L.J. Star Sheds Light on a Common Issue for Breweries

Beer is one of the oldest and the most largely consumed alcoholic beverages in the world.  This all-time favorite brew has been a staple at sporting events, social gatherings, and family barbecues for generations.  During the past few years, craft beers have created quite a buzz among younger consumers seeking a more unique palette than their parents’ traditional beer.  Craft breweries have experienced unprecedented growth by bringing an almost endless variety of beer styles to the market.  In fact, the overall global beer market is expected to reach $685 billion by 2025.

Key Lighting Questions for Craft Brewing Success

A “Light” Recipe for Craft Brewing Success

 

Halogen lamps were once the standard choice for craft brewers’ vessel sight glass lighting. However, a new generation of LED luminaires is growing in popularity for this application. Consider these questions to decide whether it’s time for your brewery to invest in making the switch to LEDs.

  1. How hard is it to verify your vessels are thoroughly cleaned?

An improperly cleaned vessel can quickly lead to costly cross-batch contamination problems and unsellable products. LED luminaires can provide twice the light output of halogens or more, so it’s easier to confirm the effectiveness of your cleaning process.

  1. What are the hidden costs associated with your halogen lights?

The output of a typical halogen bulb is 15 percent light and 85 percent heat, with the heat coming from the infrared light the bulb produces, which can’t be seen by the naked eye. Unlike halogens, LED luminaires produce 55.6 lumens per watt of electricity consumed while producing little or no heat. In contrast with halogen lights, which have fragile filaments, LED lights are vibration and impact resistant, offering dramatically longer lifetimes for lower maintenance costs and fewer process interruptions.

  1. What color do you think your beer is?

The yellowish light that halogens produce can be problematic if you need to check the beer’s color to make process adjustments at various points. Their 2800K color temperature also approximates dusk and can cause eye fatigue. LED luminaires typically produce a white light with a cool color temperature that is optimal for illuminating stainless steel vessels.

On the left we can see the perceived color produced by halogen lights and on the right we can see the more true to life color with LED luminaires sight glass lights.

Compare the perceived color produced by halogen lights (left) with the more true to life color when LED luminaires (right) are used.

 

  1. Are your halogen lights a pain to keep clean?

Halogen bulbs are installed in a wide range of fixtures, which may or may not be optimized for food and beverage production, complicating the cleaning process. In contrast, some of the latest LED luminaire designs have a wash-down-safe, crevice-free design that is dust and waterjet tight and are constructed of food-grade stainless steel.

  1. Does controlling your sight glass lighting require climbing a ladder?

Switching halogen lights on or off often requires climbing to the top of the vessel to access a manual switch on the light itself, raising the risk of injuries. A growing range of LED luminaires support remote control over a broader array of operating modes, such as momentary, short timed and long timed. A variety of factory-programmable options are also available, including timer duration, initial brightness, and LED on at power up.

  1. Do you customers prefer “greener” brewers?

LED luminaires provide optimal illumination while consuming just one-tenth of the energy of a conventional halogen light. Lowering your brewery’s carbon footprint by switching to LED luminaires helps reinforce the message that you’re serious about your operation’s impact on the environment.

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For more details on LED-based sight glass lighting options for craft brewing, download L.J. Star’s free informative white paper (pdf): Crafted for Success: Six Vital Questions for Brewery Sight Glass Lighting.

A UV Sight Glass Light Optimizes your Process Vessel Inspection

For pharmaceutical manufacturers, maintaining the cleanliness of their facilities, especially their stainless-steel process vessels, is Job #1. A UV light for your sight glass can help, as UV light can be used to inspect and verify SIP and CIP procedures have done an adequate job.

Vessels must be cleaned and sterilized thoroughly between each product batch. This is important to prevent contamination from previous batches or residual cleaning agents from adulterating the product. Depending on the type of drug being produced, an inadequately cleaned vessel could potentially force the facility to quality reject millions of dollars’ worth of compromised product.

LED lighting for food & beverage sight glass applications

Food and Beverage ApplicationExperts in the $738 billion food and beverage manufacturing industry know that, for consumers, taste begins with the eyes. This is especially true with beverages, for whom hue, clarity, cloudiness, transparency, opacity and foam are very tightly controlled. Such the domain of the processing engineer, who depends on the sight glass and associated lighting to observe the process media.

How to Size a Sight Glass Light for a Process Vessel

How to Size a Sight Glass Light for a Process Vessel?

Sight Glass Light diagram for process vessel

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ah, the world of lighting used to be so simple. When you needed to illuminate the interior of a process vessel or tank, you selected a halogen light by its watts. Typically you used a 50 watt light because that’s what the manufacturers commonly offered. If that wasn’t bright enough, then you used a 100 watt light. It got hot, but you didn’t have much choice. The decision for your sight glass light was simple.