Pulp & Paper Lighting

Pulp & Paper Lighting Solutions

Pulp and Paper plants have many different areas, each requiring different types of industrial lighting. Each area has its own illumination level and environmental requirements.

The most dangerous areas in a Pulp & Paper plant are those where combustible materials such as paper or wood (sawdust) pose explosion or fire risk. Combustible dust has a small particle size, which makes them ignitable and can lead to flash fires (deflagration) and explosion. Combustible dust fires are one of the greatest hazards in a pulp and paper plant, because of the wood dust feedstock. Such fires require three elements: an ignition source, a fuel (wood dust), and oxygen. In a Pulp & Paper plant, there are a number of such potential fuels including wood, paper, coal, petroleum coke (Petcoke), Tire-Derived Fuel (TDF), boiler/fly ashes, resins, and starch. The ignition source can also be numerous but includes electrical devices and lighting. If a dust cloud is also present, the initial combustion can set that cloud alight in a process called deflagration, or flash fire. A minimum concentration must be present in the dust cloud before it catches alight. A good rule of thumb is that if you cannot see through it, it is likely concentrated enough that if ignited, can catch fire. Finally adding a confined space to all the above conditions can result in an explosion. Closed rooms, ducts, pipes or process equipment, dust collectors, silos, blending/mixing tanks, fan housings can all take the shape of a confined space.

Often it is not the initial spark, but the presence of combustible dust cloud that leads to the more dangerous second explosion. All it takes is a small primary explosion ignited by some source to reach a thin layer of dust coating a surface to cause a much more dangerous explosion. Frequent cleaning is required to prevent deflagration. From NFPA 654:

LD (in) = ((1/32 in)(75 lb/ft3 )) / BD (lb/ft3 )


LD = Layer Depth

BD = Bulk Density

A rule of thumb is that if you see your footprint, can write your name in the dust, or cannot see the paint color of the equipment it is covering, it could lead to an explosion if ignited. Companies must conduct a Dust Hazard Analysis (DHA) to comply with safety regulations.

 Table 1: Illumination characteristics of Different Areas of Pulp & Paper Plant (Maillet, 1992).


Area Lux Foot Candle Description
Groundwood Area 700 70 Once the bark is removed from the logs, the logs are sent to the grinders to separate the wood fibers mechanically. The personnel working in the grinder area should have an illuminance value of 700 lux 70 fc on the work platforms to enable safe movement for observation of

hoppers and efficient shifting and/or handling of logs. The lighting luminaires used in the high or low bay areas should be industrial-type direct units or enclosed and gasketed lighting luminaire for low ceiling areas.

Brown Stock Washers 500 50 General lighting illuminance values of 500 lux 50 fc should be provided in this high bay area, using industrial type direct-unit lighting luminaires. The process is generally carried on under hoods. Supplementary lighting, with incandescent reflector lamps, is usually added to the hood

enclosure on the outside, projecting inward on the stock.

Softwood and Hardwood Kraft Bleaching 300 30 Bleaching areas are corrosive, and lighting luminaires should be enclosed and gasketed with a corrosion-resistant finish. The bleaching area basement area should be designed for an illuminance value of 300 lux 30 fc,
Softwood and Hardwood Kraft Bleaching


500 50 Bleaching areas are corrosive, and lighting luminaires should be enclosed and gasketed with a corrosion-resistant finish. Bleaching area operating floor should have 500 lux 50 fc.
Digester Area 200 30 The most critical area in a digester is on the operating floor, where an illuminance value of 200 lux 30 fc is recommended with 200 lux 20 fc on the ground or chip conveyor floor and 100 lux 10 fc on the inactive floors. Enclosed and gasketed lighting luminaires should be used

with a corrosion-resistant finish. The upper-level lighting luminaires should be rated for elevated ambient temperatures.

Lime Kiln 300 30 A lime kiln is joined on one end with a mud filter area and on the opposite end with a firing area. In all areas, enclosed and gasketed lighting luminaires should be used with a corrosion-resistant finish; an illuminance value of 300 lux 30 fc is recommended. If the kiln area is covered, the luminaire should be rated for elevated ambient temperatures.
Paper Machine- Wet End 700 70 The wet end of the paper machine is high in humidity and temperature. Avoid placing the lighting luminaires over the fourdrinier wires and presses. Most mills have a drop cover ceiling over the fourdrinier to help eliminate  condensation that might form and drop into the wire area. For lighting the high bay paper machine operating floor, an illuminance value of 700 lux 70 fc is recommended, using industrial-type direct-unit lighting luminaires

rated for elevated ambient temperatures. Supplementary lighting under the wire must be tailored to the job, depending on the equipment and mounting points available. Low-voltage watertight lighting luminaires are best suited for this task.

Paper Machine-Dry End 500-1000 50-100 The dry section is the start of the dry end. Hoods are utilized to contain the heat, and only aisle lighting is necessary from the ceiling area. The use of industrial-type direct-unit lighting luminaires rated at elevated ambient

temperatures with an illuminance value of 500 lux 50 fc is recommended.

Supplementary lighting is needed inside the dryer hood. The luminaires and wiring must be carefully chosen to suit the high-temperature environment. The calender, reel, and winter area of the dryer end is an active area and is very dangerous. The use of industrial-type direct-unit lighting luminaires with an illumi nance value of 1000 lux 100 fc is recommended. Avoid placing the luminaires over the sheet of paper. Rewinders and inspection stations should also be designed with an illuminance value of 1000 lux 100 fc. Areas for coaters, supercalenders, cutting, sorting, and trimming

should have an illuminance value of 700 lux 70 fc, using industrial-type, direct-unit lighting luminaries.

Paper Machine-Mezzanines 300 30 Auxiliary equipment (i.e., heating and ventilating equipment and pumps) is located on the mezzanines.  Enclosed and gasketed lighting luminaires is recommended.
Paper Machine-Basement 300 30 Basements are usually very wet areas. The aisle area is covered with pipes, tray, conduits, and heating and ventilating ducts. Locate the lighting luminaires as high as possible, usually 8-10 ft. above the floor. These luminaires must also clear fork lift truck traffic. Utilize enclosed

and gasketed luminaires in wet areas and open

luminaires in dry areas. An illuminance value of 300 lux 30 fc is recommended.

Power Plant-Power Boiler, Recovery Boiler, etc. 100-500 10-50 Power complexes need light primarily for maintenance. The tasks of inspection and operation are performed at limited points, and these areas can be defined with recommended

illuminance values, varying from 500 lux 50 fc in

the turbine area to 300 lux 30 fc for inspection. General area lighting can be accomplished at 100-200 lux 10-20 fc. For high bay areas, the industrial-type direct-unit luminaire is appropriate, and for low bay areas, the enclosed and gasketed luminaire would be recommended. Ballasts rated for higher ambient temperatures are also a must, especially on the top levels.

Storage Rooms or Warehouse 50 5 A properly illuminated warehouse will help reduce product damage caused by fork lift truck drivers. Care must be taken to locate the lighting luminaires away from the paper storage areas and into the aisle. An active warehouse should have illuminance values of 50 lux 5 fc and an inactive warehouse with 10 lux 1 fc. These are usually high bay areas using an industrial-type

widespread direct-unit luminaires.

Control Rooms 200-400 20-40 Recessed sharp cut-off fluorescent lighting fixtures in a control room is the most common. The luminaires placement must be coordinated with the control panels to provide vertical illumination on the panel faces. If VDT’s are used in the control room, care must be given to avoid reflected glare on the screen, that is, avoid

having the light source reflecting from the surface of control displays into the operator’s eyes. An indirect lighting system is a very good lighting system that controls discomfort reflections and veiling of display information

from VDT terminals. To enhance the clarity of a VDT display, an illuminance value of (200-400 lux) 20-40 fc is desired. The fluorescent lighting luminaires should be dimmer controlled or multilevel switching to allow the operator to adjust the light level.

Woodyard 200 20 Most woodyards are 24-hr operations. Closed-circuit television is used to monitor the barking drums, chip piles, and various systems. One hundred-foot-high tower or high mast lighting is the most popular and least expensive method by which to light a woodyard. Minimum interior illuminance values around the woodyard should be 50 lux 5 fc, and in areas where active equipment is utilized, 200 lux 20 fc are recommended. Careful placement of the lighting luminaires to avoid glare in the operator’s eyes is important. Supplementary lighting can be mounted on buildings, structures, pipe

bridges, conveyor supports, etc., for areas that require higher illuminance.

Retrofitting legacy HID systems with LED systems

Before the advent of LED luminaires, Pulp and Paper’s facilities traditionally used high-intensity discharge (HID) luminaires such as High-pressure sodium (HPS), metal halide, and mercury vapor lights (now banned in the US) as well as T12 Fluorescent lamps. A large facility may have hundreds of such fixtures. Today, LED luminaires are beginning to replace these because of their many advantages. They offer plant operators higher efficiencies (50%+) and longer life (10 years vs 2 years), are able to withstand vibration much more effectively than HID, operate over a much broader temperatures range and turn on instantly, in contrast to long warm-up times of HIDs.

Lighting is but one of many systems in a Pulp and Paper plant but it plays a critical role. Without it, not much maintenance can be done on any other system. A small maintenance staff can waste much of its time taking care of lighting system failures, leaving less time for other important plant maintenance tasks.

Benefits of LED luminaires for Pulp & Paper

Due to the improved performance of LEDs over traditional forms of lighting, the reduced maintenance allows crews to spend their time addressing other priority maintenance issues. Operators see many benefits. Light can be optimized by intelligent design and selection, maintenance cost is reduced, as is energy cost and overall light levels are increased. This dramatically lowers plant emissions and can recover their investment in as few as two years. When considering an upgrade from legacy HID light systems, LED luminaires have a much stronger package. HIDs degrade rapidly and also constitute a fire risk if the glass case ever breaks. Pulp & Pater plants have resorted to using polycarbonate shields to prevent the spark from a broken HID lamp from igniting paper or dust below. LED luminaires have a remarkably steady, high output which is critical for quality control. HIDs pose challenges as their rapid degradation causes nonuniformity of light, making quality control more challenging. In hot tropical regions, HID lamps often overheated the plant and had to be switched off to avoid the problem. If required, however, their long startup time had to be taken into consideration. Upgrading legacy systems to LEDs is a snap as well. Many manufacturers provide retrofit kits to adapt to existing power supplies and can take as little as an hour per luminaire.

Nemalux Solutions for Pulp & Paper Lighting

Nemalux offers a variety of lighting solutions to replace and retrofit luminaires commonly used in Pulp & Paper plants. Most models come in Class I, Div 2 (zone 2) option to allow mounting in hazardous locations if required. To make it easy to cross HID luminaires to the equivalent LED luminaire, Nemalux provides a product matching table found here. Clients trust Nemalux for industry leading lead times measured in weeks, and excellent client support.

Here are some of the Pulp & Paper lighting solutions provided by Nemalux:

  • The Nemalux MR is a versatile LED luminaire that can replace 75 – 150W HID fixtures mounted between 8 – 14 feet
  • Nemalux BL is a direct replacement for T12 vapor tight fluorescent lamps with convenient thru-wiring allowing daisy-chaining multiple units
  • NL is a part of the linear series that can also replace fluorescents
  • The AR has high lumens output and is used for high bay area lighting mounting between 25 and 100 feet above.
  • The LS Light Stringer is a temporary and portable work light that allows daisy-chaining of many modules.
  • The EXC is a Class I Div 1 (Zone 1) luminaire that is ideal for confined space lighting.

These luminaires confer all the advantages of LED lighting described above.

Support Structures and Complementary Lighting Layout

In addition to luminaires, Nemalux also provides complete, packaged and ready-to-install lighting solutions that include support structures and complementary lighting design. LED retrofits, coupled with optimal lighting layout can maximize lighting with the fewest number of properly selected luminaires, saving on energy use, maintenance and cost. Payback can be achieved in a few years.

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Competitive Advantages

Nemalux has an extensive and growing library of luminaire use cases to help clients find installed applications that match their own and help them with their light decision-making process.

Although Nemalux manufactures world-class industrial lighting products, we distinguish ourselves as a solutions-oriented company. We offer hazardous location and industrial lighting solutions for rail, transport, and tunnels, based on the products we manufacture. We differentiate ourselves from our competitors through four pillars: technology, service, lead time, and pricing.


Nemalux offers a broad range of industrial luminaires with unique design features that increase resiliency, lifetime, performance and ease of maintenance. Our luminaires have a wide range of configurable optical profiles and mounting options, making them some of the most versatile in the industry.  Our luminaires meet a broad range of industry certifications including hazardous location Class I, Div 2, Class I, Div 1, DLC, Dark Sky, IP66/67/69, Marine (UL1598A), and NSF. We can cross any major brand to our luminaires.   We also offer a variety of support structures as well as complete turnkey lighting solutions that are ready to install out of the box.

Value-added Services

For clients who do not have their own in-house lighting expertise, we offer complimentary lighting design and layout services. By tuning the optical profiles of our luminaires, we can reduce the luminaire count on your project, saving you up to 30% on costs compared to competitors. Optimum design is important as a poorly designed lighting system suffers the risk not only of underperformance, but overdesign can result in excessive, wasted light output, which over the lifetime of the product, can result in higher energy costs that can exceed the initial capital outlay.

Good design practices are not only ecologically responsible but also save clients considerable time and money. By designing the optimal system to meet the target illumination required, this results in the lowest capital and operational cost over the lifetime of the system.

Other value-added services include uniquely tagging each luminaire to match with the naming convention in the lighting layout diagrams. This ensures efficient placement of the luminaire and avoids confusion when large numbers of luminaires are involved.


Our products go toe-to-toe with the market leaders but are priced at a fraction of the price. If you are working with legacy lighting products and are interested in upgrading, we can cross any competitor’s model to our own. Nemalux solutions provide substantial savings on your purchase without compromising on quality, reliability, lifetime, and performance.

Lead Time

Our lead times are amongst the shortest in the industry. Usually, most off-the-shelf luminaires are shipped in one or two weeks maximum. When you only have a short period of factory downtime to do your maintenance and upgrade, you can rely on us.

Click above to see our full range of industrial LED lighting solutions and applications.

To discuss your requirements with one of our LED Lighting experts, call or email us today.

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Nemalux takes pride in designing and manufacturing industry leading industrial and hazardous location outdoor LED lighting solutions.

Nemalux Industrial | Staff
Sam Pogosian
CEO, Nemalux Inc.

The Nemalux MR is a versatile LED luminaire that can replace 75 – 150W HID fixtures mounted between 8 – 14 feet.

Nemalux BL is a direct replacement for T12 vapor tight fluorescent lamps with convenient thru-wiring allowing daisy-chaining multiple units.

NL is a part of the linear series that can also replace fluorescents.

The AR has high lumens output and is used for high bay area lighting mounting between 25 and 100 feet above.

The LS Light Stringer is a temporary and portable work light that allows daisy-chaining of many modules.

The EXC is a Class I Div 1 (Zone 1) luminaire that is ideal for confined space lighting.

Contact Nemalux directly for fast customer service

Nemalux Industrial