5 Things to Consider When Choosing LEDs for a Warehouse

When selecting LEDs for a warehouse, two things should be on your mind: productivity and safety. If the lights don’t enhance safety, workers can easily get injured and take many days off work – which is the last thing you want. And if they don’t boost productivity, employees will be less alert and energetic, which will negatively impact your business bottom line.

While efficient LED lights are changing the way warehouses and distribution centers are lit, these spaces usually have special challenges when it comes to lighting. This is why it’s crucial to consider these 5 things.

1.   Plan the Lighting Layout Well

If your warehouse is old and the lighting fixtures were installed many years ago, the lighting may no longer be adequate. For example, some luminaries may be on top of shelves and be of no use. A poor lighting layout wastes energy, significantly decreases illuminance levels (because light is delivered to the wrong places), and makes servicing lights an expensive, time-consuming process.

If you own or manage a warehouse, be sure to let your electrician know what you need from the lighting so they can create the perfect layout. There are different light distribution types but only 2 are ideal for warehouses. The electrician will choose the best light distribution type for your warehouse based on the layout of the building.

2.   Optics Are Important

Modern warehouses and distribution centers usually have narrow aisles and higher ceilings in order to make the most revenue per square foot. Warehouse owners and operators can store and sell more products if they store them in areas that occupy less space.

This trend has given LED manufacturers the opportunity to create better lighting products for storage businesses. Old lighting systems usually distribute light to the sides and downwards. They have “wide” beam angles and distribute a lot of light in areas where it isn't needed.

New-generation LEDs incorporate optics for the most efficient performance. Optics focus, mix, and shape the light produced by the LEDs, controlling the illumination pattern. They help LED fixtures to deliver "narrow" beam angles.

If you've decided that LEDs with optics are the best for your warehouse, get those that maximize light output with optics and direct the light to the areas that need it most.

3.   Avoid Glare At All Costs

When it comes to LED lighting, there’s one thing people mostly complain about: glare. LED lights do not generate light like conventional lights and the intensity of each chip can make glare a serious issue, especially if warehouse workers have to look at the lights when packing products or accessing the higher aisles.

 This is why it is so important to balance luminaire efficacy and visual comfort. LED luminaries for high bay fixtures may have excellent luminous efficacy and badly designed optics. Good luminaries may sacrifice luminous efficacy in order to offer visual comfort.

4.   Pay Attention to the Color Rendering Index

Color is one of the most important things in warehouse lighting because it affects things like clarity and contrast. In a warehouse where workers have to identify objects and read labels, the lights must have a high Color Rendering Index so everyone can easily do their work. Lights with a high CRI show the natural and realistic colors of objects.

The higher the Color Rendering Index, the more natural the lighting will be. Look for LEDs with a minimum CRI of 85. Anything below this will cause fatigue and make the place less safe. And while light color may not be as important in a warehouse as in a restaurant kitchen, it is still vital for safety and productivity.

5.   Add Lighting Controls

A good lighting design is comprised of lighting controls as they ensure that lights only operate when they need to and significantly change the way electricity is consumed. If you combine LEDs for high bay fixtures with lighting controls, the energy consumption of your distribution center or warehouse will considerably go down.

You can use occupancy sensors, motion sensors, or localized presence detectors to lower energy usage when no work is being conducted in specific areas. If the building has roof lights, you can make the most of daylight harvesting.

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