As a warehouse owner or future warehouse owner, you have a lot of responsibilities on your plate. Between hiring a capable staff, paying your utility bills on time, and staying up to date on the most effective warehouse software, certain things may fall by the wayside.
Like your lighting plan!
Even though warehouse lighting can be an afterthought for many owners, it’s an incredibly vital component of a successful warehouse. Follow the 8 lighting tips below to optimize your warehouse!
Why You Need Optimal Warehouse Lighting
Warehouses don’t come without their fair share of hazards. And you need to keep your warehouse running like a well-oiled machine so that you don’t make any profit-affecting errors. One of the key ways to keep your employees safe and productive is to incorporate a dependable warehouse lighting system. Doing so promotes these benefits:
- 😴 Reduces employee sleepiness: We’re all familiar with that post-lunch slump during the workday. However, proper illumination helps keep employees’ energy levels up so that they’re more alert and energetic throughout the day.
- 🏗️ Helps prevent heavy machinery accidents: Operating heavy machinery is a dangerous job in and of itself. If the machine operators can’t adequately see what they’re doing or where they need to go, property can quickly get damaged. Even worse, people can get hurt.
- ❌ Limits employee errors: If your employees need to strain their eyes in order to work with labels, paperwork, or inventory, they can easily make mistakes. Proper lighting helps promote fewer errors.
- ♻️ Lowers energy costs: Using old-school fluorescent lighting may have seemed economical upfront, but it’s contributing to high energy bills each month. Reduce extra heat (and the associated costs) by upgrading your warehouse lighting.
8 Top-Notch Warehouse Lighting Tips
If you don’t know where to start in order to upgrade your warehouse lighting plan, don’t fret. Include as many of the following tips as possible, and always feel free to reach out to a professional commercial electrician for advice and guidance.
1) Incorporate Natural Light As Much as Possible
A 2018 study found that the absence of natural light and outdoor views hurts employees. In fact, 47% of the employees in the survey reported that they felt very tired from the absence of natural light in the workplace.
Natural light offers many benefits for employees, including:
- Reduced eyestrain
- Fewer headaches
- More energy/less drowsiness
- Better mental health
We know that natural light isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think about a warehouse, but take as many opportunities as possible to incorporate windows and skylights where appropriate.
2) Opt for High-Bay LED Lights
Fluorescent lights simply don’t cut it anymore. The best option on the market for warehouses and other commercial buildings is high-bay LED lights. High-bay lights are intentionally designed to light buildings with tall ceilings between 20-45 feet. They provide the best long-range lighting compared to any other light fixture.
Not only do LED light fixtures provide better illumination, but they also improve your energy efficiency. High bay lights are 80% more efficient than fluorescent lights, which means you save money on your energy bills each month. Making the switch also helps the environment— it’s a win-win!
You can install high bay LED lights in linear or “UFO” designs. Or a combination of both!
3) Pay Attention to Color Temperature
Beyond the amount of light in your warehouse, you should also consider the color temperature. A higher color temperature will increase focus and productivity.
Opt for a crisp, bright, white light between 4000-5000K (Kelvin). Warmer light temperature negatively affects focus, energy levels, and eyestrain.
4) Avoid Glare
No one likes dealing with light glare. And in a warehouse setting, glare can actually cause dangerous accidents. Avoid glare by choosing anti-glare lights and installing reflectors or shades on all existing lights.
5) Install Task Lighting
“Task lighting” is a well-known term among photographers and filmmakers, but perhaps you’ve never heard of it before. Task lighting sounds exactly like what it is— direct lighting used specifically for certain tasks. Most commonly, task lighting is a lamp.
Tasks like picking stock or reading labels need support from good task lighting. If there is adequate additional light available for employees to use during these specific tasks, it reduces errors. Be sure to install task lighting at desks or at stations where additional light is necessary.
6) Consider Motion Sensors
Many people forget to switch the lights off when they exit a room. And at a workplace, lights usually get left on all day. Reduce your energy consumption even further by considering smart lighting. Motion-sensing smart lighting can reduce your energy usage by up to 30%!
Motion sensors will automatically switch off the lights when movement is not detected for a set period of time. When movement is detected again, the lights turn back on.
7) Choose the Right Light Pattern for Your Floorplan
Warehouse lighting patterns generally take an “I” or “V” pattern.
- I patterns are long and narrow and best suited for spaces with tall shelving units.
- V patterns emit widespread light in a circular or square fashion and are best for open floor plans.
Installing a certain light pattern in the wrong area can cause hot spots, dark spots, and glare. Avoid these unwanted problems by consulting with a lighting professional before proceeding with an installation.
8) Get a Professional Retrofit
Implementing these warehouse lighting tips may seem easiest for people who are building a new warehouse from the ground up. If you have an existing lighting plan, it may seem like too much work to completely change things out.
Thankfully, you can schedule a commercial lighting retrofit with a professional electrician. Their expertise will help you find ways to cut energy costs and boost productivity— and they’ll take care of the entire installation and replacement process.
Let Electric City Help Optimize Your Warehouse Lighting!
We hope you found these lighting tips helpful for employee productivity and energy efficiency in your warehouse. As you prepare to implement these tips, prioritize partnering with a qualified commercial electrician like Electric City.
Our Minnesota-based team has many 10+ years of experience providing lighting retrofits to warehouses just like yours. Contact our team today for a free consultation!