We Install Energy Efficient Lighting Systems In Warehouse Buildings
Save Up To 80-90% Energy - Bright White Light - 10 Year+ Lamp Lifetime - Lower Your Lighting Costs
Where do we install energy efficient warehouse lighting?
We work across England & Wales to install LED lighting solutions in large warehouse buildings (new installations & replacement of older sodium, metal halide or fluorescent lights)
How much energy could we save in our warehouse building?
This can be around 80-90% due to:
- Replacement of existing lights with energy efficient fittings (e.g. - LED)
- Lighting controls which compensate light output for existing daylight
- Lighting controls which compensate light output for detection of people, vehicles etc. in warehouse aisles
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Energy Efficient Warehouse Lighting Guide
One of the main reasons businesses choose to invest in an energy saving warehouse lighting system installation is the fact that lighting can realistically account for up to 80% of the electricity costs in working storage and logistics buildings.
New energy efficient systems will reduce this lighting energy requirement through:
- Optimising the positioning/spacing of light fixtures - to match the layout of warehouse aisle etc.
- Changing older light fittings - older low and high bay fittings (sodium, metal halide, T12 fluorescent tubes) are switched for new energy efficient technologies (such as LED & T5 fluorescent tube)
- Using intelligent light control systems - which automatically adjust lighting levels in pre-defined zones (individual or groups of racking aisles etc.) in response to presence detection or existing daylight
Requirements of Warehouse Lighting
The aisles and open spaces of warehouses, storage facilities, logistics/distribution centres etc. require adequate illumination from lighting systems such that:
- Stored items can be easily identified
- Staff & vehicles (e.g. - forklift trucks) can navigate through aisles safely
- The risk of accidents and damage is minimised
The recommended internal lux levels (lux being a defined measurement of light intensity) that needs to be produced by the warehouse lighting system will vary depending on the exactly the type of building and the work carried out inside. Some relevant lux level examples as defined by CIBSE are reproduced below:
- Large item & bulk stores - 100 lux
- Loading bays - 150 lux
- Unpacking/sorting areas - 200 lux
- Packing & dispatch areas - 300 lux
Risks of Poor Warehouse Lighting Levels
Frequently, the lighting in a warehouse will have become unfit for purpose due to the age of the fittings (sometimes you will see light fittings referred to the technical reference "luminaires") - that is to say - the fittings do not emit the same lux/total lumen levels as when originally installed (see later for more on the causes of this).
It is also not uncommon for warehouse light fixtures to be badly aligned with aisles - especially if the racking layout has been altered in the past or the building has been converted to a warehouse from a different use - and the light fixture spacing has not been subsequently re-positioned.
Poorly performing or badly designed warehouse lighting systems can cost a business dear in the long run - poor warehouse light levels can create significant expense in the form of:
- Accidents - possibly involving fork lift trucks, reach trucks or side loads with personal injury or damage to valuable stock a likely possibility
- Increased staff absenteeism - through reported symptoms like stress, eyestrain, migraine and headaches;
- Reduced working efficiency/productivity - difficulty with product identification & picking etc.
"Good" Warehouse Lighting Design
As well as producing necessary light levels for the onsite work, any warehouse lighting installation must adhere to the general principles of good warehouse lighting design. It should follow a number of general rules which take into account building users in order to achieve better health & safety standards (and maintain/achieve business certification standards -such as ISO 14001). Some examples include:
- High fixture positioning fixtures should be positioned as high as possible to prevent likely damage from stacking/removal of goods and fork lift vehicles
- Improved light distribution A good warehouse lighting system will produce reasonable uniformity across the warehouse floor and eliminate problems such as: - Large shadows or dark spots - Forklift truck drivers experiencing high levels of glare/dazzle - Light being "wasted" on top of racking etc.
- Good light quality "colour temperature" The quality of light from outdated warehouse low/high-bay fixtures can be poor especially the yellow tinted light from sodium (referred to as SoN or HPS) lamps or old metal halide luminaires which may emit a skewed green tinted light.
New low energy lighting technologies (e.g. - LED & T5 fluorescent) can emit light close to daylight colour and an almost full light spectrum output.
Older Types of Warehouse Light Fittings
Typically, an older warehouse lighting system consists of several "high bay" or "low bay" lighting fixtures, ideally positioned above the centre of aisles (mounted 5 metres or higher from ground level).
Older warehouse lighting systems usually waste power by:
- Employing outdated, inefficient lamps & fittings
- Operating at times when not actually required
These types of lights may use either :
- HID (high intensity discharge) lamps rated at 250 or 400 Watts which are either high-pressure sodium (yellow tinged light) or metal halide (a white-blue tinted light). Low pressure sodium and mercury vapour lamps are much less commonly found versions of these types of HID lamps
- Outdated fluorescent tube fixtures (e.g. batten fixtures using 8 foot long T12 and older T8 tubes) these are more common at lower mounting levels (e.g. under warehouse mezzanine floors) but they can be used on suspended chains to provide the main lighting source for warehouse aisles as well (although this is less common)
Inefficiency of Older Warehouse Lighting
A typical outdated warehouse lighting system will be inefficient due to a combination of any of the following factors:
- Output of heat energy - As well as light, heat is emitted from lamps- the temperature of an HID bulb can reach 200-300 degrees Centigrade (in certain types of warehouses this strain the cooling load of the environmental system - an additional needless expense)
- "Additional" energy consumption of the light fitting - Older HID and fluorescent light fixtures use inefficient magnetic control ballasts which necessitate a significant extra energy requirement. Typically this is accounts for an extra 10-25% of power consumption over and above the displayed lamp rating!
- Lower efficiency with age of light fitting - Over time warehouse lighting fixtures become less effective at generating & directing light where required. Examples of this include:
- Dust & debris build-up on the fitting casing & reflector
- Ageing of the electronics contained within the control ballasts of light fittings - e.g. capacitors - this results in lamps being overheated and a blackening of their glass surface
- Non-adjustable lighting levels - Older HID and fluorescent light fixtures cannot be instantly dimmed or switched on & off. For example: sodium & metal halide lamps require a ‘warm-up’ time of at least 5 minutes (to reach 90% of full output) and an 're-strike' time (for a lamp to cool before being switched on again).
The newest energy efficient warehouse lighting systems combine high efficiency light sources, well designed-fittings and sophisticated "instant-response" control systems…
New Energy Saving Lighting Technologies
As mentioned - new energy efficient warehouse lighting systems can cut the power requirements of older lights by up to 80% without compromising on the level or quality of light - this is achieved by:
- Installing the latest energy saving light fixtures (or luminaires) with high efficiency light sources(including T5 fluorescent tube, induction lamp & LEDs)
- Installing intelligent control systems which are compatible with the instant switching/dimming capability of new light fittings - NOTE: control systems are addressed separately in the next section
1. Energy Saving Light Fixtures
An overview of T5, induction lamp & LED light technologies is below:
- T5 Fluorescent Tubes
These fixtures typically use 2, 4 or 6 T5 fluorescent tube lamps in a fixture (with a highly polished reflector) to ensure all light is directed towards the warehouse aisles and floor.
The T5 fluorescent tubes work on the same basic principle as older T8 & T12 tubes (NOTE: The number after 'T' refers to the diameter of the tube as measured in eighths of an inch).
Some advantages of T5 lighting in warehouses include: - Based on a well established energy efficient lighting technology - A modest installation cost - High quality tubes give a life of 12,000-18,000 hours - Light fixture still produces light if a T5 tube expires - Electromagnetic ballasts allow full dimming/switching
- LED Fixtures
These fixtures use a mounted cluster of high output Light Emitting Diode components that produce light when an electric current is passed through them. This solid state technology is continually being improved and cost is reduced. Some advantages include: - Long lifetime (50000-80000 hours) - a uni-directional light source - so light is emitted as a "beam" Limitations include - LED's may be limited in terms of light distribution at very high mounting heights - Payback can still be long
However - caution must be exercised by any warehouse building manager when selecting LED high bay or low bay light fittings - like any electronic device you will get "what you pay for". Many cheap unregulated imported products are on the market and we are aware of warehouse building owners stripping out poor quality LED lights within 12 months of installation. Please contact us if you are thinking of looking at LED lighting - there are a number of general rules you should follow to ensure you are buying the right product.
- Induction Fixtures
Induction lamp fixtures are less common - however they use many of the same principles of light emission as fluorescent tubes. The key difference is rather than using electrodes to pass a current through a gas-filled glass tube to emit light, a generated electromagnetic field is used to 'excite' the gas in the tube. The advantages of induction are - A very long operational lamp life (100,000 hours) - useful for "difficult" to access warehouse areas - A high quality white light!
NOTE: There are energy saving lighting products for warehouses which attempt to "retrofit" a product into existing HID or tube lighting fittings - the main advertised benefit of these is reduced installed cost in comparison to all-new lighting system. Our experience is that these products represent a stop-gap solution that do not maximise the potential savings.
2. Intelligent Warehouse Light Control Systems
It is not uncommon for a warehouse lighting control system to be the 'bare minimum' - a default "ON" setting across all lights - only deactivated at the end of a working day (or shift).
The T5 fluorescent tube, induction lamp & LEDs fittings all have various abilities to be instantly dimmed and switched on/off when full light levels are not required - therefore very tailored energy saving control systems can be designed around individual warehouse working patterns
- Lighting Presence Detection Controls
Occupancy detectors can be acoustic, infra-red or microwave devices (and may or may not be built into each individual light fixture). These can be used to detect the presence of people or approaching fork lift trucks and to control the lighting accordingly. Inbuilt time delays prevent inappropriate 'off' switching if an occupant remains motionless.
- Daylight Level Controls
If the warehouse has an excess of 10% of roof area as skylight panels there may actually be no need for electric lighting at certain times of the day or year - photo-electric daylight linked controls can be used to gradually dim up/down warehouse lighting levels. The controls are usually set so that the combination of daylight and electric lighting remains constant at the desired lighting (or lux) level. This means the energy consumption of lighting can be eliminated at certain times of the day.
Such intelligent control systems can ensure that the daily "average" power consumption of a light fitting can be much lower than it's rating and ensures maximum energy efficiency.
Additional Benefits of New Warehouse Lighting
So far in this article we have looked at the energy (& financial) savings - however there are other key advantages to investing in a new warehouse lighting system based on LED, T5 or induction lamp technology.
Lower Indirect Maintenance Time & Costs
In warehouses, a scissor lift or cherry picker can be required to change expired lamps - this can be costly (as well as the disruption caused when an area remains unlit). Environmental regulations mean that expired bulbs have to be carefully disposed of (especially lamps containing the chemical element mercury - Hg). Newer light fixtures which can last several years means that lighting maintenance and disposal costs can be virtually eliminated.
Respond to the sustainability demands of your supply chain & customers
The ever-increasing awareness of environmental issues has put green issues high on business agendas. Energy saving warehouse lighting provides one of the most effective ways to significantly lower a business carbon footprint (as well as being a very effective "visual" display of commitment to corporate social responsibility). There are also many certification standards (e.g. - ISO 14001) that will require continual improvements to be made.
No up-front investment & other financial incentives
Due to energy & carbon saved, low energy warehouse lighting system installations will qualify for various financial assistance options - two of these are below -
Enhanced Capital Allowance - a write off of investment against tax in the first year (link to Carbon Trust or ECA)
"Pay As You Save" loan schemes - this is a financial arrangement between end customers & lighting installer/supplier. A loan is set-up such that the energy savings which are made are less than the monthly repayment instalments (a positive cash flow). The advantages of this is that a new warehouse lighting system could cost nothing to install
Lighting Energy Savings Calculation
A worked example of the savings made by energy efficient warehouse lighting is shown below:
Part 1 - Calculate Cost of non-Energy Efficient Light Fittings
A warehouse site has:
- 120 x 400W metal halide low-bay light fittings
- lights are switched on continually for 16 hours a day, 6 days a week
- paying an average electricity tariff of 11p per kWh
Step 1 - Calculate power consumption usage (lighting circuit load)
- 120 x 475W (400W lamp + 75W ballast power) = 57,000W = 57 kW
Step 2 - Calculate annual warehouse lighting energy consumption per year
- 57 kw x 4,992 h (16 h x 6 d x 52 w) = 284,544 kWh
Step 3 - Calculate annual warehouse lighting energy spend per year
- 284,544 kWh x 11p/ kWh = £31,299.84
A new high efficiency lighting system is proposed that can save 65% of the existing warehouse lighting energy consumption.
Part 2 - Calculate Cost Savings after Upgrading
Step 4 - Calculate the power consumption of the new lighting system
- 284,544kWh * 0.35 (35 % of original load - 65 % saved) = 99,590kWh
Step 5 - Calculate the new annual energy bill
- 99,590 kWh x 0.11 p/kWh = £10,954.94
Total Savings of £ 31,299.84 - £10,954.94 = £20,344.90 per year
Our Energy Saving Warehouse Lighting Services - Design - Supply - Install
1 Do you need better, more efficient lighting in your commercial or industrial building?
Your existing lighting could be wasting you thousands of pounds every year, be costly to maintain, or even produce inadequate light for your working conditions.
2 Green Business Light UK are here to help!
Established in 2008 - we work across England & Wales as energy efficient warehouse lighting installation specialists - we supply & install energy saving LED (Light Emitting Diode) commercial & industrial lighting systems to save your business up to 80 % on lighting costs!
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We Operate Across the UK
- North-West of England
- North-East of England
- East & West Midlands
- London & Home Counties
- South & South-West of England
We Install & Commission Lighting for
- Large Commercial Buildings
- Warehouse & Storage Buildings
- Factories & Industrial Sites
- Logistics Depots
- Cold & Chilled Stores
- Sports Halls & Exhibition Centres
Using Latest Lighting Technologies
We replace 250W/400W sodium halide & fluorescent tube fittings with:
- LED Technology
- T5 Fluorescent Tube
- Induction Lamps
- Intelligent Control Systems