LED Warehouse Lighting Guide
The basic light emitting diode (LED) is a semi-conductor diode that emits light when electricity is passed through it. These small, durable & energy efficient LEDs lend themselves particularly well to warehouse lighting applications because of number of benefits over incandescent lighting.
Note that although we focus on warehouses, many of the LED lighting benefits are also applicable to buildings that tend to have high ceilings, such as airports, aircraft hangers, factories, assembly plants etc.
Benefits of LED lighting in Warehouses
As a warehouse lighting solution, LEDs offer numerous advantages over traditional lamp types, which we will explain in the following sections.
1) LED Lighting is Energy Efficient
LEDs are "high efficacy" lamps, which means that they offer a high amount of light for low energy use. As a result, your LED warehouse lighting installation would consume significantly less energy than, for example, warehouse lighting relying on outdated "low efficacy" incandescent bulbs.
2) LEDs have Long Life & Do Not Immediately Fail
A high-quality LED lamp can last for well over 20,000 hours of operation (equivalent too > 2 years of being continuously on) and would not instantly fail like a traditional tungsten incandescent lamp.
As lighting is used, the lumens output of all types of lamp decreases gradually overtime. However, in LED lighting failure is defined by the point at which 30 % of the rated lumens output is lost and not when the LED fails to produce any light. This means LED warehouse lighting continues to produce light even when the lamps have "failed".
More traditional lamps by contrast not only have a significantly shorter life-span of around 1,000 hours (equivalent to ~ 41 days of being continously on), but they also fail instantly and provide no further light output at all.
In the case of traditional lighting, failed lamps have to be replaced frequently & often quickly so that business operations are not effected.
3) LEDs are Instant On & Off
Not only are LED lights "instant on" but they can be switched on & off frequently without compromising lamp life-time. In contrast, the life-time of traditional tungsten incandescent lamps is significantly reduced by frequent on/off switching.
As a result, LED warehouse lighting can take full advantage of the flexible lighting control systems available, which turn the warehouse LED light fittings on when an area is occupied; turning off in areas when nobody is present. This makes an warehouse LED lighting potentially even more energy efficient with further long-term cost savings.
4) LEDs are Lower Maintenance
When considering a lighting installation the topic of lighting replacement and maintenance costs must of course also be considered. For low bay lighting that are not high off the ground and can be reached by ladder, lamp replacement may simple be a bit of an inconvenience but can be done quickly and cheaply.
However, for buildings with high bay lamp fittings (like warehouses) that are only reachable using a cherry picker (or scissor lift) then the cost of renting equipment &/or hiring a lighting replacement contractor to swap out each failed bulb becomes significant.
This is not to mention the disruptions this can cause to businesses & the difficulties involved in scheduling frequent lighting maintenance work.
LED Warehouse lighting has a significantly increased life-span when compared to traditional lighting solutions.
5) LEDs offer Focused Light
Warehouse LED light fittings offer more focused light at a higher light output ratio compared to other high-bay light fittings. In buildings with high ceilings that are greater than 8 metres (or 20 feet), special high-bay light fittings are required to direct the light vertically towards the floor.
High bay lighting is used to avoid the light being spread horizontally, as would be the the case if standard or low bay light fittings were used. High bay LED warehouse light fittings help ensure that the warehouse floor is both sufficiently lit, & minimal light is wasted on unnecessarily lighting, for example, the very top of the warehouse storage racks.
Cost & Return on Investment Considerations
LED warehouse lighting may be initially more expensive than incandescent bulbs but they prove to be cheaper in the long run for two reasons:
1) High Efficiency (& Reduced Electricity)
2) Lamp Life-time (& Reduced Maintenance Costs)
The value proposition of LED warehouse lighting that lasts > 20,000 hours is certainly better than one that lasts only 1,000 Hours. A higher initial outlay, therefore, is generally justified by future savings in electricity & lighting replacement costs.
Summary of the Strengths & Weakness of Warehouse LED Lighting
The relative strengths & weaknesses of LED lighting in warehouse & similar buildings requiring high bay lighting fixtures are summarised in the following table.
|LED Warehouse Lighting||Tungest Incandescent Warehouse Lighting|
|Energy Efficient||Lower Purchase Cost|
|Instant & Frequent On/Off|
|Lower Maintenance Costs|
|Lower Long-term Costs|
|Higher Purchase Cost||Higher Energy Consumption|
|Shortened Life-span if switched on/off|
|Higher Maintenance Costs (Replacement etc.)|
|Higher Long-term Costs|