Top Tips for Warehouse Lighting

Lighting can be up to 41% of a warehouse's energy costs and so it is important to get it right.  The focus of the lighting should be on making the warehouse as efficient as possible while also maximising safety for everyone working.  Any regulations on the lighting should be met to an acceptable standard.

Which Lights?

It can be difficult to decide on which lights to use, especially as new technology is making the advances in lighting so much quicker.  Here's a run down of some basic options for ambient lighting that will cover the whole warehouse.  These should be spaced out appropriately to reduce the amount of shadows, as these can present a safety hazard.

  • These produce bright light at a variety of colour temperatures which means you can choose the ideal light for the warehouses needs
  • They don't take any time warming up which means you can have instant access to light
  • They have a long life span which means you don’t have to waste time and resources replacing them constantly
  • If the warehouse needs to be kept cool, LEDs are cool running, which means more energy goes into producing the light than into producing heat
  • Many companies are now switching to LED Corn Lights from Metal-Halide bulbs because of their brighter output and energy savings.
Linear Fluorescents
  • Like LEDs, these use less energy than their predecessors which means they can be cost effective in the long run
  • They have been used safely within warehouses and offices since the 1950s
  • The replacement of Magnetic Ballasts for Electronic ones means that the start up time is much quicker than for previous tubes, and has reduced the flickering when on.
  • With recent adaptations and changes, the colour quality of fluorescent tubes has improved.
  • They are relatively cheaper than the LED versions, although they will have to be replaced more often as they do not last quite as long as the LEDs.
  • A sometimes under-utilised option is natural light, through skylights and windows.
  • This can be a cheap way to add to these other lighting options, as using the natural light will mean general illuminance can be lower in some areas of the warehouse
  • Staff exposure to sunlight is good as it has been found that natural light can help decrease the risk of mental health problems such as anxiety and some physical health problems.

Colour Temperature

The colour of the light produced matters as well as the amount of light.  A colour temperature which makes the products and any writing on them easily visible is vital, but other factors might need to be given consideration.  For example, research has found that higher colour temperatures can increase focus, morale and productivity in staff.

Avoiding glare

Light glare is something you have to keep in mind when choosing lights, as sometimes it can cause accidents, such as if a forklift driver looks up and gets dazzled by the lights overhead.  Reflectors or shades on the lights should help prevent this from being a problem however.

Control Options

These are good to consider installing as they can cut down on overall costs by reducing the amount of light being wasted.

For example, people can forget to switch off the lights when they exit a room or building.  Putting in motion sensors which switch off the lights automatically when movement is not detected for a period of time can easily prevent wasting energy lighting an unoccupied space.

Another newer, more technical option is if your warehouse has access to natural light, daylight sensors can adapt the artificial lights to keep lighting levels constant.  So, if it was a really bright day, the artificial light levels would be lowered, whereas if it was an overcast day, the light levels would be brighter.  This means that the light can stay the same, while not wasting any energy on light that is unnecessary.  A cheaper alternative would be to install dimmers and dimmable lights and do this manually, but this may waste time in the long run, and may not be as accurate as the sensors.

Task Lighting

Specific tasks such as reading packaging or picking stock need good task lighting.  By ensuring the clarity of this lighting, the time it takes for tasks to be done is improved and the amount of errors made is reduced because there is an optimal working environment.  Any form of station or desk where tasks takes place could benefit from either a desk light or some form of spotlight shining directly on it.  What kind of light used all depends on the style and layout of warehouse you have, and where lights can be installed.

Emergency Lighting

There are two main styles of emergency lighting: Maintained and Non-Maintained.  Maintained is emergency lighting which is on all the time such as in a cinema, whereas Non-Maintained lighting only kicks in when the power supply for the normal lights fails.  Which style of lights you use is up to personal choice as it depends on the type of building they are being put into.  When thinking about where to place emergency lighting, it is advised to talk to a lighting designer or consultant first, as they will be able to ensure the lighting makes everyone safe, and that it fits with regulations.

Financial Help from LampShopOnline

If you are thinking about making a switch to more energy efficient lighting in your warehouse, LampShopOnline can help you with two government run schemes that can help you save money while saving the planet.

Further Resources:

Financial schemes:

Emergency Lighting Guide:

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