Brewery Lighting Information
Brewing operations have unique lighting requirements, not only to ensure worker safety but also to prevent spoiling of products. These facilities often are quite large, consisting of thousands of square feet of floor space filled with brewing vats, tanks and other related equipment. With so much space to illuminate, it should be no surprise that choosing the proper lighting setup is a serious undertaking. With the right lighting setup, breweries can exploit the extensive benefits of LED technology, especially when it comes to increased performance and reduced operating costs.
Specifics of Brewery Lighting
As mentioned previously, brewery lighting has particular requirements that necessitate thoughtful planning to maximize the benefits of LED technology. One of the critical aspects of lighting for breweries has to do with preventing natural light from making its way into the product during the brewing process, as well as afterwards during storage. The ultraviolet rays from sunlight can actually spoil batches, or at a minimum noticeably diminish the quality of product. Because of this, breweries must be entirely reliant on artificial lighting, which makes the selection and configuration of a lighting setup even more important than most applications.
Another important factor to consider for brewery lighting is ensuring that there is adequate lumen output, especially for busy work areas such as vats, bottling areas, warehousing and shipping areas. These areas are often cramped and packed full of equipment, racks and often have heavy machinery, including overhead lifting equipment, forklift trucks and mixing equipment. High output illumination provides increased visibility in these situations which not only improves productivity but also worker safety due to a reduction in accidents resulting from poor visibility. For the same reason, it is important that lighting be as low maintenance as possible to reduce downtime and blockages in production areas.
Brewery Lighting Ideas
Based on discussions with our experienced lighting experts, we’ve prepared three key brewery lighting ideas for our readers.
1. Use waterproof lighting fixtures
Since breweries have areas that are exposed to condensation, it’s a good idea to place waterproof lighting fixtures in specific locations throughout the facility, namely, where alcohol is brewed and/or stored. Waterproof lighting fixtures are also ideal for large refrigeration units such as walk-in coolers. You’ll want to ensure the fixture has a uL rating for wet locations as this indicates the light will be resistant to moisture.
2. Choose the right color temperature (Kelvin)
Because no two breweries are alike, neither are their lighting choices, particularly when it comes to color temperature. For large scale commercial breweries, the primary goal of lighting is to ensure worker safety and efficiency by providing maximum visibility. In this particular situation, the color temperature will be as close to natural daylight as possible, typically in the 5000 kelvin range. For other applications where aesthetics are important, such as craft breweries that showcase brewing operations to the public, a warmer light is often chosen, typically in the 4000 kelvin range.
3. Use lights with little to no heat emissions
Temperature control is critical for breweries in order to ensure a quality and consistent product is produced. One of the biggest factors that affects indoor temperatures is lighting, as certain types of fixtures and bulbs can generate significant amounts of heat, especially in enclosed areas. Thankfully, with recent developments in lighting technology, managing heat output is much easier. Unlike halogen or HID type bulbs of the past, modern LED lighting produces dramatically lower heat, making temperature control much easier and reducing the load on air conditioning systems - saving a significant amount in energy costs over the long term.
Why Choose LEDs
Considering the high demands brewery operations place on their lighting setups, it should be no surprise that brewery owners and operators seek out the best lighting solutions possible. LED lighting is the ideal solution for this, offering significant advantages in practically every critical aspect of lighting, including energy efficiency, lowered maintenance, improved visibility and a generally higher quality of light.
For breweries, energy efficiency and lowered maintenance costs are top priorities, especially for busy operations that utilize a significant number of LED fixtures in cramped areas. In these situations, having a fixture down for maintenance not only will cause issues with visibility in the immediate area, it also can block traffic to other areas of operation, causing ripple effects in the hampering of production and everyday operations. Additionally, the higher Color Rendering Index (CRI) of LED lighting allows for better lighting accuracy, resulting in improved visibility for increases in both worker productivity and safety. Lastly, as mentioned before, LED fixtures produce far less heat than traditional lighting options, resulting in easier temperature control for brewing and storage operations and saving HVAC costs.