In today’s fast-paced industrial environment, it’s sometimes difficult to stop for a moment and really see the state of your facility. Insufficient lighting can be detrimental to an industrial facility and can result in slower picking times for warehouses or missed quality inspections in a manufacturing cell. Potential safety hazards top the list of concerns when there is insufficient lighting.
Your lighting system should never be the reason for an on-the-job injury. While many facility managers may know that they need to improve or upgrade their lights, it can be difficult to know where to start. Below we'll discuss advantages of making the switch to industrial LED lighting to help you make your decision.
The energy savings you could realize as a result of switching to LED lighting in your facility should make a retrofit top priority. Common wattages for LED high bay fixtures (the most common in an industrial/factory setting) can range from 95 watts to 495 watts. If we compare this wattage to a typical HID high bay fixture that same range is 175 watts to 1000 watts.
By switching to LED high bay lighting you are immediately reducing your energy consumption by 40%-60%. To put this in dollars, you would be saving $300 per fixture, per year in electricity costs. Depending on the size of your facility this can have a huge effect on the operational balance sheet.
Maintenance Costs & Time Reduction
Many facility managers wait for a handful of high bay lights to go out in order to save on maintenance costs, but in the meantime your production floor can become darker. Instead of risking the safety and effectiveness of your employees to save on maintenance, switch to LED high bay lighting and dramatically decrease how often your lighting will need to be changed. For example, by converting conventional 400 watt HID high bay lighting to LED, a typical building with industrial light fixtures can save up to $5,341 over the course of three years in maintenance costs alone.
LED lighting in the workplace can improve assembly accuracy and potentially speed up assembly operations. This is because LED lighting has a sophisticated lensing system, which means that the light is directed exactly where it needs to be and not wasted pointing at the ceiling or spreading too thinly across your surfaces. An upgrade to LED lighting can improve overall vision and alertness as well as reduce shadowing and improve color recognition during the assembly process, leading to increased efficiencies and improved manufacturing productivity.
Upgrading your lighting also increases the safety of your facility. If an employee cannot clearly see a hazard, accidents can happen. Collisions in the workplace can be prevented if proper factory lighting is in place to illuminate oncoming pedestrian or material handling equipment.
In addition to general facility lighting, it’s also worth considering an upgrade to specific workstation lighting, for both safety and productivity reasons. Work station lighting can reduce machine/employee related accidents by making hazards more apparent.
LED lighting creates very little shadowing and maintains its brightness far longer than typical HID lighting. Thus, even though older lighting may still be working, it's likely operating at far less than the initial light output, which can lead to more workplace accidents and safety complications.
Industrial LED lighting is proven to be more energy efficient and longer lasting than traditional florescent, high pressure sodium, or metal halide lighting. As a result, most manufacturing facilities are evaluating LED lighting upgrades to reduce energy costs and lower maintenance costs. These savings can justify the expense of proceeding with a lighting upgrade project.
Often, the more abstract savings, the savings that are harder to quantify, are not considered although they're paramount. Consider how much profit could be realized if a 1% gain in productivity resulted from improved facility and workplace lighting. What about a 5% reduction in safety occurrences? What would that mean for your insurance costs and workmen’s compensation claims? If overall product quality were improved by 3%, what does that mean to the cost of defective goods and customer quality claims? LED lighting can both improve quality during the production process and in the QC and inspection stations.
When an LED lighting upgrade is being considered, factor in the not so obvious benefits and a marginally justifiable project suddenly becomes an easily justifiable project. If you’re considering an LED lighting upgrade in your facility, we’d love to know more about your project.