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Industrial premises are not always the most appealing of places, ignored by most but not the 299 lighting team. Most industrial premises contain areas where raw materials are stored, refined or packaged. In those areas, many visual tasks are performed on vertical surfaces at different heights. Poorly designed warehouse lighting can result in a vast increase in energy consumption, and decrease the buildings energy efficiency.

When assessing an average warehouse you will see a lot of the time, workers will only use one or two aisles to move goods to and from, the rest of the aisles are left lit and unused. Simple PIR sensors will turn on when they detect movement created by a staff member in an aisle and dim when movement stops, saving energy and increasing building efficiency. There is also the problem of the actual goods that are stored in the warehouse, white goods for example can play a significant role in increasing reflectivity unlike brown cardboard boxes which will make the aisles darker. Dimming to a low level and switching on instantly excludes most HID products, but T5 and LED luminaries are now as efficient as metal halides, the previous lamp of choice for warehouses.

Below are two lighting designs for a typical warehouse scenario testing out our 299 products Arago 4x50W IP65 T5 against the new Chelt high output 140W LED at 17200lm. Calculating warehouse visual task level is a little tricky due to multiple working plane heights. One important aspect of visual task level is the ability to read packaging labels. For manned aisles, you should try to achieve 150 lx on the floor, although sometimes this is unachievable due to the close proximity of the aisles.

 

Warehouse design using Arago 4x50W                                                                                              Warehouse design using Chelts 140W LED 17200lm

Our verdict

If you are in need of energy efficient luminaries to provide ideal lux levels within a warehouse without burning a hole in your pocket then I would suggest the Arago fitting. But if you want to invest in the future while drastically reducing your carbon footprint then I suggest choosing the Chelt fitting.

 

Trying to compare a T5 to LED is not as straightforward as we would like it to be, there are several variants that we need to consider. Let me explain; when analysing project costs T5 will always come up top compared to LED. LED prices have fallen over the past few years but it is still considered as new technology.

So what are the key features driving people to buy LEDs? The first is the reduced running costs over 10 year period, with the lifespan of 50,000 hours for LED there are no maintenance costs unlike T5 lamps. With a lifespan of 19,000hrs per lamp, you would need to replace T5 lamps approximately 3 times within a 10 year period if not more.

Replacing the lamps sounds easy but in practice it is an expensive job especially if they are 6 meters off the ground. You will probably need to rent scaffolding, consider costs for labour, and new lamps for the fitting. All of that adds up to a substantial amount over 10 years, not to mention increases the carbon footprint of the warehouse.

It can also pay to be green, some retailers are subject to a government carbon reduction commitment energy efficiency scheme, which is a further annual saving of £12 per tonne of CO2. So an LED solution is really a no brainer, if you’re willing to invest.

Let us know your thoughts.