With summer on the way, now’s the time for warehouses to look at their lighting, so it’s in good order ready for the autumn.

Poor lighting is a key factor in many warehouse accidents, either through lack of sufficient light or if the lighting is not properly maintained. In short, ‘dark warehouses’ are fine for robots, but not humans. If automatic lighting in a warehouse is faulty, areas of the warehouse will be in darkness, seriously risking the safety of employees.

There are several mistakes warehouse operators make when they think about, plan, design and install warehouse lighting.

] Probably the biggest error is to think that since it’s ‘merely’ a utility, the best course of action is to spend as little as possible. The wrong type of light fitting can cost considerably more to operate in the long run and provide incorrect lighting for the intended use. Too little illumination, or too much, can result in poor performance from warehouse staff and in the worst case, lead to accident and injury.

The HSE has produced a useful guide to how lighting affects the health and safety of people at work. The main areas it addresses are the assessment and management of risks attributable to poor lighting; what constitutes good practice; and the minimum recommended levels. The HSE Guide looks at the more obvious detrimental effects connected to poor lighting, including eyestrain, migraines and headaches. It also explores some less appreciated aspects of insufficient illumination, such as the link to sick building syndrome. Looking at the leading suppliers, since LED Eco Lights was founded in 2006, they have become experts in LED lighting and wireless lighting control solutions. The Goodlight range of LED lamps and luminaires are among the most reliable, consistently bright LED lights on the market. Goodlight has recently expanded its range of energy efficient, long-life solutions with the launch of a professional range of recessed and suspended LED Downlights, designed for architectural interiors including the front offices of warehouses, with energy ratings of A+ and above and impressive savings on maintenance.

We’ve long been used to commercial lighting working on a timer, but it’s got much smarter than that recently. UK manufacturer DANLERS has partnered with Wirepas to develop a range of lighting controls featuring Mesh Based Wireless Connectivity, minimising and optimising energy usage and providing real time data analytics.

The DANLERS WM range provides the building blocks to create effective energy saving solutions, such as occupancy control and light level control.

Another leading UK lighting supplier, Luxonic has been established for 30 years. Specialising in large retail and warehouse lighting, their customer list includes Associated British Ports, Amazon, The Hut Group, ASDA, Tesco and Pets at Home. Luxonic’s warehouse lighting products have enabled them to save Associated British Ports’ Port of Hull 96% of its energy costs and achieve savings of £2.9m per year for Pets at Home.

Finally, for warehouse managers looking to boost their budgets in these constrained times there are currently several ways to finance a lighting project, such as via the Enhanced Capital Allowance Scheme, which offers tax relief, or various grants such as LOCASE, which can potentially provide a grant of up to £20,000 if the criteria are met.

BILL REDMOND

Features Editor