is important to protect our LED luminaires from high energy electrical discharges that are transmitted to the luminaire itself or into the electrical grid network. The high energy electrical discharges consist of electrical noise created by other electrical devices that are connected on the same electrical network like HID ballast, or industrial equipment-like motors. A discharge can also be created by electrical flashes, lightning striking nearby electrical networks or buildings and transferring high electrical energy to the luminaires. Depending on where the luminaires are connected on the electrical distribution grid or depending on the geographical location (ie: Tampa Bay known as the lightning city) equipment might be at high risk of failure if there is no surge protector.


    How do surge protectors work?

    Our SPDs (surge protection devices) consist of well-designed assemblies of electronic components, including Metal Oxide Varistor (MOV). Connected at the very first stage of the luminaire’s power input, the SP1 will get the hit first and react rapidly. It detects the abnormal voltage and starts conducting current in order to capture the high energy surge. This is known as “clamping action”. It will bring the voltage back to typical normal level and redirect the high energy surge away from the sensitive components, to the SPD. Since the surge is not redirected to the ground, MOVs inside the SPD made up of a ceramic mass of zinc oxide grain packed between 2 metal plates will start digging and eliminating the surge energy. The higher the rating in energy (Kjoules) for the SPD, the more energy it will be able to take and the longer it will last over time.

    Surge protectors

    SP1- Surge Protection Device


    Designed for outdoor LED lighting, the Signify SP1 surge protection device is UL1449 3ed recognized provides all phases of protection for line/neutral, line/ground and neutral/ ground in accordance with the highest protection as recommended by IEEE C62.41.2-2002 (C High). Note that IEEE as defined different levels of protection depending of the location of the device on the electrical distribution grid and depending of the geographical location (for category C which is related to the external application). Category C also has 2 different levels of exposure (low or high) that refer to the geographic location. SP1 series are tested and compliant with C HIGH IEEE rating since our products targeted application is outside building and directly on electrical distribution network and are used in anywhere in the world, including worst locations.


    The SP1 and SP1HV are also compliant with the new Elevated Electrical Immunity Requirement per the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Municipal Solid State Street Lighting Consortium (MSSLC) Model Specification of LED Roadway Luminaires.


    The SP family has grown recently when Signify added a new unit that provides maximum protection against electrical magnetic interference.

    Signify SP2 high energy and high peak current surge protection device is designed for electrical immunity in worst possible outdoor locations or scenarios. With an all phases protection for line/neutral, line/ground and neutral/ground and a peak current rating twice the IEEE C62.41.2-2002 C-High recommendation (22KA), outdoor LED luminaires benefit from the best protection against lightning and switching surge event.


    Depending on the application, when buying and installing outdoor LED luminaires, it is imperative that this new LED lighting solution be equipped with a surge protecting device.


    Martin Mercier
    Martin Mercier

    Post tags

    electical immunity, electrical discharges, electrical immunity, electrical noise, electromagnetic interference, electronic components, emi, led, lightning, outdoor luminaires, sp1, surge protectors, ul1449

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