Lighting 101 With Dana

Whether its explosion proofing, lack of electricity or a desire for energy efficiency, here at Shelter Works we offer several interior and exterior lighting options to meet your needs.  We spoke with our resident sales guru and lighting specialist, Dana Woodall, to get the basics of what you can expect when lighting a Shelter Works building.


If you are in a situation where you do not have access to electricity, such as remote gas equipment, skylights are one option for you.  They are an inexpensive way to illuminate the inside of a shelter during daylight hours.  They provide enough light to move around equipment without bumping into it and are a cost effective lighting option when high visibility is not an issue.  Because our skylights are integrated during the manufacturing process they are seamless and will not leak (check out this video here).


Windows, whether installed in a door or wall, are another way to illuminate when electricity is not an option.  They allow more light to enter the interior of the shelter making for greater equipment visibility.  You can also view your equipment from outside the building allowing for ease of inspection when entering the shelter may not be necessary (you can see many of our window options here).


For interior lighting we offer both fluorescent and incandescent fixtures and lamps.  Due to its high efficiency, fluorescent lighting with T8 ballasts is what we offer as a standard.  Ours have gasketed lens covers that clamp on tight, providing a vapor-proof and corrosion resistant fixture that is able to stand up to some of the harshest environments.  Fluorescent lights are generally not used in radio frequency sensitive applications because they can cause interference.

Wall Window with Door Windows

Explosion-Proof Incandescent

Explosion Proof

Some environments, like those found in waste water applications, involve hazardous or flammable gasses and require explosion proof lighting fixtures.  Don’t let the name fool you, explosion-proof systems are not designed to withstand explosions- they are designed not to cause explosions by containing any arcing within the devices.  For explosion proof applications rigid conduit is always used.  All of the connections are threaded and tightly sealed to prevent potential explosions of the surrounding atmosphere.  High Pressure Sodium (HPS) and Incandescent are our most popular lights for hazardous environments.  There are explosion proof fluorescent lights available, but they are costly and rarely used (you can find out more about our explosion-proof and other lighting options here).

Battery Back Up

We also offer two types of battery powered back-up lighting; emergency and stand-by.  In a sudden power outage emergency lights instantly provide 54 watts of incandescent illumination for 90 minutes.  Wired differently, stand by lights can be controlled by a switch which reserves the battery power until it is needed. That way your 90 minutes begin once the light switch is turned on.  This is especially handy when repairs can’t begin immediately.


Exterior lighting is used when nighttime visibility or security is needed.  Some of our customers prefer the constant illumination provided by photocell lighting, others choose the more energy efficient motion sensor lighting that only turns on when activity around the structure is detected.  Still others prefer an exterior switch.  Our most popular exterior illuminating bulbs are HPS because of their price.  Energy efficient LED is also available, and although it has a higher initial cost it may be a better long term financial choice, depending on its application

Whether you are looking for interior, exterior, explosion proof, or you are happy with the power of Mother Nature, choosing what lighting works best for your project can be confusing.  Shelter Works is here to help simplify that process while ensuring you get the right lighting to suit your needs.

Exterior Light