Tristão Abro from Relight Energy explains the importance of effective warehouse lighting and gives tips for a cost-effective solution.
By Tristão Abro from Relight Energy
For many companies, warehouse lighting has always been a grudge cost. However, to keep a business running effectively and efficiently, warehouse lighting must be both efficient and as cost-effective as possible.
Lighting levels in a warehouse environment are dictated by the level of work detail that is expected and required from staff. Underinvesting in suitable lighting or failing to maintain the lighting solution can result in reputational and financial disasters for a company.
Fortunately there are lighting design guidelines available from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and SANS 10400-O that can assist businesses to know what lighting is required. Alternatively, a reputable and professional industrial lighting supplier can determine the exact amount of lux levels required for each warehouse design.
A closer look at the space
Most warehouses tend to have high vertical storage to maximise space. The rule of thumb is that a dedicated aisle layout is more expensive than an installation that provides overall illumination, but the added cost is offset against the greater storage efficiency achieved by multiple storage tiers.
Tips to save costs
One way to reduce costs but not sacrifice lighting is to install high-quality LED fittings. These are exceptionally efficient at converting electrical energy into illumination, making them up to 90% more efficient compared to traditional lighting while reducing maintenance costs to nothing.
Other important features are the ability for LEDs to be dimmed, they do not take time to warm up and they provide instant light. LEDs also have the ability to be switched on and off frequently without affecting their lifespan.
LED fixtures come in a wide range of forms and optical properties to produce highly effective illumination while producing little infrared light, almost no ultraviolet (UV) light, and contain no toxic materials, making them 100% recyclable.
In addition, lighting controls can be installed to reduce the load at times when no-one is present in the workspace.
Alternative light sources
Industrial skylights, for example, can reduce energy consumption by up to 65% and studies have proven that natural light can increase productivity by as much as 40%.
If a warehouse has a soft roof, it would be advisable to look into the benefits of free light. A credible supplier will be able to advise on a skylight solution that is durable, able to adequately block out glare and heat gain, while ensuring energy savings as a result of lights being turned off.
Do the math
In any commercial setting, energy audits are the first step towards reducing energy costs and increasing operational savings. Good lighting should be at the heart of every warehouse and there are sound financial reasons why companies should see the investment in their warehouse environment as being very good for their bottom line.
Caption: The closer the storage space gets to the roof, the more lighting is required. While aisle lighting may be more expensive than an installation that provides overall illumination, the added cost is offset against the greater storage efficiency achieved by multiple storage tiers.