Warehouse LED Lighting Guide

Warehouse LED Lighting Guide

LED lighting is a top choice for warehouses, as it can be installed as part of new construction or retrofitted into an existing lighting system. In both instances, warehouse LED lighting offers the following benefits:

  • Superior energy efficiency
  • Extended lifespan and reliability
  • A low maintenance, low overhead design
  • Excellent controllability
  • Outstanding performance and lighting quality
  • Directionality (the ability to be aimed)

LED lighting makes a strong case for itself. The question is – what LED lighting products are appropriate for a warehouse? In this guide, we will answer that question and provide information on what facility managers should consider before implementing LEDs in their warehouses.

Which LED Lighting Fixtures are Used in Warehouses?

LED lighting technology has been adapted for a full range of warehouse fixtures, including the following:

  • Linear bay lighting – Linear bay fixtures output illumination in a rectangular pattern that is ideal for lighting aisles. They can be mounted directly to the warehouse’s ceiling or suspended from it by chains, so they can be installed at varying heights. Linear bays are also effective at reducing glare and blend in with their surroundings better, if aesthetics are a concern.
  • UFO bay lighting – UFO bay lights are circular in shape and therefore emit illumination in a circular pattern. In open warehouse designs, this distribution pattern may be preferred and provide better coverage. UFOs are also more compact and easier to install than linear bays, but glare control can be a concern. Like with most bay fixtures, UFO bays can be mounted directly to the ceiling or suspended from it at nearly any height.
  • Low bay lighting – Low bay lights are designed for warehouses with lower ceilings, typically between 12 and 20 feet high. Low bay lights can also be used to great effect in areas for more detailed tasks. As such, low bay lights are often used in workshops, industrial facilities, and manufacturing centers, in addition to warehouses.
  • Task lighting – Task lights are smaller, lower-output fixtures that are designed for spaces where detailed work is carried out. In warehouses, LED task lights may be installed near the picking, processing, or inspection areas.

In addition to the above, you may see other types of LED fixtures acting in smaller roles. For example, LED wall pack lights are a common choice for lighting the building’s interior and exterior perimeter and are a good option for security lighting applications.

Further, some LED fixtures are built to be vapor-tight, which means they are shielded against dust and moisture. These lights come with an IP rating that communicates their resistance to solid and moisture intrusion. In warehouses where dust, moisture or corrosive materials are present, vapor-tight lights are one way to mitigate risk.

Four Things to Consider When Selecting LED Lights

For most warehouses, a combination of bay and task lights will provide sufficient illumination and visibility. The challenge is selecting the right fixture models and positioning them inside the facility. At this point, it is highly recommended that facility owners consult with a lighting expert before moving forward. Lighting professionals can identify the right LEDs and fixtures for your facility, using the following factors to assess your space:

1) The size of the warehouse

The square footage of the warehouse is the primary factor in determining which fixtures to install and where to install them. The facility’s size dictates how many lights will be needed and how they will be spaced out. It is important to get the spacing of your lights right because if they are too close, there will be areas of intense brightness and glare that can cause safety issues. On the other hand, if the lighting is placed too far apart, they will not provide even, adequate illumination across your warehouse floor.

2) The height of the warehouse’s ceiling

Ceiling height is the most important consideration when selecting between high and low bay lighting. However, that is only one reason why ceiling height is important. It also factors into fixture selection, as higher ceilings require higher-output fixtures. There are many high-output LED warehouse lights to choose from, including LEDs that can throw 50,000 lumens or more. When assessing an LED light’s output, it is the lumen count that is most important. Lumens are a unit of luminous flux and are used instead of wattage when describing an LED light’s brightness. In general, an LED uses about 70 percent less power than a metal halide bulb with equivalent output. For example, a 100-watt LED outputs an amount of illumination comparable to a 320-watt metal halide (which is being discontinued).

3) The warehouse’s layout

The layout of the warehouse, including its shape and the way it is organized, also has a major impact on your lighting system. For instance, if your warehouse is arranged in aisles, linear bay lights will be more effective. As most warehouses have a separate picking or staging area, these spaces may require a different type of fixture (or at least a different type of light distribution) for more detailed tasks.

4) Any efficiency or security needs

Many facility owners are switching to LED lighting for efficiency reasons and aim to hit a specified energy savings target. Other warehouse owners need to improve safety, security, or other important metrics. The ultimate lighting goals will influence the right LED fixture selection and placement.

For instance, if your new LED lighting system is intended to future-proof your facility from an efficiency standpoint, it will be important to optimize every lumen the system outputs. That requires precise photometric design. If improved security and safety are the goals, attaching advanced lighting controls (such as occupancy controls) will ensure the lights provide maximum brightness and visibility when needed and are switched off when they are not needed. This can minimize the warehouse’s energy consumption further and reduce the operating cost of the LED lighting.

A Lighting Expert Can Model and Install the Ideal Warehouse LED Lighting System

LED lighting offers the reliability, performance, efficiency, and controllability that facility managers look for in a lighting system. The challenge is implementing a new or retrofit LED system, but an experienced lighting company can help with that.

Lighting experts can provide a detailed photometric analysis for a warehouse lighting project, which is essentially like a glimpse into what the property will look like once the system is installed. Expert lighting professionals use this analysis as a guide in selecting, positioning and configuring LED lights, ensuring clients get maximum illumination coverage and efficiency.

If it is time for your warehouse to make the switch to LED technology, schedule an appointment with a trusted lighting expert to survey your property and begin designing the ideal warehouse LED lighting solution.

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