Eight reasons why you need LED strip lights for your next tunnelling project
In 2022, LED strip lighting continues to shine in Australian tunnelling construction as one of the fastest growing industrial lighting solutions for major infrastructure projects across road and rail.
A reliable tunnel lighting system is essential for energy efficiency, site productivity, and ensuring your workers’ safety at all stages of construction and beyond.
As the Australian tunnelling industry continues to boom, we’re sharing our top eight advantages of LED strip lighting for tunnelling applications.
1. Continuous illumination
When working in underground tunnels with no natural light, high visibility is crucial in the early detection and prevention of safety hazards and obstructions. LED strip lighting solutions provide continuous illumination along the entire tunnel, vastly improving site safety and visibility while reducing the risk of tunnelling equipment damage. By offering 180-degree, floor-to-ceiling illumination, LED strips eliminate shadows, glare, and hazardous dark spots to help engineers work more safely while mitigating the risk of hazards.
Premium, industrial-grade LED strip lighting solutions like MineGlow’s purpose-built x-Glo Long-Range tunnelling lighting system runs lengths from 80 metres up to 168 metres, delivering the longest continuous LED lighting on the market. This is beneficial when there is limited access to power on site as LED strip lights only require one power input to operate effectively—ultimately reducing infrastructure and cost.
MineGlow’s built-in power redundancy is a unique feature that allows a power supply connection at both ends of the LED strip lighting. This ensures lighting continues to operate even if completely severed or if one of the power supplies fails.
2. Durable by design
Tunnel environments are often subject to extreme temperatures and corrosive conditions such as weather, vibration, and chemicals. Ensuring your lighting system is robust and can withstand harsh environments is critical to keeping your workers safe and your project on track.
High-quality industrial LED strip lighting systems, like MineGlow’s x-Glo range, are water (IP67), dust, impact and shock resistance offering a reliable and cost-effective lighting solution that can thrive in harsh and hazardous conditions without interruption or failure.
MineGlow’s x-Glo range of LED strip lighting is fully encapsulated with silicone or PVC, making them resistant to dust, humidity, chemicals and extreme environmental temperatures.
3. Reduce installation cost and time
Due to the flexible and low-profile design, MineGlow’s x-Glo range of LED strip lights are easy to install and position on any surface, including curved or uneven surfaces and corners. Their flexibility allows you to quickly attach the lights to existing structures and position them in the best place for the task at hand. At the same time, the low-profile design reduces the risk of damage resulting in next to zero maintenance.
Due to the simple installation process, electrical engineers can quickly and easily install LED strip lights, resulting in minimal labour costs. MineGlow’s LED strip lighting can be provided in continuous lengths of up to 168 metres between power sources. As a result of the low power intake required, new installations require significantly less cabling and switchgear with no extra electrical wiring required. This further simplifies the installation process while reducing the infrastructure needed to power the lights.
4. Eliminate the risk of explosions
Tunnel projects can often be subjected to hazardous vapours and gases, creating severe safety issues if not planned for effectively. Ensuring you have the correct lighting requirements in a hazardous tunnel environment is paramount to keeping your workers safe.
MineGlow is the only provider to offer an IECEx and ATEX certified LED strip lighting solution in Australia. The solution reduces the risk of an explosion by electrical failure by encapsulating the spark within the fixture.
MineGlow’s x-Glo explosion-proof range is approved for use in any tunnel applications rated Gas Zone One and Two and Dust Zone Twenty-one and Twenty-Two.
5. Improve energy efficiency and sustainability
In recent years, the effort to reduce environmental impact during construction and infrastructure projects has risen. Ensuring you have a long-term, sustainable lighting system will help deliver substantial saving costs while reducing your environmental footprint.
Compared to halogen and other filament-based light sources, LED strip lights produce little to no heat and operate via low voltage outputs.
As a result, LED strip lights don’t require as much electricity to run optimally and use approximately 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs. In addition, LED strip lights like MineGlow’s x-Glo range also have a lifespan of up to ten years with only a 20 to 30 per cent loss of luminescence.
MineGlow’s LED strip lights can be powered by 24V, 36V or 48V with options of 12 to 60 LEDs per metre, allowing customers to choose the optimum illumination level to suit their tunnelling requirements and application.
6. Meet your duty of care to employees
Poor illumination in underground low-light environments, like tunnels, significantly affects fatigue, attention, reaction ability and hand-eye coordination. Having a high-quality lighting system in place will help to improve the health, safety, and wellbeing of your team.
LEDs produce better light quality than halogen lamps. As a result, the vibrant white output can help reduce eye strain and improve visual safety given the wavelength of the light. MineGlow’s LED strip lights produce white light emissions (equivalent to daylight) that enable precise colour recognition, which is critical when working with electrical wiring.
With a Colour Rendering Index of over 80, LED strip lights can improve light quality and visibility while keeping your workforce safe, maximising productivity and efficiency.
7. Enjoy less downtime and maintenance
When working in an underground tunnel with no natural light and in an environment with large tunnelling equipment, vehicles and personnel, you need a reliable, durable lighting solution that will go the distance.
LED strip lights have a lifespan of up to ten years, resulting in less downtime. If a LED fixture should go out, repairs are fast, simple and can be accomplished safely by only replacing the section that fell short.
The ring feed style design like in MineGlow’s LEDs guarantees the lights will remain working when cut, preserving consistent illumination in tunnel environments.
8. Prepare for the unexpected
Due to the remote nature of tunnelling work, a robust emergency plan should include escape routes and safe places for personnel to reach in an emergency evacuation. This includes ensuring escape route signs are always in place and visible.
Directional LED strip lighting can play a crucial role during emergencies by guiding workers to the nearest escape way or refuge chamber. MineGlow’s Emergency Lighting system is available in any colour and pulsing configuration to suit different applications and risk zones. The emergency lighting system can also run up to 100 metres of LED strips per power source with various activation points across an entire underground network.
The flexibility of MineGlow’s x-Glo LED strip emergency system means the system can be installed close to the ground, offering excellent visibility in smoke-filled or low light conditions. This maximises safety in dangerous and high-stress situations.
Lighting is one of the most fundamental requirements for safe tunnelling construction and operations, yet it can be easy to overlook its importance. A high-quality tunnel lighting system is essential for fostering a safe work environment in high-risk areas and improving worker morale. By investing in a LED strip lighting system that conforms to your operational demands while delivering light of exceptional quality, reliability and longevity, your business and next infrastructure project can unlock a wide range of benefits.
Learn more about MineGlow’s LED strip lighting solutions for tunnelling here.