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How to Light a Warehouse: What You Need to Know

How to Light a Warehouse: What You Need to Know

By Vanessa Peng

Lighting at your warehouse is of critical importance. Without the proper illumination levels or placement of light, you run into safety and quality control issues. Even more, outdated lighting could be adding a huge dent to your utility bill. When thinking about upgrading your lighting system, there are many factors to consider, from the types of fixtures to the placement of your light system, among other aspects. One factor is the same for all warehouses though: LED lighting is the best choice.

If you’re wondering how to light a warehouse or looking to learn more about LED warehouse lighting, then this article is for you.

Why is good lighting important for a warehouse?

Good, adequate lighting ensures the safety of your employees. There are dozens of hazards in a warehouse and proper lighting can protect your employees. Here are the main reasons why you want to have a good, dependable warehouse lighting system:

  • Reduces worker mistakes – When you get rid of dark spots employees stop straining to see their paperwork and labels. Being able to clearly see helps your workers make fewer mistakes.
  • Reduces heavy machinery accidents – When heavy machine operators can see what they’re doing, they are not running into shelves or, even worse, people. They can operate in an efficient manner without damaging property or hurting employees.
  • Reduces employee sleepiness – When your warehouse has proper illumination levels employees are less likely to hit a 3 o’clock slump. They’re more likely to be alert and productive when the lighting design emits the right color temperature and amount of light (more on this later). Learn more about color temperature here.
  • Keeps energy costs low – LED warehouse lights are cool to the touch and don’t produce heat like traditional lighting options, such as fluorescent lighting, do. That heat generates a lot of extra dollar signs on your electricity bill, which means a switch to LED lights could lead to substantial cost savings for you.

How do I light the warehouse?

Warehouse lighting has special considerations. Warehouses tend to have elevated shelves, wide and open floor spaces, high ceilings, and few windows.

How you light your warehouse depends on several factors and isn’t a decision you should make quickly without asking yourself several questions first, including:

How many fixtures do you need? Every warehouse is different and just knowing the square footage isn’t enough. You’ll have to use a light meter to figure out how many fixtures you need to get the suggested lighting levels needed for each space. A blueprint will help you confirm the proper light layout and where to install each LED fixture. Find out if your facility is following OSHA safety guidelines for lighting here.

How high are your shelves or stacked products? The higher your products are to the ceiling of the building, the more light you will need for proper illumination levels.

What color temperature should the lights be? Color temperature makes a huge impact on productivity and the safety of your employees. A bright, crisp white light in between 4000K and 5000K is the best color temperature for warehouses. If your light output is too warm employees will be sleepy, less productive, and won’t be able to see shelves and labels clearly.

How should the lights be spaced out? Light fixture spacing results in glares or dark spots if not done properly. If your LED light fixtures are too close together, you’ll have hot spots where the light overlaps. If your LED lighting system is set up with the lamps too far apart, you will miss some spots creating areas with no light.

How should the light be distributed? Your lighting system needs to emit an illumination pattern that aligns with your facility’s layout. If your aisles are narrow and shelving tall, the light source in that area needs to follow a similar long, skinny pattern. If you have wide open spaces, the lights in those areas should have a wide illumination pattern.

How bright should the lights be? You’ll need to figure out how many lumens your fixtures should emit based on factors like the amount of natural light filtering in from windows or skylights and if you have light or dark colored walls.

What special conditions does the space have, i.e. wet environment, caustic materials? If your lights will be installed in an area that has special conditions, you will want to consider specially designed lighting fixtures, like wet rated fixtures, or fixtures that are impact or vapor proof.

Why LEDs for warehouse lighting?

Unlike traditional lighting, such as incandescent bulbs or fluorescent lamps, LEDs are much more energy efficient. LED lights significantly reduce your maintenance and energy costs, reduce the demand on your HVAC system, improve worker safety and productivity, improve quality control, and reduce your carbon footprint. LED warehouse lighting comes in several options, including high bay and low bay fixtures with different features, so you can rest assured there will be options that fit your particular facility.

An LED lighting solution is the best option for your warehouse. It ensures you get the adequate lighting your facility needs and allows you to enjoy an improved facility with happier employees.

U.S. Energy Recovery has been in the LED lighting retrofit industry for decades and can help you figure out the best LED lighting solution for your warehouse. If you’re interested in learning more or have more questions, we’re happy to help! Please reach out to us at (800) 834-8737 and check out our website usenergyrecovery.com.

Finding the right lights for your warehouse can be difficult. Let us help you.