5 Tips to Choose the Right Warehouse Lighting


  • Author Donnelly Houtston
  • Published December 21, 2018
  • Word count 1,136

Working in a warehouse is unpredictable. Slips and falls are common accidents that happen in this kind of workplace. So, when choosing your lighting, improving warehouse safety and increasing productivity are top priorities to consider. A good warehouse lighting reduces accidents and significantly increases work efficiency. Text

If you’re planning to improve, here are warehouse lighting options and tips for you to consider:

3 types of Lighting:

High-intensity discharge (HID) lights

HID lighting is very cost-effective. Back in the days, this is the only lighting used in warehouse lighting designs. Some even use it up to date. However, it has a short lifespan, and it consumes a lot of energy, unlike other lighting options. You need to let HID lights cool down for a while before switching it on, and it takes it also takes time for it to warm up for full brightness. It has very few options for temperature colour too. It also has limited features that don’t work with sensors, and the lighting can’t be dimmed.

Fluorescent lights

Fluorescent lights take advantage of energy-efficiency over HID lighting. They also have a much wider range of colour temperature options from 2700k to 6500K. This lighting option, combined with a variety of shapes and sizes, makes fluorescent lighting more ideal for bigger warehouse spaces. But, this kind of lighting isn’t suitable for extreme temperatures - either too cold or too hot. It significantly decreases the lifespan of fluorescent lights along with frequent switching on and off. They should also be properly disposed of due to the mercury content of the lighting, and its disposal comes in big costs. They don’t work well with dimmer conditions too, and they have a tendency to flicker and produce humming sounds.

Light-Emitting Diodes (LED) lighting

LED lights are the answer to warehouse lighting. LED high bay lights are common in warehouses with high ceilings. Not only are they energy-efficient, but they are versatile warehouse lights too. LED lights can provide you up to 100,00 hours of the most energy-efficient and best lighting service among the other options. With the right LED tubes and LED lamps, you can mix them up with your existing warehouse light fixtures or even replace them entirely with LED lights. Because of their lengthy life-span, you can save more on light replacements. Unlike HID lighting, they don’t get damaged by frequent switching on and off. Extreme cold is not an issue to LED lights as well. However, some LEDs can still be affected by extremely hot temperatures.

5 Tips to help you choose the best lighting for your warehouse:

Know the brightness your warehouse needs

It’s especially important for you to know the structure of your warehouse. You should significantly consider the walls and ceiling that you have because it impacts the illumination you get in your warehouse. Lights reflect more on walls or ceilings with light paint such as white, which means you don’t need many lumens for your warehouse space. You can save more by buying lights that use fewer watts but at the same time produces many lumens. Light painting colours reflect more light, so you don’t have to turn your lights to keep your warehouse interior illuminated during daylight.

Establish the right colour temperature

You may not know it, but colour has a significant impact on a person’s mind. Mood and productivity are affected by how people see things. In this case, choosing the best colour temperature for your warehouse is vital. A color temperature refers to the color that a light source produces - soft-white (2,700 - 3,000K), bright white/cool white (3,500 - 4,100K) and daylight (5,000 - 6,500K) - and is measured in Kelvins. As the degree Kelvins increase, the whiter the light gets. As right lighting affects mood and productivity, the best colour temperature to choose is between bright white and daylight (4,000 - 5,000K) that also decreases eye strain.

Safety is equally important with the light colour. A Color Rendering Index (CRI) is the metric which measures the ability of light to display realistic and natural colours. CRI is directly proportional to the lighting’s realistic display of colour. The higher the CRI, the more realistic and natural the light is. CRIs measuring below 85 is dangerous to your warehouse. Make sure you always pick lighting higher than the minimum of 85.

Know what type of sensors you need

The use of sensors has been very significant for warehouse owners to save on bills. They are greatly utilized in this kind of workspace because they sense whether someone is around or not, turning on only when necessary. This makes energy-saving more efficient and puts up to 30% of your energy bills down. With this kind of technology, you don’t even have to switch the light on and off manually. There are two types of sensors - Occupancy sensors and Vacancy sensors. Occupancy sensors work by switching the light on and off automatically whenever someone comes in or out. On the other hand, a vacancy sensor is suitable for warehouses with high skylights since the lights don’t need to turn on every time someone comes in.

Pick out the right light distribution type

Optics always play an essential role in your warehouse. It can improve your good lighting to be even better lighting. It’s quite complicated, so how do you choose the right one? A photometric can do the job for you. How does it work? It interprets how light is distributed in your area. It evens out the light out so you can avoid getting areas that are too bright or too dark. Optics have the purpose of narrowing down beam angles. It slims down the beam on your high ceiling heights, so there’s going to be lesser light on the walls and more on the floors. Moreover, it lights up the products on your shelves.

Determine your energy-saving options

Every warehouse is unique. If a particular lighting worked for one warehouse, it doesn’t always mean it will work on yous too. If you’re looking for more energy-saving options, don’t settle for one package that says you can "save." You might be missing other options that are even more suited to your warehouse and where you can save more. Always add more options to your list. Investing in sensors is a wise move. It does come with a price, but it’s a long-term investment that can help your bills with its energy-saving feature.


Excellent lighting does wonders to your warehouse. It sets the mood for employees that results in better performance and higher productivity. Lighting helps create a safe environment which significantly reduces accidents and keeps employees healthy. Achieve all of these while saving on your energy consumption bills by choosing the right lighting for your warehouse.

Donnelly Houston is a lighting designer and expert in LED lighting applications. Text

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