Warehouse Lighting Guidelines
Traditionally, warehouses would use HPS (high pressure sodium), halogen or fluorescent lights to provide sufficient illumination for such a large space. This can be expensive in terms of energy consumption and requires more maintenance to replace defunct lights, especially when suspended at high levels.
Using LEDs in a warehouse brings many benefits, especially in a large space. LEDs have a far longer lifespan, resulting in less effort in maintenance and replacement. They are also highly energy efficient, bringing energy savings as well as environmental benefits.
There is also a greater degree of flexibility and control when using LEDs, with a choice of colour temperatures.
Warehouses tend to have high ceilings, to maximise their storage and working space.
When planning a lighting solution, you will need to consider areas where lights may need to be suspended to reach staff on the ground. It’s important to think about not only staff but also fixtures (such as racking) and machinery when deciding where and how low to suspend lights.
For example, suspended lights need to be high enough to allow for any items stored on the top level of high shelving, but also give enough clearance for a forklift or any other machinery used to move stock around the warehouse floor.
The term ‘lux level’ refers to the measurement of the intensity of light on a surface area. This is particularly important in warehouses because of the large area to be illuminated. The lux level will help you calculate how many lumens (which is the light output) you need, given the area you’re trying to illuminate.
One lux is the measurement of one lumen, spread over an area of one square metre. If you use a 1000 lumen light to illuminate one square metre, the lux level would be 1000 lux. But over 10 square metres, that would be only 100 lux.
Lighting in any commercial environment should be at a level to enable work to be carried out safely. Most commercial environments will need lux levels from 300 to 1000 lux, but recommended lux level for your specific situation will depend on the building and the type of activity.
We can help with calculating the lighting scheme you need to achieve the recommended lux level.
Function Of Warehouses
Warehouses can have many functions which all need to be considered to deliver the optimum lighting solution.
Within just one warehouse space there may be loading bays, storage racking, packing areas and a trade counter or desk.
It is important to first map out the warehouse space, to identify the area where each type of activity will take place. Light might need to be suspended at different levels, and there may be areas which need different levels of illumination depending on the task.
A plan should also bear in mind that the spread of light can be restricted by fixtures such as shelving. Each ‘aisle’ or area may need to be lit individually.
Areas To Consider
- Loading Bay
- Working Stores
- Large / Small Item Storage
- Cold Storage
- Trade / Counter Desk
Types Of Projects
In new commercial spaces, LED is the automatic choice. We can assist with planning out the space to determine where lighting should be placed, suspension heights and the different types of lighting required.
Many warehouses will have existing halogen lighting in place. Replacing this with a new LED solution can provide many benefits, such as reducing maintenance and improving energy efficiency. We can advise you on whether your existing track system can be retained but updated with LED replacements.
Colour temperature refers to the way that light is rendered to the naked eye. Colour temperature is measured in Kelvins (K).
A Cool White (5000K) colour temperature is close to natural daylight, making it the preferred option for working environments, or anywhere clear and bright light is required.
A Warm White (3000K) colour temperature is more comparable to fire or candlelight, so is better suited to residential environments.
Given the size of warehouse spaces, lighting controls offer a useful way to control groups or areas of lights. Some areas may be in constant use or require constant illumination, whereas others may be needed only occasionally.
For example, you might want to separately group lights for an office or break area to those of a main storage space, or individually control lights for a loading bay.
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