For many years, warehouse lighting has been a huge expense for any warehouse operator. From the huge energy bills to supply the adequate lighting, to a drop in productivity and a rise in accidents without it, the economics and employee wellbeing aspects of lighting need a thorough examination.
Advancing technology in LEDs and smart controls are making the lives of warehouse operators far easier, however, and maintaining optimum light levels is now simpler than ever before.
The correct lighting conditions are essential to a work environment. Not only do they make the warehouse safer, reducing the number of accidents, but they also raise and maintain concentration with a huge positive impact on the productivity of employees. This is especially important to warehouses which operate 24 hours a day and the employees who work shifts. It is important to remember though that too much light can be as damaging as too little, creating a severely uncomfortable glare.
While there are current health and safety regulations in place to ensure that warehouse operators must provide adequate lighting, often these aren’t enough to generate maximum efficiency from employees. The warehouse needs to be lit properly, taking into account not just the number of luminaries, but their distribution. Particular light fixtures can be purchased to ensure that light is distributed as evenly as possible, but they still need to be correctly placed. By knowing the true warehouse landscape, you can make sure your lighting plan is at its optimum. If stock is particularly close to the roof, then you will need more lighting. While the lighting installation of an aisle layout is typically more expensive, sometimes this cost can be offset against the greater efficiency of employees.
Maintaining these lights, however, can still lead to a substantial electricity bill. It’s therefore just as important to ensure that the lights themselves are highly energy efficient. T12, or HID (high intensity discharge) lighting costs significantly more to run than T8 or T5 fluorescent lighting. Some light fixtures can even be purchased to respond to occupancy, for example shutting off entirely after a certain period of time where no one is in the room. Lights can also be set to adapt to when sufficient natural light is available and turn off.
Natural light is a huge advantage for the productivity of employees; it is far easier to work continuously with normal light, providing there is enough of it, than with fluorescent artificial lights. By installing skylighting you can make a huge difference to the cost of lighting your warehouses; there might be an initial cost to installing them, but in the long run much more money is saved. By ensuring these skylights have solar glazing you can also reduce the escape of heat and ensure that when the sun is glaring, the warehouse doesn’t overheat either.
Making use of natural light and lights that automatically respond to empty rooms or a reduction of natural light are also as beneficial for the environment as they are for your finances. Typically, by saving money on energy bills, your company can also have a positive impact on the environment by using less electricity. To help the environment even more so, why not consider sourcing power through energy companies who are also committed to using more green energy, or perhaps invest in your own green energy to offset the costs, such as solar panels and wind turbines. In such an industry as logistics, it is important to consider just how your company can help to offset carbon emissions and reduce your carbon footprint.
Warehouse lighting is instrumental to a successful business. It reduces workplace errors and contributes to better employee health and morale, and with advancing technology it is now far more cost efficient. LEDs not only save on energy bills, but prevent the warehouse from overheating as they run hundreds of degrees cooler than traditional CFL bulbs. For any warehouse operator, there is no longer any excuse to suitably lighting their warehouse.