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Warehouse lighting: An illuminating guide to materials handling lights

Written by WarehouseIQ Editor on April 10, 2017 – 7:10 am - (102 views)

Warehouse lightingWarehouse lighting is perhaps one of the most critical systems a warehouse manager needs to think about when operating a facility. After all, without light, a warehouse would be a very difficult place to work.

Warehouse lighting provides operational capability and directly relates to safety and well being of workers. It has a huge impact on a warehouse’s ROI because lights are on 24×7 in busy facilities. This draw on electrical power, and the resulting utility bills, impact a warehouse’s bottom line directly.

Introduction to warehouse lighting

Here are the most prevalent types of lights currently encountered in the majority of facilities in the materials handling market. Not only in the United States and Canada, but in most warehouses around the world.

Metal Halide

Metal Halide lights are an aging technology that are increasingly being replaced, by modern lighting systems like LEDs, however the lighting technology is still quite common. That said, Metal Halide lighting systems get their share of complaints. Warehouse managers and their workers have to deal with inefficiency, ambient buzzing, and delays when the lights are first switch on. The lights take a bit of time to reach optimal intensity. They also suffer from a relatively short lifespan. For an environmental perspective, the lamps contain mercury, which is toxic for humans, and harmful to the environment. As warehouse managers seek for more energy efficient spaces, they are likely to demand the replacement of metal halide lights, with more efficient lighting technology.

See examples of Metal Halide lighting here

High Output Fluorescent

High Output Fluorescent Fixtures are better known as T8 or T5. Compared to metal halide, these use half the energy,so they are are twice as efficient. They reach maximum intensity within moments of being switched on. There is also no buzzing or humming when they are on.

When footcandle requirements exceeds 50, the most efficient choice to equip a facility with this level of light (at a reasonable cost) is by using T5 fluorescent fixtures. The most common fluorescent lights are T12, T8, and T5. The numbers in these monikers relate to the lamp diameter. T12 are 12/8 of an inch (1.5 inches) T8 lamps are 8/8 of an inch (1 inch), and T5 lamps are 5/8 inches in diameter (a little more than 1/2 inch).

See examples of High Output Fluorescent Lighting here

LED

LED lighting the warehouse is the most recent trend in warehouse lights. The acronym “LED” is short for light-emitting diode and it is a low temperature, energy-efficient light technology that has been around for more than 50 years. However, the invention of white LED lights has resulted in widespread adoption of the technology in recent years.  (Read more about LED technology on wikipedia.)  LED high bay lights for a warehouse are specifically designed for taller ceilings and for illuminating larger work areas. LED lights can be focused more directly. They also create bright illumination across a long distance. This makes them ideal perfect for warehouse applications, as well as usual in commercial and industrial buildings.


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