Fan manufacturer Big Ass Fans has unveiled their newest product, but unlike their name would suggest it isn’t a fan; it is a light. A LED light fixture that the company leadership claims will addresses why industrial and commercial spaces have been so slow to adopt LEDs. While LED technology has been available for a number of years and is vastly more efficient than other light offerings, it has not caught on as quickly for industrial purposes as advocates had hoped. The vulnerability of LEDs to dust and other after-effects of industrial work like welding and fabricating, along with the high price, have left LEDs lagging behind older cheaper technology.
“Existing fixtures simply don’t stand up to the tough environments that exist in factories, warehouses and distribution centers. We know because we looked at using them in our own manufacturing operations. The Big Ass High Bay LED addresses those shortcomings,” said James DeSmet, vice president of engineering at Big Ass Fans. “Our staff has been inside countless factories, warehouses and distribution centers. Because of that, we know how companies work and how their lights often prove to be a burden instead of an asset.”
The Big Ass High Bay LED comes from the new Big Ass Light division and represents the company’s first foray outside of fans since its founding in 1999. Like with fans, the company sells and installs the Big Ass High Bay LED directly. Traditional industrial and commercial LED fixtures are made of thin, stamped sheet metal. Big Ass Light instead manufactures its product from a solid piece of anodized, extruded aluminum that includes ribbed fins at the top to further increase surface area. The design allows the entire structure to act as a heat sink, moving heat away from the fixture and, most importantly, the LEDs. Because of its ability to dissipate heat, the fixture comes with a seven-year warranty for all parts, including the power supplies, surpassing typical offerings ranging from three to five years.
DeSmet said the company chose aluminum for its material, as opposed to the stamped sheet metal, to ensure the fixture would never falter. While other fixtures easily bend, the staff at the company’s research-and-development laboratory in Lexington, Ky., recently settled a bet and drove a Ford F-250 pickup truck over their light. The fixture supported the weight of the truck as a fixture from a leading competitor folded.
It’s common for facilities to change floor plans as their needs change. Lighting, though, is often overlooked in revised layouts because of the time it takes to reset grids. Big AssLight engineers designed the company’s High Bay LED fixture to have narrow, normal and wide trays, so customers can redirect light as their floor layouts change. Allowing you to simply change out a tray to switch your light distribution from 55 degrees to 85 degrees or 105 degrees. The lens trays also protect the LEDs from common mishaps and hazards, such as forktrucks, reducing both the likelihood of damage and the need for replacement.
Beyond the physical issues, facility managers have been wary of LEDs because of how quickly the technology has evolved. A common fear is that a purchase today will leave companies with outdated fixtures once the next leap forward occurs. To address that, Big Ass Light engineered the Big Ass High Bay LED with an easy-access panel that allows users to swap out drivers and other components so the fixture never becomes outdated. The Big Ass High Bay LED is predicted to maintain 70 percent of its initial light output for up to 150,000 hours, surpassing the 100,000 hour ratings of competitive fixtures. The LEDs also boast efficiency of 110 lumens per watt, exceeding the 90 lumens per watt available on rival products.