LED lighting has a number of advantages when compared to conventional lighting. While LEDs provide improved energy and maintenance efficiencies, as well as a better quality light, there are a few additional benefits for warehouses and large, open facilities. Much of this has to do with the technological differences between LED lights and conventional lighting. This article will highlight specific comparisons between LED and traditional warehouse lighting such as; fluorescents and metal halides (a type of HID bulb). We will be focusing on three main points, in which key LED features help to achieve significant advantages in large warehouse facility lighting.
Warehouses typically use one of two styles of lights: linear fluorescent lamps or metal halide lamps. While fluorescents and metal halides were an improvement over incandescent bulbs, they still present issues like disposal hazards, shorter lifespan, and low energy efficiency when directly compared with LEDs. These are the facts everyone already knows about. Now we will discuss three features that are not typically common knowledge, and that make a big difference when it comes to the overall efficiency of your lighting system.
- LEDs Eliminate Warm-Up Times:Metal Halide lamps are notorious for long warmup times (15-20 minutes is typical to get to full power). Therefore, you see large facilities turning on the lights well before they are required. The lights can take up to 20-25 minutes before they attain full illumination. That means they are burning energy before they are ever required. Additionally, Metal Halide’s have a low efficiency at lower power, which means that while they are warming up they are burning more energy per unit of light output (lumen). Consequently, many major warehouses, factories and manufacturing facilities are switching to LEDs.
- The Ability to Dim Lighting:LEDs require LED-specific hardware to provide dimming. Fortunately, this hardware is readily available, easy to install, and adds significant value to the overall lighting solution. LEDs become more efficient when they are run at less than full power (unlike metal halide bulbs). In addition, the lifespan of the bulb increases when the device is run at less than full power. This allows facility managers to save even more money by managing lighting in an intelligent manner. Those facilities that install LEDs as part of a comprehensive “smart lighting” solution will incorporate the high efficiency LED lights in conjunction with sensors (like timers or motion devices). This pairing allows the lights to adapt to ambient conditions and traffic patterns of the particular facility. This is called “adaptive lighting” and is a great way to enhance savings.
- LEDs Are Capable of Frequent Switching:The ability to turn lights on and off on a whim, is beneficial for saving power. As discussed earlier, Metal Halides take up to 25 minutes to fully engage, which is inefficient and time consuming. This means the lights often need to be run for longer periods of time than they otherwise would. If there is a 30-45 minutes lull in the action the lights will generally be left on because it would be too much of a hassle to turn them off and risk issues when you needed them again. LEDs can be turned off instantly and then turned back on immediately with no degradation to the light output or the device itself. This ensures energy, and device lifespan, are not wasted/compromised when the lights are not needed by running them unnecessarily.
All in all, LEDs provide a much-improved solution for large facilities looking to keep their energy and maintenance costs under control. Most organizations can save money today by making the switch. We can help! Contact Switch Lighting for a comprehensive review of your current lighting solution and a plan of action to retrofit your facilities with a better solution.