Winter seasons come with extremely low temperatures, with can negatively affect the performance of LED lights. Although the fixtures are more powerful and reliable than traditional lighting options, such as incandescent and fluorescent lamps, it is important to factor in such environmental conditions to prevent premature failure during operation.
Cold Weather Environments and LEDs
LEDs are particularly efficient in locations with low temperatures. The units come with components, such as drivers, that can operate as low as 30°C to –40°C. Some specially engineered LED drivers can withstand temperatures down to –55°C.
By comparison, fluorescent fixtures do not perform well in cold environments. As a result, the units are more suitable for applications in indoor locations. The lights have a performance threshold of roughly 5°C. When exposed to temperatures colder than this range, output becomes degraded.
For example, exposing a fluorescent light to –10°C environments may result in a 50 percent loss in performance. At –40°C, the lamp would prematurely fail at 10 percent (or less) illumination.
Protecting Outdoor LED Lights
Protecting LEDs from cold temperatures require sturdy materials and seals. This is because snow and ice have a tendency to melt on the surfaces of LED lamps. When this occurs, water or moisture can get trapped inside the light, causing internal damage. A breather or proper ventilation can be applied to the enclosure of the fixture to reduce the buildup of moisture.
In addition to protecting LED work lights, it is equally crucial to ensure the unit’s other components are well accounted for at all times. Wirings and pipes supporting the lamp should also feature some form of weatherproof or waterproof protection, such as a NEMA 4X rating.
Lastly, as cold temperatures can affect the performance of switches, pushbuttons and lubrication, it is recommended to test LED fixtures periodically for consistent output.