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How much lighting do you need for a warehouse?

Warehouses are bustling environments with workers, forklifts and stock regularly moving about. Accordingly, safety is paramount in a warehouse. Large buildings are prone to poor lighting conditions, so it’s crucial that the correct lighting is installed. This will improve visibility and provide workers with a safer and more comfortable work environment. But the lighting required for a warehouse is very different to, for example, the lighting required in an office.

What Are the Different Types of Warehouse Lights?

When it comes to lighting a warehouse you need to work with industrial lights. The standard of lighting used in an office or boardroom simply won’t cut it in a warehouse. You need strong, focused lighting which is suitable for the temperature extremes a warehouse goes through during the year. The most common forms of warehouse lighting are:

  • High Intensity Discharge (HID):

    Seen as the traditional option for warehouse lighting, HID lights represent a low-cost option for lighting a warehouse. However, there are also several drawbacks with HID lights. They require a warmup period after being switched on to reach maximum illumination and the colour temperatures are limited to yellow and white. Over time, HID lights are also prone to lumen depreciation so you should expect a decrease in light output.
  • Fluorescent Lighting:

    Offering a high level of energy efficiency and budget-friendly prices, fluorescent lights are a popular choice for warehouse lighting. They require less energy than their HID counterparts and can provide colour temperatures between 2700K to 6500K. Flexibility is another important aspect of fluorescent lighting as they are available in a wide range of sizes and shapes. On the downside, fluorescent lighting struggles in extreme temperatures – which is common in warehouses during summer and winter – and this can shorten their lifespan.
  • LED Fixtures:

    LED lighting has created numerous headlines over the last two decades and it’s not hard to see why. With lifespans of up to 100,000 hours and incredible energy efficiency, LED lights are perfect for warehouses. Typically, they are supplied as fixtures and, thanks to the long lifespan, will rarely need to be accessed to maintain. LEDs are also more than capable of dealing with cold temperatures, but it must be noted that they can struggle in extreme heat.

How Do You Calculate Lighting for a Warehouse?

Now you know a little more about warehouse lighting, it’s time to understand just how much lighting your warehouse needs. After all, a warehouse needs to be fully illuminated to provide excellent working conditions.

Depending on the stock within your warehouse, you will need to work with different calculations. A warehouse that, for example, mostly deals with smaller items will require 30 lumens per square foot. If you are dealing with larger items then the requirement will be 10 lumens per square foot. Aisle areas, meanwhile, will need a different calculation of around 20 lumens per square foot. By working out the dimensions of your warehouse, you should be able to easily calculate how many lumens you require and, therefore, the number of lights needed to achieve this.

Learn more about lighting options for Warehouse and Commercial buildings

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