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Warehouse Lighting

Warehouse Lighting

In today’s warehouses a top priority is placed on saving costs, ensuring safety, & reducing maintenance. Warehouse lighting fixtures must be designed to withstand harsh conditions while providing consistent, accurate illumination over large areas. We sell industrial quality low bay and high bay warehouse lights that are DLC Premium Verified & IP65 Rated. Our lighting experts work with electrical contractors and project managers to design layouts which maximize illumination while minimizing costs.

LED Lighting in Warehouses

One of the most appealing benefits of LED lighting is its dramatically increased efficiency compared to traditional types of lighting such as fluorescent, metal halides, sodium lamps, CFL bulbs and HIDs. Warehouses that have switched over to LED lighting have seen as much as an 84% ROI in their lighting operations. This dramatic improvement in ROI is not only due to a 40% increase in efficiency, but also the lifespan of LED bulbs being over three times that of traditional lighting.

Here’s a summary below of a warehouse lighting case study where a metal industry supplier with several warehouses replaced fluorescent T5 lamps with Straits Lighting Apollo LED UFO high bays. These high bays are one of the many quality solutions offered at our store.

A dimly lit warehouse before LED retrofitting
BEFORE
Brightly illuminated warehouse after LED retrofitting
AFTER

Current Annual Lighting Cost

Energy (kWh)769,620
Energy Bill Savings$87,737
Maintenance Cost$13,677
Current Annual Lighting Cost
$101,414

LED Lighting Cost

Energy (kWh)475,373
Energy Bill Savings$54,193
Maintenance Cost$3,923
LED Annual Lighting Cost
$58,115

LED Retrofit Cost

Estimated Material Cost$59,266
Estimated Installation Cost$25,000
Estimated Sales Tax$3,556
Purchase Price (Tax Included)$87,822
Utility Company Rebates($25,768)
Federal Tax IncentivesTBD
Total LED Retrofit Cost
$62,055

Annual LED Savings

Energy (kWh)294,247
Energy Bill Savings$33,544
Maintenance Cost$9,754
HVAC$4,151
Total Annual Savings
$47,450

Financial Summary

Net Purchase Price$57,033
LED Annual Savings$47,450
Monthly Cost of Waiting$3,954
Payback Period1.2 Years
IRR (7 Year)84%
Total LED Lifetime Savings$373,614
Net LED Lifetime Savings
$311,560

Warehouse Lighting Layout Design

Designing a warehouse lighting layout takes a fair amount of planning. One of the first steps is determining how high the ceiling is. You’ll also want to determine other dimensions of the room such as length, width, etc. With this information you can begin to determine the spacing of the lighting fixtures in order to see how many foot candles are required to properly illuminate the space below. Another important factor to consider is whether or not your lights will be exposed to conditions such as dust, water vapor etc.

Since determining these factors takes a great deal of planning and calculation, our lighting experts work with building managers and contractors and assist them by providing an professionally designed photometric lighting plan in order to determine the most efficient and cost-effective solution for their facility.

Here’s an example of a warehouse lighting project that our lighting experts provided for a facility manager. This plan strategically laid out 52 LED linear high bay lights for a warehouse with a 14 foot high ceiling.

As you can see this photometric design provides details such as recommended foot candles, fixture quantity, total lumen output, total wattage, etc.

Warehouse lighting design photometric layout with 40 LED linear high bay fixtures mapped out around a facility with a 14 foot high ceiling.

Warehouse Lighting Recommendations by Ceiling Height

Choosing the most ideal lighting fixture will largely depend on the ceiling height within the facility. For example, large facilities with ceiling heights between 30-40 feet typically require round shaped UFO high bay lights due to their compact design and high lumen output. This design and energy output give them the ability to cast bright illumination with a wide beam angle from high areas.

On the other hand, smaller areas with ceiling heights of 15 feet or lower should typically use less powerful lights such as 4 foot LED strip lights. These shop lighting fixtures cast adequate illumination without expending excessive energy; they’re also light, occupy minimal space, and are sold at a highly affordable price point.

Here are general warehouse lighting guidelines based on ceiling height within the facility. Please note, these recommendations are very general, to obtain an accurate lighting plan, we recommend consulting with one of our lighting experts.

Ceiling Height Lumen Output Ideal Fixture Spacing Ideal Fixture Type
15-20 feet 10,000 - 22,000 10-15 feet 50W UFO High Bays, 100-150W Linear High Bays
20-25 feet 22,000 - 32,000 15-25 feet 220W UFO High Bays or 150W Linear High Bays
25-30 feet 32,000 - 35,000 15-30 feet 230W UFO High Bays or 150W Linear High Bays
40+ feet 47,000 30-40 feet 360W UFO High Bays
Chart showing recommended LED High Bays for different heights of celings

About Our Warehouse Lighting Fixtures

Round LED High Bays (UFO) Round shaped fixtures that are ideal for ceiling heights greater than 15 feet as well as industrial areas that are exposed to harsh environmental factors such as heat or dust.
Round shaped LED UFO high bay light used in high warehouse ceilings with an attached cord
Linear LED High Bays Rectangular shaped LED fixtures that are designed for use in applications with ceilings 20 to 40 feet in height. They are ideal for gyms, warehouses and large commercial facilities that see many hours of continual use in a variety of ambivalent temperatures.
A rectangular shaped industrial linear LED high bay light is shown from below, with its four arrays of LED lights clearly visible
4 ft Suspended LED Lights Linear shaped fixtures with twin integrated LED tubes, these are designed with both aesthetics and performance in mind. Ideal for office spaces, retail stores and any other indoor facility requiring stylish yet high quality lighting.
A streamline suspended linear fixture is shown with its LED T8 tubes visible through its stylish industrial grade housing and light grill
4 ft LED Strip/Shop Lights These utilitarian linear strip lights are designed specifically for applications requiring strong lighting in a basic and affordable package. They use T8 style LED bulbs (sold separately) for optimal energy efficiency, lumen output and lifespan.
A pair of four foot LED strip lights are shown hanging from a garage with T8 style LED tubes installed.
8 ft LED Strip/Shop Lights Designed to be suspended from or mounted directly to ceilings, these linear LED fixtures cover a large area with their 8 foot overall length. They are best suited for ceiling heights 15 feet and under.
An eight foot LED strip light is shown with its G13 tombstone attachments attached to the fixtures steel housing
Vapor Tight/Wet Area Lights Designed to operate in less than ideal conditions, these fixtures are perfect for applications that require dust, dirt and moisture resistance. Equipped with G13 tombstone style bases, these vapor tight fixtures are intended to use T8 style tubes.
A walk in cooler is shown with multiple rows of vapor tight fixtures mounted from the ceiling, illuminating a large beer selection below
Low Ceiling Utility/Shop Lights Suspended industrial shop light that uses LED tubes for illumination. This fixture is ideal for warehouse utility rooms as well as workshop areas with ceilings under 15 feet.
Suspended LED lighting fixture that is hung from the ceilings with hooks used in warehouse utility rooms and workshops
Heavy Machinery Safety Lights Designed to output a crisp linear LED beam, these lights are intended to be mounted on heavy machinery in order to provide clearly defined safety zones. They feature highly adaptable yoke mount brackets for easy setup and utilize an external driver for a sleek low profile installation.
A red colored linear LED crane light is shown turned on with its long narrow lens facing the viewer

Warehouse Lighting Recommendations by Location

Utility & Storage Rooms - Since these areas do not require intense light output, energy efficiency and minimal maintenance, lighter duty lights can be used. The most commonly used are linear style utility lighting, as well as replacement bulbs such as T8 LED tubes and corn lamps.

Warehouse Loading Dock Lighting - As high traffic areas, loading docks at warehouses necessitate substantial lighting in order to ensure safe and efficient work. The most commonly used on the indoor side of the dock are high bay fixtures, which produce exceptional lumen output. On the outdoor side, canopy lights, wall packs and floodlights are the best choice for weatherproof illumination.

Overhead Crane Safety - There are several specific light fixtures that are specifically designed for overhead cranes and machinery. Primarily, this includes linear crane lights and spotlight style crane lights. These lights create an exclusion safety zone below the load being carried by the crane head, alerting workers to the danger above.

Forklift Safety - As pieces of heavy mobile machinery, forklifts have the potential to cause serious injuries or even death when safety is neglected. Because most forklift accidents occur as a result of a lack of situational awareness, forklift safety strobe lighting is one of the most effective ways of reducing accidents. These lights use external drivers to power bright LED lights that provide a clear indication as to the location of forklifts.

Workshops - Due to the detailed nature of work performed in the average workshop, quality lighting is important. For this application, the most popular type of fixture used are typically low bay lights, thanks to their exceptional lumen output over a wide area. Linear shop lighting is often used to fill any gaps that higher powered low bay lighting may leave.

Cold Storage - Because these lights are exposed to condensation as a result of refrigeration, it is important that they are sealed from moisture. Vapor tight fixtures are the best choice for this application, as they are impervious to moisture as well as providing solid lumen output over a wide area.

Warehouse Exterior Walls - For building exteriors, the best solution for ensuring sufficient illumination are wall pack lights. These lights are sealed from the elements and virtually maintenance free throughout their long service life.

Warehouse Parking Lots - Parking lots have wide areas that need to be illuminated in order to ensure safety and security for users. For this application, floodlights are the top choice, as they provide intense illumination in a relatively compact package, and are easy to mount on poles or other exterior mounting surfaces.

Fixture Safety and Performance Qualifications

Having an ideal lighting solution for warehouses will improve visibility within the facility while maximizing energy-efficiency. Not only does this save energy costs for a business, but also helps to reduce workplace accidents and improve productivity.

IP65 Rating - This is a rating given to enclosures that are designed to protect against low pressure water spray from all directions, in addition to condensation and moisture. This is the minimum rating needed for lighting fixtures used in outdoor applications.

DLC Premium - This is a classification for high performance luminaires and retrofit kits. The intent of this premium classification is to highlight products that achieve higher energy efficiency while simultaneously providing excellent quality light as well as controllability that exceeds the standard classification for DLC requirements.

IP40 Rating - This is an indoor only rating, which protects against objects larger than 1mm from touching the electrical components - such as tools and large wires. It does not provide protection against water spray, or high humidity environments. Typically seen on indoor commercial fixtures.

IP67 Rating - This is a waterproof rating given to enclosures and devices designed to be submerged underwater up to a meter deep for up to an half hour. It provides significantly better protection for outdoor lighting fixtures and also completely protects against dust or dirt ingress.

LM79 Rating - Fixtures carrying this rating are tested according to LM-79-08, which is a test method developed by the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA). This defines the methodologies behind lab testing of solid state lighting, such as LEDs. Essentially, an LED light carrying an LM79 rating has passed an industry standard test to ensure its performance and longevity.

UL Listing - Short for Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., this is a certification for any electrical product that passes their safety standards. In the realm of lighting, bulbs and fixtures bearing a UL listing mark are guaranteed to be free from deficits in electrical engineering, resulting in a safer product.

Many reputable safety organizations recognize the importance of having proper illumination in industrial facilities. For example, the Teamsters provide information on the importance of lighting in warehouses on their website. According to the Teamsters:

“Workers at a warehouse need to spot oncoming vehicles, pedestrians, slippery floors and other hazards in time to prevent injuries and accidents. Areas of the warehouse that require lighting include the loading dock, shipping and receiving areas, open storage areas, and rack storage…” (Teamsters Safety & Health Facts, 2004, Lighting (Illumination) in Warehouses)

Here at commercialledlights.com each of our fixtures contain the necessary safety and performance qualifications such as DLC Premium and IP65. We sell industrial quality lighting fixtures for maximum illumination as well as safety lighting solutions to prevent accidents around heavy machinery.

Color Rendering Index (CRI)

LED lighting offers a significantly better quality of light compared to traditional lighting. LED lighting has a very high CRI (Color Rendering Index), which means that the light it produces is more accurate and real. CRI runs on a scale of 0-100, with 100 being natural sunlight. LED lighting typically has a CRI of 90, sometimes even more - whereas traditional lighting rarely has a CRI beyond 80. This is actually quite a significant difference, which can be clearly noticed to the naked eye in side-by-side comparisons.

In addition to the higher CRI, LED lighting also offers an approximately 40% increase in usable light compared to traditional lighting. This is due to the way in which the light is focused. Traditional lighting generally produces light in a 360° pattern, requiring the use of a reflector to redirect light in the correct direction.

This results in a significant efficiency loss which is not present in LED lighting. Because LEDs can only produce 180° patterns, they do not require reflectors to redirect light as all the light is going in the correct direction to begin with. This increase in usable light combined with the exceptionally high CRI of LED lighting increases safety for warehouse workers by more accurately illuminating their workspace and creating less strain on their eyes.