Most industrial plants today utilize a number of signaling alarm devices, both audible and visual. These alarms are used to alert people to emergency conditions, such as a fire, noxious gas release, security breaches, chemical spills, etc.. They are also used to warn workers of moving objects, such as overhead cranes or forklift trucks, or to alert of automated machine or industrial robot start-up. Signaling devices are also used to notify of non-emergency conditions, such as sounding an alarm when goods get caught on a conveyor, or an automated process malfunctions. In all cases, and in order to ensure a quick response, the alarm signal should be simple and clearly understood.
When choosing a visual signal, there are many points to consider, and some crossover considerations for audible signals:
- What is its function? For example, will the alarm light be used to provide a general emergency warning, safety, security, or will it be used for non-emergency notification?
- How large is the area which needs to be covered?
- How far away would someone need to see or hear the alarm?
- Is the application outdoor or indoor?
- If an outdoor application, is it necessary to see a visual signal during daylight hours? As this will require a higher intensity light.
- Are there obstructions like machinery and walls to block the travel of light/sound?
- How high must the alarm be mounted from the floor/ground--higher is NOT better, as you are moving further from the eyes or ears that need to see or hear the alarm. Off of horizontal axis for the eyes that would need to see a visual signal may impede visibility.
- Will an audible signal be used to bring attention to a visual signal that may convey additional information? i.e. A red light for high level emergency, or an amber light for a pre-alarm condition, etc.
- What voltage is available for the alarm?
- How do you intend to control, or turn the alarm on?
- Are there special mounting considerations for installation?
- Lamp maintenance consideration and access to the light should be considered.
Generally, when comparing different warning lights, the first question usually asked is how bright are these lights and how do they compare to each other? This can be a complicated question when one is comparing very different light sources such as rotating incandescent lights, flashing or steady burning LED light source signals, and xenon flashing strobe lights. Cost drivers are usually light intensity, light source (LED, Xenon Strobe, Incandescent lamp) enclosure ratings, quality of materials, agency listings (UL, weatherproof, explosion proof, etc.), durability and the like. With over 40 years of experience, we are here to help you find the best device for the intended use--Please contact us for assistance.