Vapor Proof vs Vapor Tight Lights — What’s the Difference?

outdoor vapor proof fixtures in the US

Each year, US industries lose $1 billion to fires caused by explosions, 18 people lose their lives, and 279 are injured. What can you do to improve this statistic in 2021? Know the risks.

One of the most common fire risks is flammable gasses and liquids coming into contact with a heat source.

Don’t let your clients’ businesses be among this annual statistic. You can help prevent industry fires this year by stressing the importance of hazardous location lighting, explosion proof lighting, and vapor tight lights.

Explosion Proof Lighting

Explosion proof lighting is typically made of cast aluminum or stainless steel. They have the ability to withstand an explosion within the light. It does not mean the entire light can withstand an external explosion.

Explosion proof lights are designed to contain these explosions so they don’t cause damage to property or lives.

Hazardous Location Lighting

Hazardous locations have enough combustible material in the air to cause an explosion. Combustible materials include flammable gasses, fibers, and dust.

Hazardous location lighting is designed to prevent an explosion from taking place. These lights will not get hot enough for an explosion to happen. Their wiring and electronic makeup will not spark or light on fire.

Hazardous location lighting is usually low voltage and battery-powered. While there are a few exceptions, hazardous location lighting options are lower-powered than explosion proof lighting.

This type of lighting is also easier to maintain and install. There’s no need to clear a room while hazardous location lighting is serviced.

Vapor Proof and Vapor Tight Lights

Vapor proof LED lights have an outer shell made of polyurethane or fiberglass. This outer layer is lined with a full metal fixture.

Vapor tight lights serve as replacements for CFL or incandescent lights. Like vapor proof lights, they protect against wet harsh conditions. Because the only difference between the two is where they are used, the terms vapor proof and vapor tight essentially mean the same thing.

Both vapor proof and vapor tight lights are used in hazardous that require regular spraying or are continuously wet. Places like car washes, walk-in freezers, or subways are perfect places for vapor proof or vapor tight lights.

Are Vapor Proof Lights Explosion Proof?

The simple answer is, sometimes. Some vapor proof and vapor tight lights are designed to meet explosion proof safety standards.

Not every explosion proof light is vapor proof. Vice versa, not every vapor proof light is explosion proof. Vapor tight and vapor proof lights won’t prevent a spark or fire, either.

Individuals ordering and installing vapor tight lights should make sure they meet their location’s required safety standards.

Types of Vapor Tight Fixtures

Since many different types of businesses require vapor tight lighting, not every vapor tight fixture is the same. Keep reading to find out about the different styles and functions of vapor tight light fixtures.

Jelly Jar

This type of vapor tight lighting is used for smaller areas. Jelly jar lights resemble a mason jar in style and often have a cage-type covering. They can be hung as pendants or mounted on ceilings and/or walls.

Jelly Jar vapor tight lights are a great solution for tunnels, marine settings, commercial laundromats, coolers, freezers, and food processing plants. They are a great way for businesses to combine safety with style.


Vapor tight linear lights are available in 2 ft, 4 ft, and 8 ft lengths. These lights are typically mounted to walls, soffits, or ceilings.

LED linear vapor tight lights are a great replacement for fluorescent tube lights. Businesses like airports, car washes, parking garages, and stairwells are perfect locations for this type of LED lighting.

High Bay

These vapor tight fixtures are used for larger areas. High bay vapor tight lights are mounted to ceilings that are at least 18 feet high. High bay lighting is great for warehouses, airport hangers, or similar areas where hazardous liquids, dust, or solids are present in the air.

What Are IP Ratings?

IP, or Ingress Protection, ratings are used to communicate how much force a hazardous light can handle.

The first IP rating number indicates the fixture’s protection against solid materials like dirt or dust. The second number of an IP rating tells you how strong the light is against liquid force, like water or other fluids.

To find the appropriate IP rating, consider how much time your vapor proof lights will spend in the water.

An IP rating of IP65 will guard against jets of water. A rating of IP67 will protect up to 30 minutes of submersion in 3ft of water or less. An IP68 rating ensures safe lighting permanently submerged in 13ft or less water.

It’s best to consult an IP ratings guide to find out what kind of IP rating is best for specific environments.

How Can I Promote Safe Lighting?

How can you select the best types of explosion proof, vapor tight, snd hazardous location lighting? By thinking about the facility’s location and function.

The size of a business should also be taken into consideration when choosing hazardous location lighting. Larger facilities should look at high bay style lighting. Smaller environments need jelly jar style or linear vapor tight lights.

Vapor proof lighting is an excellent option for wet environments. Using IP ratings, you can determine which vapor tight light is the safest for a specific location.

Whether you’re searching for the best explosion proof or hazardous location lighting, LITELUME has what you need. The experts at LITELUME want to help you find the best lighting solutions for you and your clients.

Give us a call at 833-LED-LUME or contact us online.

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