In today’s fast-paced industrial environment, it’s sometimes difficult to stop for a moment and look around and really see the state of your facility. Insufficient lighting can be detrimental to an industrial facility: slower picking times for warehouse or missed quality inspections in a manufacturing cell are just two general examples. The most crucial is safety hazards to employees. Everyone should leave work the same way they arrived and the lighting system should never be the reason for an on-the-job injury. While many facility managers may know they need to improve, often times they don’t know where or when to start.
Electrical utilities and maintenance costs will typically be significant operating expenses for industrial high bay applications. LED high bay lighting can provide substantial reductions to these expenses because of their greater efficiency, longevity, and durability. In many cases, industrial facilities can recover its LED retrofit costs very quickly. The improved longevity and durability of LED lighting not only reduces overall maintenance costs, but also reduces the amount of time spent with production downtime as a result of changing bulbs and ballasts.
Energy savings is a primary driver behind why you should evaluate LED lighting for your building or facility. Common wattages for LED high bay fixtures 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 if you made the switch. Depending on the size of your facility this can have a huge effect the operational balance sheet.
Maintenance Cost & 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 get dark. Instead of risking the safety and effectiveness of your employees to save on maintenance, switching to LED high bay lighting will dramatically decrease how often your lighting will need to be changed. For example, by converting conventional 400w HID high bay lighting to LED, a typical building with industrial light fixtures can save up to $5,341 over the course of 3 years in maintenance costs alone.
Improved lighting in the workplace can improve assembly accuracy and potentially speed up assembly operations. LED lighting has very sophisticated lensing systems that result in the efficient directing of where the light needs to be in a workplace environment. An upgrade to LED lighting can improve overall vision, improve alertness, reduce shadowing, and improve color recognition during the assembly process, thus leading to increased efficiencies and improved manufacturing productivity.
Safety is a critical consideration that can be improved with upgraded lighting. If an employee cannot clearly see a hazard, accidents 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, may be operating at far less than the initial light output and can lead to increased 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. By itself these savings can justify the expense of proceeding with a lighting upgrade project.
What is often not considered are the savings that are harder to quantify but are obviously very significant. Consider how much profit could be realized if a 1% gain in productivity could be gained with improved facility and workplace lighting. What about a 5% reduction in safety occurrences? What does this mean in 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. Improved 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. Take a look at our resource center, case study library, and let us know how we can help!