One of the most popular warehouse order picking or order fulfillment technologies on the market is called pick to light. We have put together this page to answer the following common questions about pick to light/ pick by light systems:
- What is pick to light?
- What are the benefits of pick to light?
- What are ideal applications for pick to light?
- How does pick to light work?
- What is the best pick to light technology?
What is Pick to Light?
Pick to Light is an order picking technology that has been adopted by many warehouse fulfillment systems. Pick to light is an order fulfillment system that is light directed, which helps order pickers increase their pick speeds and pick accuracy. By eliminating paper picking, order picking operators no longer need a paper order in their hands to manually look and pick an order.
Instead, pick to light systems uses a computer to direct lights at pick locations (on carousels, carton flow rack, shelving storage, static shelving and batch picking carts, and others) to indicate the items and quantities to pick. Once order pickers complete the task indicated by the light modules, they simply push a button to confirm their picks. In a Put to Light module, it is the similar, but items are put to carts, totes or bins where pick lights indicate where items are to be put to.
What are the benefits of pick to light?
As mentioned earlier, pick to light allows you to go “paperless picking”. By eliminating the time consuming and manual labor of having your order pickers read each SKU item to pick line by line and having them travel throughout the entire warehouse for an order, you can greatly improve productivity and accuracy.
With a pick to light system, orders are downloaded from your existing host or WMS computer and then optimized to reduce labor costs related to paper picking.
In short, pick to light systems allows any order fulfillment warehouse operations to:
- Reduce labor costs
- Increase picking speeds and productivity
- Improve order accuracy
- Cut travel distances
What are ideal applications for pick to light?
Pick to light systems are best fit for any warehouse order fulfillment operations that does piece picking or broken case picking. These operations typically have a large quantity of SKUs that is running a highly labor intensive order picking operations. If you find that 20% of your products or SKUS require 80% of the picking labor, this type of pick to light system would improve your productivity and even accuracy.
Below are some ideal pick to light applications:
- eCommerce & Mail-Order
- Apparel & Footwear
- Automotive Aftermarket Parts
- Food, Beverage, & Grocery
- Pharmaceutical, Health & Beauty
- Reverse Logistics
- Consumer Goods Manufacturing
- Value-Added & Customized Products
How does Pick to Light work?
We won’t go into the technical details of how the order fulfillment system communicates to the pick lights, but we’ll explain the main components involved with a typical pick to light system.
Step 1: Add the pick to light software to your existing WMS or host computer
Step 2: Add pick light modules to the area where you most need to improve order picking rates/ productivity. It is best implemented where 80% of your order picking volume is for 20% of your SKUs.
Step 3: Get your order pickers acquainted with the new picking system! It will be their new best friend!
To learn more about order fulfillment picking systems, go to
FastFetch is a pick to light order fulfillment system that will work with your existing WMS, ERP, or Host System.