Getting the best from your lighting

Getting the best from your lighting

Customer snapshot:

Looking to upgrade your lighting with a smarter and more efficient system and save costs?

We recently installed a new lighting system in a client’s warehouse facility, helping to modernise their space and stretch their budget a bit further with a smart solution.

Project scope:

The customer required lighting sensors installed in one of their warehouses as they did not use this particular warehouse all the time.

We were asked to upgrade the existing Metal Halide High Bay Lights and retrofit them with motion-activated sensors to turn on instantly when someone walked into the warehouse. While seemingly simple, we soon discounted this option as this particular type of light could not be retrofitted with sensors. We also found the lights took considerable time to power up and down, limiting visibility, potentially posing a OH&S risk to workers who just entered the warehouse, or re-entered. The lights were also relatively high energy use with a shorter life. This meant we were required to find an alternate lighting system.

Things to consider when choosing a lighting system:

When looking at possible solutions, we took into consideration the customer’s requirements:-

  • suitability – existing lights required up to 15 minutes to reach full brightness when first turned on and up to 20 minutes before they can be turned on again – where a person entering the premises had low visibility in the first 15 minutes and if re-entering none at all – not a suitable solution for a warehouse in intermittent use
  • lifespan – shorter than that of an LED, traditional lights lose a lot of their energy through heat as the pass an electrical arc through a gas-filled tube like a fluorescent, but, like an incandescent, the arc itself creates bright, visible light and uses less energy
  • depreciation – in this case the Metal Halide Lights lost half their brightness within a few years making some warehouses look darker than they should
  • relatively high energy use as they omit significant heat which, not only reduces their efficiency, but makes air conditioning ‘work harder’ relative to LEDs;
  • older Metal Halides can explode with no warning, requiring the use of protective, enclosed fixtures; and,
  • MHs contain mercury gas and the mercury from discarded bulbs can be harmful to the environment.

A smarter more efficient lighting system:

We recommended the customer change to LED High Bay Lights. LED lights turn on instantly and do not require cooling down before turning on again, and they can be used with our sensors. This also provided the customer a more energy efficient and cost effective alternative that can be upgraded to a smarter lighting features in the future, should the need arise. LED lights also have to be replaced at less intervals with the life span of some LED lights well over 50,000 hours and some sources say well over 100,000 hours but at a reduced capacity.

  • Instant start up – no warm up phase
  • Enhanced compatibility features (can be easily integrated with a myriad of advanced dimming and control options)
  • Reduced running temperatures and heat load on air-conditioning
  • No hazardous mercury and environmental disposal issues
  • Exceptional colour rendering
  • Zero flicker and fatigue
  • Zero ultra violet light emission
  • Constant output, which does not degrade at low temperatures

The customer is happy that they do not have to have their warehouse lights on at all times, are actually saving money in comparison to their old lighting, and not risking workers safety now they have a brighter, smarter and more efficient system in place.

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Claire Multani, Services Director, CMS.

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