LED Vapor Tight Lights designed for wet and dusty environments.

Our LED Vapor Tight Fixtures are designed to replace 100 Watt to 400 Watt Metal Halide vapor tight fixtures. Many of our vapor tight LED lighting fixture options are DLC Qualified for rebate eligibility.

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LED Vapor Tight Lights -

An In-Depth Guide


LED Vapor Tight Lights

What are vapor tight lights?

A wet environment poses very unique lighting challenges during lighting design and installation. Areas that are continually exposed to high humidity, dust, extreme cold, and water need more than your everyday light fixture; they require vapor tight lights.

Vapor tight lights are specially designed to provide lighting in harsh environments where ordinary light bulbs just won’t do. LED vapor tight lights are the best waterproof lighting there is. They provide protection, reliability, and save energy while delivering high-quality lighting for these harsh environments.

These lights are perfect for kitchen food prep areas, car washes, parking garages, industrial refrigeration spaces, or areas that are cleaned with hoses. The terms waterproof and tri-proof are used interchangeably to describe all lights with an IP67 or higher rating. Vapor proof LEDs are not bulbs though, they are full fixtures made for harsh environments.

These LED lights are robust and durable and require very little maintenance even though they are used in wet areas. They can be mounted vertically and used as ceiling lights as well. They are designed with a full metal fixture liner that is placed inside a reinforced PU or fiberglass casing with a high impact diffuser. This ensures that no vapor or moisture outside the bulb enters inside it.

Types of Vapor Tight Lights


There are two main designs of vapor tight lights whose installation is dependent on lighting requirements and the location.  Low bays and linear lights are perfect for large indoor spaces.


Low bay vapor tight light fixtures


Linear fixtures

Low Bay Vapor Tight Light Fixtures


Low bay vapor tight lights are perfect solutions for large indoor spaces like food processing facilities or cold rooms. They perfectly replace older lighting technologies and provide safe, powerful light. These sturdy lights usually feature IP66 or IP67 rating. They can either be suspended or mounted on ceilings.

LED low bays that are vapor proof will not be damaged by dirt, dust, or water jets and can easily be rinsed out with water when dirty. They are made with high-quality aluminum alloy that makes them corrosion resistant. They also have poly-carbonate lenses that can withstand scorching temperatures and corrosive chemicals.

Halogen and metal halide lamps do not fare well under these conditions. They will require constant replacements because they are not as durable as LEDs which have a long lifespan. Low bay vapor tight lights are perfect for spaces that have ceiling heights of at least 12-20 feet.

They disperse their light perfectly at those heights, offering high-quality illumination, safety, and an excellent working atmosphere to the users. LED lights are very energy efficient and can have dimmable features integrated to increase their energy efficiency.

LED Vapor Proof Linear Fixtures


Linear fixtures are perfect for long spaces such as large rooms or hallways. There are 2 ft, 4 ft, and 8 ft-long fixtures that are waterproof and ideal for use in wet, dusty, and damp commercial spaces. LED linear vapor proof lights for food manufacturing facilities are NSF splash zone rated for use in food service areas.

These lights can also have high impact, frosted or clear lenses to enhance their lumen output. LEDs mounted on linear strip fixtures are very ideal for overhead task lighting and can be used in canopies, hospitals, cold rooms, car wash tunnels, and the outdoors where water and dust pose a challenge to traditional lighting modes.

Reasons to Choose Vapor Tight Lights in Wet or Dusty Spaces

Car Wash Lighting and Its Challenges


The simple act of flipping on a switch in a car wash facility goes a long way in attracting your customers. Well-lit locations look safer and often land themselves the biggest customer share. Dark, poorly illuminated, and shadowy car washes, on the other hand, tend to keep customers away.

Drawing customers to your business after darkness sets in can bring in massive profits. A car wash has to be open when its customers need it the most. And for a large part of the population, the best time to have their cars washed is usually late in the evening or at night, once they are done with the day's tasks. For a car wash to operate safely and effectively, it requires reliable, high-quality lighting.

Good lighting is a brilliant and inexpensive form of adverting for car washes. A well-lit place tends to capture the attention of drivers since it projects a professional image. It looks safe and inviting to all those who drive by. Providing good lighting is one thing car wash owners can do to boost their market share.

Well-lit areas can also direct your customers’ interest to other service offerings like vending areas and vacuum stations. However, illuminating a car wash properly can be one long assignment. There are multiple lighting needs all challenged by the working conditions of a car wash.

Car washes are filled with water. There is steam, mist, high-temperature water, high pressure soap, and even agents such as hot wax. Extreme weather conditions can compound these challenges, affecting the lifespan of the light fixtures used in these facilities.

These extreme conditions can take a toll on the lights, resulting in frequent maintenance and expenses that cut into your profits and the operating time of your business as well. While high-quality lighting outside of a car wash can increase business by generating interest, the real magic happens inside the tunnel where the quality promised externally is delivered.

Traditionally, car washes have relied on IP67 rated fluorescents and metal halides for indoor and outdoor applications. Metal halides are mostly energy inefficient, losing their light output in very short periods.

For example, a 250-watt metal halide lamp, producing 23,000 initial lumens will be producing 14,333 lumens in less than a year. In the end, the business owner will pay fully for the energy the bulb draws but receive a paltry 40% light output in return. These lights are very wasteful in their use of power. 

Metal halides also tend to build up the heat they generate within the light fixture and lens, eventually 'baking' residue from the wet, dusty, moist, soapy, and waxy components in the car wash, causing a depreciation of light. Needless to say, the constant maintenance required to keep the lens clear will cost you in terms of the downtime and human capital.

Florescent lighting is also challenging to maintain in a car wash, it easily falters when temperatures get too cold. The lights will definitely need constant replacements, and since they contain mercury, they will pose an environmental challenge during disposal. The toxic substances in them can present a health risk to your employees, too, if the lights happen to break or crack.

A fluorescent bulb’s cathodes degrade further each time it is turned on. To make them last longer, it is imperative that they are not activated then turned off frequently. The downside here is that you will end up using more electricity by keeping the lights on longer, or you will have to do constant bulb replacements. Add this to the fact that most fluorescent vapor tight light fixtures have 1-4 lamps and the money you spend quickly adds up.

    Benefits of LED Vapor Tight Lights for Car Washes


    • In a car wash, there are powerful water jets that spray away soap, water, and dust directly onto the light fixtures. LED wet location fixtures can withstand this assault and are very suitable for wet, damp, and dusty locations. Traditional glass and plastic fixtures will degrade when exposed to high PH presoaks. The lenses will fade fast or crack while the glass will etch and become cloudy, compounding the problem of poor lighting further.
    • They have a long lifespan and last for over 50,000 hours, which roughly translates to 8 -10 years of usage. LED vapor tight fixtures outlast traditional lighting technologies as their life expectancy is up to 10 times longer (for LEDs with a rated life of 100,000 hours).
    • LEDs can help you to decrease your car wash's energy costs by up to 75%. They use less power than all other lighting technologies because they run cool and generate very little heat. This means that they do not waste energy; they use only a tiny fraction of what traditional bulbs use to produce light.
    • Once vapor tight LEDs are installed in a car wash, the colors will pop. We are talking white walls appearing brighter and vehicles looking cleaner and glossier after a wash. LEDs have a high CRI (color rendering index) range of 80-98, which is close to the sun's CRI of 100. This gives their light a daylight appearance. Gone will be the dingy, dark tunnel of old and you will have a more inviting, crispy-white, bright tunnel. This benefit alone is worth the investment that goes into LED waterproof lights. The lights will also improve the facility's overall levels of light while utilizing half the power traditional lighting fixtures use.
    • LED lighting fixtures also integrate easily with electric lighting controls, helping save more energy and providing increased lighting convenience.

    Industrial Refrigeration and Its challenges

    LED Lighting for Cold Storage Warehouses

    Commercial refrigeration uses up 7% of all the electricity consumed by retail buildings in the United States. Refrigeration costs can end up comprising more than half of a building's energy costs.

    Older refrigeration facilities have for a long time relied on metal halides and high-pressure sodium bulbs for lighting. But these sources of light consume a lot of energy while giving off a lot of heat into the refrigerated space.

    Individual cold rooms have to be kept at optimum temperatures to ensure that obligations to all parties on the supply chain are adhered to. With energy costs increasing by the day, it has become imperative to find energy efficient solutions.

    Many facility managers and business owners usually pay for projects like better insulation of doors and buildings, load decrease or system optimization, but often forget the contribution that light sources add to the energy inefficiency equation.

    LED lighting offers excellent opportunities to enhance energy efficiency, drastically reducing the high costs that heat generated by lighting brings about. Because energy released into a refrigerated space has to be removed by the refrigeration system, the wattage of light sources used in cold rooms has to be taken seriously.

    The majority of heat given off by HPS or MH lamps is usually absorbed into the environment or re-radiated, and since these lights are practically on all the time, the impact can be shocking once the math is done.

    A 400W HPS light bulb will require 465W to light up – thanks to its ballast. Each fixture may have a cluster of bulbs, and if a facility has a round figure of 100 bulbs, the total lighting power required will be 46.5kW.

    These bulbs will put out 158,658 BTU/hr, and most of this heat load will require removal through the refrigeration system. This means that the facility will need to remove 1.25 BTUs of energy per year, purely as a result of lighting. This energy is enough to melt at least 4,3000 tons of ice!

    HID lamps and fluorescents are ill-suited for dimming controls or occupancy sensors, features that could slow down energy consumption. HIDs also have long warm-up and restrike periods and putting fluorescents on and off on demand shortens their life cycles. This usually calls for frequent relamping schedules and creates other safety hazards as well.

    Benefits of LED Waterproof Lights for Industrial Refrigeration Facilities

    • LED vapor tight lights have made great headways in commercial cold storage facilities. Some facility owners have opted for retrofits while others have opted for full fixture replacements. Light emitting diodes provide significant energy efficiency in terms of focused lighting, energy reduction, and thermal load reduction. 
    • They are highly energy efficient, require low wattages to give off high-quality lighting, and are very controllable. They also have instant strike times and operate optimally in chilled environments. Their long lifespans of up to 100,000 hours make them very cost effective for large commercial spaces.
    • LED vapor tight lights also cope well with the high moisture and condensation levels commonly found in industrial refrigeration facilities since they have gasketed seals that prevent water penetration.

    Industrial Food Processing Facilities and Their Lighting Challenges

    In the food processing industry, there is protocol for most tasks, which if ignored, could cause catastrophic results. Food facilities have to be both productive and safe and keep food contaminant-free. The regulations regarding light fixtures in the food processing industry are some of the most stringent there are.

    The luminaires used to light up these spaces have to withstand harsh cleaning procedures; they have to be corrosion resistant. And apart from high-pressure washdowns with corrosive cleaning products, there is normally steam, oil, grease, and freezing temperatures – depending on the type of food processing being done. 

    The lights used in these applications should have no toxic materials. To ensure that food is kept free of bacterial growth, spoilage, and to prevent contamination, the lighting fixtures and their quality of light play a central role. NSF International sets stringent manufacturing standards for light fixtures and lighting manufacturers can’t get the certification without following the rules and regulations put in place.

    Different areas in a food processing facility have their own set of lighting specifications. Lighting fixtures for food processing areas must be tolerant to mist, grime, dust, water, steam, effluents and other contaminants and also withstand constant washdowns with high pressure water jets.

    NSF Certified Splash Zone lights should have the right design, materials, and adhere to the manufacturing standards relevant to the zone. They must also meet the required IESNA (Illuminating Engineering Society North America) illumination levels for individual food processing tasks. 

    The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service Manual also gives regulations for various lighting levels in different food processing plants, and specifies the required CRI for some areas.

    Benefits of LED Waterproof Lights for Industrial Food Processing Facilities

    • One of the biggest benefits that LED vapor tight lights have over traditional HID and fluorescent lights for food processing plants is they have no breakable materials such as glass that could contaminate food should it break.
    • Their light efficiency and output remain high even in the low operating temperatures of cold rooms. They last for more than 50,000 hours and have no toxic components in them.
    • With LEDs, you can integrate a wide range of intelligent lighting controls to ensure higher energy efficiency. They provide instant illumination, unlike the older, slower bulbs. Employees in food processing facilities don’t have to wait for the lights to warm-up or restrike in order to carry out their tasks.
    • The versatility of LED vapor tight lights ensures they meet all your lighting requirements as they enhance safety and lower energy and maintenance costs.

    3 Essential Considerations for LED Vapor Tight Lights

    The Light Output

    The first mission of vapor tight lights is to illuminate the space that needs light adequately. In the past, the illumination quality of a light bulb was measured by how many watts it consumed. The higher the wattage was, the brighter it would be.

    Things have changed and today lumens are all that matter as far as light output is concerned. A lumen measures the light output of a light source regardless of its energy consumption. A high number of lumens usually indicate that the bulb is bright.

    The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) recommends that illumination levels for food inspection areas range between 30 and 1,000 foot candles, depending on the task being carried out. Color grading areas, on the other hand, should have illumination levels of 150 foot candles.

    Food handling areas are required to have a minimum of 55 foot candles because safety here is paramount. Cold rooms and storage areas require less intense illumination because the activity here is not as much as in other regions. And for cold rooms, there is a need to let in as little heat as possible.

    Light level or illuminance is the measurement of the quantity of light falling onto and dispersing over a specific surface area (a work plane). A work plane is where tasks are performed. Illuminance is measured in lux or foot candles (FC). A foot candle is equal to one lumen of light density per one square foot. A lux is equal to a lumen per square meter. Your LED waterproof lights should meet the required brightness levels for food handling areas as well as cold rooms where they will be installed.

    For car washes, many owners will naturally gravitate towards too much light rather than too little. Full daylight has about 1,000 FC. An overcast day, on the other hand, has about 100 FC. It is only very intricate work that requires 1,000 + FC.

    For car washes situated in low population areas, the foot candles should be lower since there are no competing lights. Brighter lights may be necessary for busy areas since there are many other sources of light competing with yours. They also give a business a professional look. 

    The lumens required are determined by other factors such as wall colors, the size of rooms, the mounting height of the lights, or the objects in the room. So, a good rule of thumb is to consult a lighting professional when it comes to determining the foot candles or lux you need in your application.

    Recommended light levels for a car wash


    Minimal FC

    Standard FC

    Brighter level FC

    Vacuum bays and arches




    Detail shop




    Wash bays and tunnels





    The Color Rendering Index 

    LED vapor tight lights for food processing plants, those used in food handling sections, should have a minimum CRI of 70 as recommended by the United States Department of Agriculture and the food and Drug Administration. 

    What is CRI?

    CRI is the acronym for color rendering index, and it describes how a light source reveals the color of an object to the human eye. It also considers the subtle variations in color shades under a light.

    CRI is measured on a scale of 1 to 100, depending on the accuracy of a light source at color rendering when compared to a reference source. So, higher CRI values mean better color rendering abilities. A light source with a CRI of 85-90 is considered good at color rendering. A CRI of 90 or higher shows an excellent color rendering ability.

    LED vapor tight lights have high CRI values by design and are perfect at mitigating risk and enhancing visibility.  They help workers to easily locate lost items and defects much better than traditional bulbs. LEDs have excellent CRI values of up to 98 and they emit light that is almost like the light emitted by the sun at midday. With LED vapor tight lights, your facility will adhere to the strict lighting regulations in the food manufacturing industry.

    Waterproof LED lights will not only last long in the wet and humid car wash environment, they will also make the facility's colors pop and make it more inviting to users. The color temperature can also be manipulated to create an inviting ambiance. A color temperature of 4000K to 6500K, for example, will make the place brighter and will reduce eye strain for the workers.

    The IP Rating

    The International Protection Marking, also known as the IP Code or Ingress Protection, defines the sealing effectiveness of electrical enclosures from the intrusion of foreign matter like dust or water. The IP rating is a standard of International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and applies to a wide range of products.

    It is of utmost importance that you verify the IP rating of your LED vapor tight lights before you get them. The IP rating ensures that specific lighting can be safely used within a particular area, without becoming a safety hazard to the users. A light's IP rating reflects its suitability for outdoor or indoor use.


    The letter “I” in IP refers to the protection level the light's enclosure offers its internal components against solid particles. The letter “P,” on the other hand, reflects the enclosure's ability to protect its internal components against water intrusion. 

    Waterproof lighting is essential in spaces where light fixtures are exposed to moisture, water, dust or oil. In food processing plants, for example, there are frequent high-pressure hose down sessions, which expose the light to corrosive cleaning agents and water splashes. 

    Lighting fixtures in a commercial refrigeration facility will face tons of condensation, wet conditions, and extreme cold. A car wash tunnel light fixture will have to withstand extreme wet conditions, harsh cleaning agents, and also hot wax. Lights installed in warehouses will be subjected to highly polluted and dusty environments that could cause poor illumination and damage them if they are not protected.

    This is why a LED fixture’s IP rating is so critical; it tells us exactly what the electrical components in a fixture are protected against. A higher IP rating signifies greater protection against the intrusion of smaller particulates. A lower rating points to a lighting fixture’s limited protection against such intrusions. The highest rating indicates that the fixtures are completely protected and can be totally submerged in water without experiencing any damage.


    Second Digit IP Rating (Protection Against Liquids)

    Level Particulate Protected Against Further Directions
    0 None  
    1 Dripping water Vertically falling drops
    2 Dripping water when inclined at 15° Vertically falling water at angles of up to 15°
    3 Water spray Water sprays at angles of up to 60° vertically
    4 Water splash Water splashes against the enclosure shall not damage the light fixture
    5 Water jets A 6.3 mm nozzle projecting water at the chassis from any angle shall not damage the fixture
    6 Robust water jets A 12.5 mm nozzle spraying powerful water jets towards the enclosure shall not do it any damage.
    7 Immersion up to 1 meter The light fixture can be immersed in water under defined pressure and time (up to 1m of water)
    8 Beyond 1m of immersion The manufacturer of the lighting fixture will specify the conditions of submergence. This lighting fixture is hermetically sealed.

    So, What IP Rating Should You Choose For Your Vapor Tight Lights?


    A vapor proof light fixture has a rugged, die-cast outer casing that protects its wiring and lamp socket against corrosive fumes, moisture, non-combustible dust, and non-explosive gases and vapors. It is usually installed where an ability to handle these hazards matters.

    These lights are found in laundry facilities, swimming pools, car washes, food processing facilities, stairwells, subways, riding arenas, automotive repair centers, barns, parking garages, commercial refrigeration facilities, kitchens, and bakeries. These are environments where the lighting fixtures are exposed to dirt, wetness, and dampness and regular lighting fixtures will present a safety risk to the users.



    Vapor tight light can withstand water sprayed at it by a 0.25-inch nozzle, regardless of the water's direction. This light fixture is wholly protected against such water jets and foreign bodies and works perfectly in the outdoors.



    Waterproof light fixture can withstand water sprayed at it from a 0.50-inch nozzle from any direction.



    Provides total protection against dust. It can be submerged in 15 cm-1 m of water. IP67 rated fixtures also offer total protection against dust and can be submerged in water deeper than 1 m for long periods of time.



    LED lights with these ratings are completely protected against dust and can be fully immersed in water deeper than 1 m for an extended period of time.

    3 Awesome Reasons to Choose LED Vapor Tight Lights

    They Are Excellently Constructed to Withstand Harsh Conditions


    Vapor tight lights are also known as wet location fixtures and are gasketed and sealed luminaires for wet indoor and outdoor environments. The lighting fixtures are usually installed in areas with a considerable amount of water, dust, and humidity.

    The gasketed seal around their lens can also protect against corrosive fumes, non-explosive vapors, or gases. If you use lighting fixtures that are not vapor proof in these harsh conditions, you will ruin their wiring. In the worst case scenario, the fixtures may explode and start a fire.

    Lighting fixtures exposed to moisture or dust and are devoid of any form of protection tend to cloud over because they accumulate debris, dead bugs, and dirt. These fixtures will also turn brown due to rust and fall apart within a short time.

    On the contrary, LED vapor tight lights always have clean lenses no matter the wet or dusty conditions they operate in. They look well-maintained and hygienic and give a commercial space a professional image. And because these waterproof lights are very well constructed, they also last longer and require very little maintenance.

    Vapor proof lighting fixtures have a rust-resistant die-cast casing with reinforced poly-carbonate lenses to ensure that they can withstand high abuse in harsh environments and temperatures.

    Besides their sturdy build, LED vapor proof lights offer the best performance of all lights and are very efficient in damp rooms and humid areas. They provide bright, high-quality light without as much as a flicker. They also enhance security measures in a wet location because they provide light that works well with surveillance cameras.


    They Make Working Environments Safer for Employees


    Waterproof lighting also ensures that employees, who are in these spaces for hours on end, work under quality light that counters eye strain. The eye works harder than other organs when tasks are being executed and primarily relies on light. If the light is not sufficient for the tasks, the employees will suffer visual discomfort, headaches, and other conditions that could cause significant health problems in the future.

    Vapor proof lighting also helps in preventing falls and trips, which according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), can cost up to $40,000 in injury costs per employee.

    High-quality, LED vapor proof lights are also vital for production output. Poorly lit or very brightly lit environments tend to slow down production. Good lighting creates a great working environment that encourages the employees to give their best.


    They Have the Right Certifications


    LED vapor tight lights have all the important certifications and can be used even in special applications like food preparation facilities. NSF and NEMA have a list of regulations that guide the purchase and installation of lighting fixtures in different sectors. When you buy lights with these certifications, you can be sure that they will offer high-quality light for a long time.

    The Disadvantages of Traditional Vapor Proof Lighting

    1. High Maintenance Costs

    Fluorescents and HID lamps have short lifespans especially in wet, dusty, or moist environments. These lights are designed to only operate in certain environments, and their electrical components degenerate faster when they are constantly switched off and on.

    They also perform poorly in cold and wet areas, the areas where vapor tight lighting fixtures are used. Each time fluorescents are turned on, their cathodes degrade. With a lifetime of 7,000-15,000 hours, the cost of maintenance for these lights can be enormous.

    1. High Energy Costs

    As we mentioned, HIDs and fluorescents have a predetermined lifespan that deteriorates fast due to increased switching frequency. Traditional lights also have long warm-up and restrike times, which get in the way of their ability to work with lighting controls. Because they are left on even when they need to be off (to prevent the long restrike time), they tend to use more energy than necessary.

    Most vapor tight light fixtures hold about 1 to 4 lamps each for sufficient light distribution. Traditional light bulbs are highly inefficient because they produce a lot of infrared energy which is lost to the surroundings and wasted. In cold rooms and refrigeration facilities, this expelled heat will further compound the energy problem because the cooling systems have to work harder to cool the facilities down to required temperatures.

    1. Poor Lighting Performance

    Some traditional lighting solutions score poorly on the color rendering index. For instance, HPS lamps have an extremely low CRI of 22. Wet, damp, or dusty conditions will further hurt the light quality of conventional light bulbs, resulting in poorly lit environments. This may lead to an increase in workplace accidents.

    The Benefits of LED Vapor Tight Lights over Traditional Lights


    LEDs have many benefits over HIDs and fluorescents, chief amongst them being their excellent ability to enhance energy efficiency. Their many advantages stem from their operational efficiency; they have no ballasts and require very little electricity to produce light. They also produce negligible infrared energy and are very hardy, so they do not break easily on impact.

    The numerous upsides of LED waterproof lights make them better suited to dusty, humid, and wet environments than other lights. Let’s talk about 3 of their best benefits.

    Lower Energy Costs

    A LED vapor tight light will use 40-75% less energy than traditional bulbs, resulting in huge energy savings, especially in large facilities. LEDs also will not flood a commercial refrigeration facility with infrared heat, increasing refrigeration costs. They give out very little heat and are very ideal for commercial facilities with low operational temperatures.

     Reduced Maintenance Costs

    A LED's lifespan is not adversely affected by increased switching frequency. It can be lit, dimmed, or turned off on demand. These lights also have a much longer lifespan than other light sources and work very well in freezing environments. This means that a facility with LED vapor tight light fixtures will have negligible maintenance costs for its lighting fixtures.

     Stellar Lighting Performance

    Thanks to their multi-point design, LEDs distribute light evenly and minimize light wastage by directing light to surfaces that require it the most. They have a more even foot candle distribution when compared to fluorescents and HIDs that tend to form dark spots and shadows – because of their 360-degree light distribution.

    LEDs also have fantastic CRI values of over 80 which make their light almost as bright as that of the sun. They also come in a wide range of color temperatures to suit a myriad of lighting requirements. In the food processing industry where high-performance lighting is required for tasks, LED vapor tight lights ensure clarity, visibility, safety, and comfort.

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