From halogen to LED: IONNIC pioneers safety lighting systems

AEI’s corporate office.

AEI managing director Norman Haupt discusses how the lighting sector has evolved to positively impact safety in mining and other major industries in Australia.

Modern mining operations need cutting-edge equipment. Quality lighting is paramount and Australian-based Auto Electrical Imports (AEI) has pioneered safety lighting across the country.

AEI managing director Norman Haupt says the company has been developing safety lighting systems for more than 20 years.

“When it comes to lighting there has always been a constant demand for lights with improved output and less current draw,” Haupt tells Australian Mining.

“At AEI we have continued to evolve our product line and design systems to suit our mining customers’ requirements.

“We are not only offering lights with high output but are focussed on providing lamps with even, usable light patterns and a light colour temperature that is proven to reduce operator fatigue.”

The company designs, manufactures and distributes world-leading electrical, lighting and safety solutions for the automotive, mining, original equipment manufacturer (OEM), transport and construction industries globally.

“Because we know the mining industry, as technology has improved, we are often first to market with new solutions, from halogen lights to high-intensity discharge (HID) and now light emitting diodes (LED),” Haupt says.

Halogen to HID: saving hours of downtime

When AEI first entered the industry, halogen lighting was the only option and typically only had a lifespan of 200–300 hours.

This increased dramatically with HID lighting, offering a lifespan of around 3000 hours, and although the cost was high, there was significantly less downtime.

AEI Management team (from left): Luke Kindt, general manager operations; Norman Haupt, managing director; Karl Maurer, general manager; and Colin Upcroft, chief financial officer.


Haupt says when halogen lighting was common in the 1990s, few companies were investing in lighting solutions.

“Like every new technology, safety lighting has taken time to be affordable for the mass market,” Haupt says.

AEI pioneered the HID market in Australia, partnering with leading global lighting manufacturer, NORDIC, to develop a range of products suitable for local mining applications.

HIDs were initially a tough sell, convincing customers to spend significantly more on HID compared with the less expensive halogen was difficult.

But, less downtime, better output and colour temperature saw the products take off, particularly after AEI began supplying one of the world’s leading manufacturers of construction and mining equipment.

LED: a game-changer

The advent of large-scale LED technology became a game-changer with lighting lasting up to 50,000 hours.

LED offered the market a step up again in performance, lifespan and light output. LED light patterns can be controlled more precisely than halogen and HID, enabling a much wider range of patterns on offer.

From an occupational health and safety (OHS) perspective, the less unscheduled maintenance work that needs to be carried out in a high-risk environment, the better.

AEI has in-house programmers and engineers and the ability to create, test and prove safety lighting systems before manufacturing.

Haupt says this has allowed the company to work with NORDIC Lights to develop products specifically for the Australian market.

AEI has brought premium, high-tech LED lighting for heavy-duty vehicles into mining, with unrivalled lifespans of up to 100,000 hours.

Continuously driving technology and materials forward, the new Scorpius PRO 445 incorporates design, material and technology not seen before in this product category.

Compared with existing lighting with comparable light output, the Scorpius Pro is smaller, lighter in weight and available in multiple light patterns, all with an incredible 4400lm operational output.

The Scorpius PRO 445 withstands shocks of 60G and vibration 15.3G RMS 24–2000 Hz.

IONNIC Scorpius PRO 445.

With an input current of 2.1A at 24V, 9–32V and maximum power consumption of 50 watts, the Scorpius is highly efficient and produces a theoretical lumen output of 7000lm with an operating lumen output of 4400lm. The Scorpius Pro has a five-year warranty and IP68 and IP6K9K ratings.

AEI recommends checking the lumen output claims for lighting manufacturers in detail. Often there is a mathematically calculated lumen figure based upon trigger pulse measurements provided by LED component makers that has no relationship to a completed product’s actual light output.

So, the real light output depends upon many factors, including how effective the lamp body is at dissipating heat, plus the quality and the efficiency of the electronics and lens.

That’s why the company provides an operating lumen wherever possible.

Building fit-for-purpose safety lighting systems

AEI employs some of the best technical minds in the business, who specialise in designing and manufacturing innovative systems, customised to meet the needs of customers.

From IONNIC beacons, light bars and minebars to surface mount LED lighting modules, AEI has an extensive range of advanced and robust emergency lighting solutions that put safety first, keeping vehicles compliant and people and equipment safe.

AEI’s product range allows for fit-for-purpose design and has high vibration and impact ratings of up to 60G, especially suitable for heavy duty applications, and rough terrain.

With a range of high output lighting, numerous designs, series and sizes and multiple light patterns, AEI has the product to suit your specific needs.

AEI’s IONNIC emergency lighting minebars are tough, Australian designed and manufactured using only quality components. IONNIC Minebars feature extruded aluminium to provide greater strength and adaptability.

“We design and manufacture all minebars in-house and control every aspect of design and manufacture. If the configuration is not available within our standard range we can design and build to your specification, with a turnaround time often less than five working days,” Haupt says.

IONNIC’s range of beacons uses advanced LED technology to deliver high output with a lifespan of up to 100,000 hours. With a low power consumption and resistance to high levels of shock and vibration, they are ideal for emergency lighting. 

Offered in both low profile and traditional heights, the IONNIC 103 and 106 series LED beacon ranges are proven performers in the mining, construction and heavy-duty industries.

The IONNIC 103 series is a low-profile, high output beacon range perfect for mining and heavy-duty applications.

Sharing many of the same features, the 106 series is offered in a more traditional height beacon.

The soon-to-be-released GEN2 103 and 106 series beacons draw on the proven performance of their predecessors and take it a step further.

Featuring a new, more efficient base design, as well as totally new and improved optics for even brighter light output.

Both ranges are designed and built to exacting standards and feature SAE class one light output, 12-24V operation, environmentally sealed to IP67 and are backed by a five-year warranty.

This article also appears in the June edition of Australian Mining.

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