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Keeping Outdoor Lights on with State-of-the-Art Vents

There is much more to lights than meets the eye. Beyond the element and fixture, outdoor lighting and digital signage need enclosure protection vents. When lights come on and off, the air inside the enclosure heats up and cools down. Over time, pressure changes can stress the seal or gasket and crack it. Rain could enter and short out the module, or dust could get in and cloud the lens.

That’s why commercial lighting manufacturers are coming to depend on Donaldson Company for state-of-the-art Enclosure Protection Vent (EPV) technology. A small Screw-Fit EPV or Snap-Fit EPV can extend the life of their light fixtures, while containing production costs.

“The vent makes it so the light fixture itself doesn’t have to be built like a tank,” says Jake Sanders, a Donaldson engineering supervisor. “You can use economical casing material and still achieve a strong seal.”

Donaldson’s Screw-Fit and Snap-Fit EPVs are made with breathable polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) membranes that keep water and dust out of the lamp shell, while equalizing air pressure as temperatures fluctuate. Because Donaldson makes its own housing and PTFE carrier membrane, customers have timely turnaround, even on customized orders.

“We’re first and foremost a filtration and venting company. That’s our backbone,” Sanders says. “If we need to change the filter material to give customers different venting levels, or incorporate a custom cap design, logo, or color, it’s fast and inexpensive the way we’re tooled up. Sometimes in a week, we can have samples out the door.”

With employees in more than 40 countries, Donaldson representatives can work closely with customers to understand and meet their requirements. This control helps manage costs and speed delivery.

“Our process makes it fundamentally easier to hit lower costs,” says Sanders. “How we make vents entails fewer steps, so we have lower production costs, which we pass on to the customer.”   

Donaldson brings years of enclosure protection venting experience with tractor headlights, flashlights, and consumer landscape lighting to the urban lighting market. It is now serving large-scale, tier one manufacturers in Europe and Asia. The Asia-Pacific region manufacturers three-fourths of all global electronics, including lighting systems for export.

Three factors drive global demand for outdoor lighting: Rising incomes, urbanization, and energy costs. Growing cities are investing in new infrastructure—airports, streets, parking lots, and highways—and looking to save costs by replacing older systems with energy-saving, eco-friendly LEDs (light-emitting diode technology).

As the world becomes more populous and concentrates in cities, well-lit environments will be ever-more important for safer pedestrian and vehicle traffic. Donaldson will continue to help manufacture affordable lighting systems—and keep them on. 

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