Maintaining Ex Lighting: Modular vs Sealed for Life – Part 4


18 June 2019

Part 1 – Modular vs. Sealed for Life – What’s the Difference?

Part 2 – Modular vs. Sealed for Life – Downtime

Part 3 – Modular vs. Sealed for Life – Environmental

In this four-part series we’ve compared ‘modular’ and ‘sealed for life’ LED Ex luminaires, and considered how the design and certification of these different manufacturing methods impact how easily maintenance can be carried out.

In this final installment we consider cost. Using the same offshore scenario for context, how will the long-term maintenance of a sealed for life fitting stack up against a modular luminaire?

Application: Offshore, Oil Rig

Scenario: A luminaire installed on the rig has failed and is no longer providing light output. The suspected cause is a failure of the luminaire’s PSU/driver.

Sealed for Life Luminaire

The nature of an offshore application makes it challenging and expensive to transport goods on and off the rig. The responsibility of returning the faulty unit to the manufacturer will almost always lie with the user, and even if the fault is found to be covered by the luminaires warranty, the customer may also be expected to cover the cost of the luminaire being shipped back to site.

Furthermore, because the entire luminaire is likely to be replaced rather than repaired, if the cause of the PSU failure is found to be as a result of user error, i.e. over-voltage, the customer may have to pay the cost of an entire new unit. This could be despite the fact a single, relatively inexpensive, component has caused the failure.

Modular Luminaire

The ability to repair the luminaire on-site removes any costs associated with returning it back to the manufacturer. In some cases, it may still be necessary to return the PSU to the manufacturer for inspection, but the cost of doing this will be significantly less than having to return the entire luminaire.

Furthermore, even if the repair is not covered under warranty, the cost to fix it will be significantly cheaper than having to replace the entire luminaire (as would be required if the unit was factory sealed).

This tells us that the lifetime cost of maintaining a modular luminaire will be significantly less than a sealed for life fitting. By minimising downtime, reducing the environmental impact, and ultimately reducing costs, selecting a modular luminaire which is maintenance friendly should therefore be a key consideration for any hazardous area lighting installation.

Raytec were the pioneers of maintenance friendly Ex lighting when first launching the SPARTAN range in 2014. Since then, every new SPARTAN product has featured the same unique modular design, with a focus on making maintenance as quick and easy as possible.

To learn more about modular Ex lighting and how it could help you to make big maintenance savings, call us on +44 (0) 1670 520 055, or email Raytec Global at or Raytec Americas at

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