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Thread: Metal-Case LED Light Safety

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

    Metal-Case LED Light Safety


    Metal-Case LED Light Safety
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    With the increased usage of natural algal filtration, comes the increased usage of illumination to make the photosynthetic filtering process occur. However, certain types of metal-case lights have come onto the market, and they need to be addressed because they are potentially unsafe when used on ATS algae turf scrubbers. We do not use these lights, but unfortunately other people do and sell them to unknowing consumers; the corrosion of the metal case lets water reach the dangerous 240/120 volts inside, and a UL-rated power cord does nothing to help, nor does a warranty. If you do not have these lights, then you can decide whether to get them or not. If you already have them, then you can learn how to protect yourself, although it safest to change the lights entirely yourself, or request the manufacturer to change them.

    Over time, the problem of the metal case and internal corrosion gets worse, not better. At some point the metal case will reach a critical point due to the corrosive operating environment of sump-mounted waterfall algae scrubbers, which is a much harsher environment than the outdoor gardens (or indoor farms) the lights were made for. Whether this is 6 months or 2 years depends on the light, the scrubber housing, the sump environment, and the usage. The simple solution is to just not use or buy metal-case 240/120 volt lights at all. If you already have these lights, and you are not technically comfortable with electricity, the only safe solution is to have them replaced before corrosion breaks through the seal. Do not believe anyone who tells you their aluminum case lights will not corrode; all aluminum corrodes, especially near saltwater. The only thing worse than "sealed" metal case lights are open-frame metal case lights, which are for indoor use only and have absolutely no protection at all.

    Even if you have 1, 2 or 6 of these lights, and they've had no problems for years, that does not mean that other people should not be informed. Imagine if your car had a defect that only rarely occurred, and you were the one that got injured. Would you want the car company saying "There is no defect. We have a customer that has two of these cars and he's had them for three years; if there were a defect then he'd know about it." Of course not. You would want the pertinent information. And as a maker of LED lights, and being an Electrical Engineer, I feel I am qualified to provide this information. If you have additional information, you are invited to post it below, especially if you are a verifiable state-licensed electrician.

    Several "commercial" scrubber builders who use these lights were asked to provide input/articles to be included here, but nothing was received from any of them. Also I offered to provide free electrical design advice to improve the safety of their scrubbers, but all of them declined, saying their lights were not dangerous, even though they had no electrical training, experience, or certifications to back this up. And they still use the hazardous lights as of March 2020, continuing to let customers believe the units are safe.

    The following is one person's professional opinion on the safety of these metal case, high voltage, algae scrubber lights. You should consult your own professional advice and opinion from an independent electrical engineer, electronics engineer, state-certified electrician, or safety technician before using these lights; if you are making, advertising or distributing these lights then you should also consult with a product liability attorney specializing in electrical injury. Again, we refuse to use or promote these lights.

    To subscribe to the updates of this safety information, click here (must be logged in), and select "Notification Type" to be "Instant Notification By Email"...

    Last edited by SantaMonica; 05-07-2019 at 09:15 PM.

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