Traditionally, we replace our light bulbs based upon wattage. As incandescent bulbs are being phased out, replacing them with CFL or LED bulbs has become trickier. We can no longer base our decisions on wattage, or the amount of energy needed to power a light bulb. Manufacturers are now labeling their products based on lumen output, or the amount of visible light a bulb emits. This is a more accurate way to compare brightness levels between lighting technologies.
Most people are familiar with the light output that a 60W or 100W incandescent bulb offers. We’ve become accustomed to thinking “the higher the wattage, the brighter the bulb”. However, an LED that uses 60 watts is in no way comparable to an incandescent bulb that uses 60 watts. We can no longer rely on comparing wattages and must change our way of thinking to “the higher the lumens, the brighter the bulb”.
Rule of thumb when comparing lumens:
Lumens allow you to buy the amount of light you want. You may have a wide variety of light levels in your home, based on the room or application. Below is a quick chart to help you find the perfect replacement bulb based on your brightness preference.
If you’re having difficulty finding the best option, our website offers a helpful tool when searching for bulb replacements based on lumens. Simply use the "Filter" option on the left-hand tool bar to narrow down your choices by selecting your preferred lumen output level.
Still a bit unsure? Contact our knowledgeable Customer Service team with any questions at 877.231.2852 or email here.
Lighting a warehouse can become very daunting to building owners. It is a financial investment, requires maintenance and takes planning, yet, it is crucial. Warehouse lighting isn’t so much about décor as it is functionality and efficiency. In order to maintain a productive warehouse, it’s important to have the proper lighting systems in place. Since this space typically has few windows, high ceilings and shelving units, it’s important to consider all aspects when outlining your lighting layout – including lighting objective, fixture type, lamp type, color temperature and more.
First things first, what is your lighting objective?
It’s essential to understand what purpose each lighting fixture will serve and what is needed in different areas to accomplish your lighting goals. Three concepts to consider include your lighting layout, the energy and maintenance costs and how the lighting will play a role in the efficiency and safety of your employees.
Whether new construction or remodel, it is imperative to have a good layout for your warehouse lighting system. Lighting is ideally done before setting up racking units and fixtures placed directly over shelving lose value and serve little purpose. Spacing of fixtures is also critical – positioned too close together and hot spots and/or glare are created; positioned too far apart and you’ll have dark areas.
ENERGY & MAINTENANCE COSTS
Unfortunately, when it comes to lighting your building, the warehouse is a must and is sometimes used 24 hours a day – becoming very costly. If you’re still using HID or fluorescent lamps, you are incurring unnecessary maintenance costs which include frequently replaced bulbs and ballasts and renting a lift to change hard to reach bulbs. Switching to LED lamps and installing motion sensors can decrease energy costs and maintenance fees. Don’t forget about the exterior of your warehouse – install photocells on your outdoor wallpacks and floodlights as well.
EFFICIENCY & SAFETY OF EMPLOYEES
Never skimp on the amount of lighting needed to effectively illuminate your space. If you have too little light, this can create safety concerns for your employees. This can also cause more employee mistakes. If you rely on staff to pull items from your warehouse, it can be the difference between them reading an “8” or a “3” on a box – resulting in returns and re-pulling the order. You also don’t want to have too much light in your warehouse, causing your employees to have to squint when looking up at the racks for items. One way to avoid glare is by using diffused shields and lenses on your fixtures.
What type of fixtures and lamps are going to help you accomplish your lighting objective?
The most common fixture types in warehouses are high/low bays, vaportight and strip fixtures. Any time you are lighting an area that has a ceiling height of twenty-five feet or higher, choose a high bay fixture. For lower ceilings, low bays and strip fixtures are popular choices. Strip fixtures are ideal for large spaces that need high-quality light without a bulky fixture. If you are working in an area where moisture levels are high or hazardous chemical vapors are present, opt for a wet location rated or vaportight fixture.
There are three popular choices for warehouse lighting that each have their pros and cons: LED, Fluorescent and HID.
LED is the most versatile type to choose from with options that include lamps, complete fixtures and retrofits – making remodels quick and easy! Although perceived by many as having a high price point, LED has come down in price over the years and are more affordable than ever! Not only do they use less energy, they can also be paired with lighting controls to save you even more. LEDs have a long-life expectancy, some lasting up to 100,000 hours, and work great in colder temperatures. It’s important to note that LEDs can be negatively affected by high heat. On average, the life of LED lamps and fixtures begins to depreciate if used in higher temperatures - be sure to always check the specifications.
Fluorescent lamps are a great alternative for those on a tight budget, while remaining more energy efficient than HIDs. They offer a wide range of color temperatures from 2700K-6500K (warm white to daylight). Fluorescent lamps also come in different sizes, providing more options. Their downfall – they do not operate well in high heat or extreme cold which can have a negative impact on the life of the lamp. Also, if the lamps are in an area where they are frequently turned on and off, the life expectancy will depreciate. Fluorescent lamps typically have a life expectancy of 25,000 hours, whereas LED tubes have an average life of 50,000 hours.
HID, or High-Intensity Discharge, lamps have been around the longest and are a common choice for those on a budget since they have the lowest initial costs. However, they do not offer much variety when it comes to color temperature; only warm white or cool white. They also require a warm up time and cool down time after the lights have been turned off before they can be turned on again. Even though they have a lower initial cost, they have an average life of only 15,000 hours and will need to be changed often – including changing the ballasts which adds up.
Choosing the color temperature of your lamp can make or break your warehouse lighting. The most popular choice for warehouse lighting is 4000K, or cool white. Cool white light reduces eye strain and improves concentration, thus providing a productive environment. This color temperature also makes your space appear cleaner and more professional.
Next time you’re in the market to upgrade your warehouse lighting, remember these key factors when making decisions. Reach out to the pros here at Lighting Supply with any questions. As one of the most widely known and respected lighting distributors, we have all of the products and answers you need – and we’re always happy to help!
Contact us here or leave a comment below.
Our customers asked, and we delivered – Lighting Supply now offers more product categories that support the needs of electricians. We are excited about the opportunity to carry products from the “Electrician’s Champion,” IDEAL Industries, including connectors, hand tools, power tool accessories, testers and much more! IDEAL has been serving electricians for over 100 years and with more than 6,000 tools and supplies in the IDEAL product line, they have everything the professionals who power our world will need.
IDEAL was founded in 1916 by J. Walter Becker where he started out in his mother’s kitchen! In 1929, they introduced their first wire connectors, which would go on to become a cornerstone of IDEAL Industries’ product line. According to IDEAL’s website, they contributed components used in the lunar landing module and made the journey to the moon! IDEAL wire strippers were specifically requested for the mission because of their reputation for quality and precision, even in the most extreme environments. Over the years, IDEAL has acquired many different companies while expanding their product line to include hand tools, power tools, datacom tools and measurement tools for the global communication market.
Visit lightingsupply.com to see over 2,500 products we now offer from the IDEAL line. Using a mobile device? Type “IDEAL” in the search box. For more information, email us here or leave a comment below!
Lighting Supply understands as you spend more on lighting products you expect to save. With our volume discounts and special pricing, Lighting Supply will make sure our pricing puts you at a competitive advantage. We’ll help you save on all your lighting related purchases, including projects, bids and more!
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