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LEDs Brighten Paint Operation and the Maintenance Load

Modern Materials Handling • Josh Bond

Improved lighting supports increased productivity and morale – especially for the maintenance team.

Now a fourth-generation family-owned business, Diamond Vogel is a Midwestern leader in paints and coatings for architectural, industrial, wood, farm and fleet, traffic and aerosol applications. The company operates seven manufacturing facilities and 63 service centers. At its Tulsa, Oklahoma, facility, the company installed a new LED lighting system that complied with hazardous environment standards and significantly reduced costs.

Because of the potential for airborne particles and fumes, the facility is a Class I Div 2 hazardous environment, which imposes strict requirements on the type of lighting fixtures that can be used safely inside. Heat is also a concern, as temperatures routinely reach 110°F.

Production supervisor Alton Wells runs the day-to-day operations and maintains the 27,500-square-foot facility. For the last 19 years, incandescent light fixtures emitted poor quality light and failed frequently – leading contributors to slip, trip and fall incidents.

"We dealt with a lot of shadows because of the poor quality of the incandescent lights, which made it difficult to make precise measurements and see markings on the containers," Wells says. "Plus, lights were constantly popping off in the summer months due to the heat, and with 12 to 15 bolts each, it took a long time just to change one light bulb."

Wells found that CFL bulbs lasted two months – twice as long as incandescent – but still failed to deliver ideal light quality under the mezzanine.

Replacing linear fixtures, the new high bay LEDs have improved color clarity, brightness, safety and even workers' moods inside the facility.

"When I saw the color of the light, I was really impressed," Wells says. "Between the quality of light, how long they'd last and the warranty, it was an easy decision."

With more than fifty 11,000-lumen, six 14,000-lumen and six 26,000-lumen LEDs in place, Wells says it's "like night and day" inside the facility.

"With fewer fixtures, we've got easily four times the light," Wells says. "Before, it was like working in a cave with a flashlight. The difference is amazing. It's better by leaps and bounds, and it's helping us to be more efficient because we can see so much better."

Several of the fixtures include a built-in DC battery backup system offering multiple points of safety lighting with one point of maintenance. To conduct a test, Wells flips the transfer switch and confirms lights are on. It now takes seconds instead of half a day once a month.


This article was written by Josh Bond from Modern Materials Handling and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

The information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only and is based on information available as of the initial date of publication. No representation is made that the information or references are complete or remain current. This article is not a substitute for review of current applicable government regulations, industry standards, or other standards specific to your business and/or activities and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers with specific questions should refer to the applicable standards or consult with an attorney.


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