While there are many important building elements in a warehouse, one of the most important is lighting. Safety and productivity are a must for a successful, productive business. There are 95 million lost work days per year due to accidents.
The correct lighting in a warehouse can reduce the number of accidents, resulting in a more productive and happier workplace. While happy employees are always a great thing, good lighting has another positive effect – Reduced energy costs.
Understand the Warehouse Landscape
Before purchasing lighting, the warehouse landscape must be understood. There may be some sections of the warehouse where there is more natural light than others. Less artificial lighting will be needed near windows, doors, or loading docks, obviously but specifications must take these areas into account to fill in the shadows appropriately.
The ceiling space is also important when considering lighting. If a warehouse is utilising high racks, there will be more lighting needed since the material will be closer to the roof. Our Saturn LED High Bay fixture incorporates uplighting to illuminate the dark ceilings of large warehouses. Additionally, lighting must effectively reach the floor to prevent accidents. Our proprietary optics focus the directionality of the LED light to better reach target areas.
Take Advantage of Natural Light
As previously stated, less artificial light is needed in places near windows or doors. While natural light can reduce the amount of artificial light needed, there is still work that needs to be done with natural light. Windows must be kept clean to let in light and kept free of obstruction.
On the flip slide, if too much light is coming into the warehouse, a company may decide to invest in a good set of blinds or shades to let the light in and out as needed.
Purchase Quality Light Fittings
No matter what type of lighting is used inside a warehouse, quality light fittings should always be used. Companies should avoid purchasing the cheapest option, as these will often have a negative effect and may cause accidents.
Despite having high-quality bulbs, low-quality light fittings can cause the light to end up where it’s not needed. The wrong fittings can project light into forklift drivers’ eyes and cause temporary blindness. That’s why custom specification can be such a valuable tool when investing in new LED lighting for industrial applications.
Understand the Three Light Sources
There are three types of lights that are currently used in warehouses – Metal halide, fluorescent, and LED. Metal halide has been used since the 1990s and is the most likely to disappear from warehouses first. Fluorescent light is often used because it is inexpensive, but requires more energy than LED. The third type, LED lighting, is becoming rapidly popular within warehouses and industrial environments due to its energy and cost efficiency.
LED lights are an extremely efficient source of light. While the price of an LED light fixture may be higher than older technologies, they use less energy which saves costs in the long run. There may also be energy-saving credits available from the utility company with LED use. LEDs are also popular because they can easily be dimmed and customized.
Color is Key
Some people assume that the color of the light is not a factor in a warehouse. This is not true. In fact, lighting color is very important in a warehouse. Workers need to read labels and easily identify materials. The best light color for this is natural light.
Depending on the season or even the time of day, lighting needs may change. Poor color in lights can create discomfort with employees. Unhappy employees can decrease productivity.
Use Timers or Dimmers
Businesses may want to consider investing in timers or dimmers to control the dimming and colour and provide the best warehouse environment for employees. Control switches are also important because they will be more energy efficient than a simple on/off switch. With timers and dimmers, businesses can run their warehouse lighting more efficiently and cut costs.
Keep Up on Maintenance
Once lights are installed, the job is not over. Lights must be tended to when they are faulty. For example, blinking lights can cause discomfort to employees. Aside from discomfort, the energy cost of a faulty bulb can skyrocket. Light fixtures should be regularly cleaned to produce the best light. Dirty lenses can reduce the light that reaches the warehouse floor. This can lead to accidents and decreased productivity.
Know Your Supplier
Companies can research the best lighting and options for their warehouses, but if they aren’t purchasing the products from a quality supplier, it may be all for naught. Some suppliers can take advantage of businesses by offering them options that are necessary for their warehouse. Businesses should take time to research suppliers to make sure they’ll have their best interests in mind.
SpecGrade LED has been optimizing industrial lighting with next generation LED technology for over 15 years. Our engineers have seen it all, so if you have questions about your next retrofit, give us a call.