on Aug 19, 2016 at 6:55:15 pm Last Edited By Bob Cole on Aug 19, 2016 at 7:00:06 pm
With LEDs we are exposing circuit boards to a lot of stresses, not least of them humidity and heat. Several fixtures that I have seen have vents, some on top, to handle heat dissipation.
Any real-world experiences out there with running LED lights in high humidity or misty conditions? I have been looking at fixtures which have fans leading to cooling vents on top, and wonder about their robustness. Of course you can umbrella for direct rainfall, but is high humidity a concern?
I haven't had humidity be a problem in any LED's I use. Granted, I'm not based in Florida or someplace that has extreme levels of humidity, but besides a large gathering of precipitation, I've never heard of standard humidity being a real problem with LEDs specifically, at least not any more so than many other production tools like electronic ballasts for HMIs or something akin to that.
I could see how theoretically fans might let a bit more airborne precipitation into the light, but again, never heard of that specifically being a problem in LEDs. Most suppliers either publish or would answer an inquiry as to the IP rating of their product, that should give you at least a good start on easing your mind with regards to how much weather protection it needs.
I don't know which fixtures you're looking at, but I'd personally only consider a handful of instruments that had a fan built in, for both audio and performance reasons. The new Litepanel Astras for instance, have a fan but in my experience the noise is pretty much imperceptible in real-world conditions. They do however, start to cut down on power and thus brightness to the light if you turn the fan off. On some other fixtures, the fan makes a sound you can definitely hear. Fans can also go wrong fairly easily and emit some type of clicking sound or something else that just might make things a bit more difficult. I much prefer units with robust metal heat-sinks. Yes, they run a bit warmer and are heavier, but if you can deal with that easily, there's much less compromise and fewer moving parts to go bad.
We are using LEDs that were designed to wash the outside walls of buildings in our studio to light the CYC wall. Diffusion needed to be added inside the fixtures. Certainly not humid here. But outside they would be exposed to the elements and they got positive reviews for their original purpose.
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