Warehouse lighting is an area of exciting development, as the field is realizing new technology all the time. In the past 20 years, companies have placed a much greater focus on energy conservation, and this focus has driven improvements in a number of areas. Of particular note is the rise of LED technology, which is ready to elbow many other forms of illumination out of the market. Its incredible efficiency and controllability has made it an attractive choice for most large commercial buildings, and it’s only getting better.
A Deeper Consideration of Warehouse Lighting
Illuminating a massive structure is a challenge, and for years, the only answer to these challenges was to pump out more illumination, which leads to some heartburn-inducing energy costs. The days of just loading up on high output fixtures and calling it a day are long gone, and that’s good news for companies. But what is the current state of warehouse lighting, and how can the versatility of LED solve these concerns?
- LEDs can be made with superior optics – For large commercial structures, high bay fixtures are needed for extended range. In the 90s, high bay fixtures were dominated by metal halide technology, which was lauded for its color rendering and power. The problem with metal halides is that they radiate in nearly every direction, so they require extensive optics to direct them properly. This reduces the efficiency of the technology further, and this is why metal halides are being phased out. LED fixtures are directional by their nature, and as long as they are manufactured with quality optics, their efficiency can be preserved.
- LEDs are ideal for general, even illumination – Metal halides are on their way out, but T5 fluorescent fixtures are still going strong. Their efficiency is comparable to LED fixtures, and they offer excellent distribution on both sides. This makes them a strong choice for facilities with extremely tall shelving. It doesn’t, however, make them a strong choice for facilities that need even distribution of illumination throughout the building. LEDs, because they can be aimed easily and built with modern optics, are the best fixtures on the market when it comes to general illumination.
- LEDs can be controlled for even better efficiency – LED fixtures are built on modern circuitry that allows for precise control. This lends LED technology to compatibility with many forms of control, like timers and occupancy controls. And these are quite basic compared to the most sophisticated controls out there. For example, some facilities use advanced management or modeling systems to track where their energy is being spent. LED fixtures can be tied to this software to manage output distribution precisely. And an increasing number of fixtures are built with self-checking software that reports faults as soon as they occur, allowing for an immediate response before the fixture fails entirely.
Warehouse lighting demands the most modern fixture solutions the industry has, and at front and center is LED technology.