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The benefits of LED lighting for warehouses

7th August 2023

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The current environment is undoubtedly challenging for warehouse owners. As well as the ongoing labour shortfall leading to difficulties staffing warehouses, new cost pressures are adding up. New warehouse space is increasingly hard to come by, and the steep rise in inflation has driven up prices across the board, including a major increase in energy prices.

While this may seem like the worst time to think about investing in your business, one exception may be your warehouse lighting. If you haven’t already switched to LED warehouse lighting, doing so now could reap serious benefits in the short and medium term – from reducing energy costs to improving safety and increasing worker productivity.


Types of warehouse lighting

There are three prevailing warehouse lighting formats: high intensity discharge (HID), fluorescent, and LED. While each has its advantages, LED lighting has broadly superseded them in most use cases. Nevertheless, here’s a brief rundown of what each type offers:


High intensity discharge (HID)

High intensity discharge lighting is the oldest of the warehouse lighting formats still in widespread use today. HIDs are a type of arc lamp, similar to the headlights used in many cars. They use an electrical arc in a bulb filled with noble gas, creating a bright, intense light.

Similar to early energy-saving bulbs, HID lights tend to take a long time to warm up. Unlike energy-saving bulbs, they consume a large amount of energy! They also deteriorate the more they are cycled, and the amount of light they output decreases more quickly than most other varieties, meaning that they have to be replaced more often.

HIDs can also contain toxic elements such as mercury, making them difficult to dispose of. Each type of HID light also has a very specific colour temperature, meaning that an HID that is appropriate for one space will not necessarily work in another. Despite all of this, their brightness and reliability means they are still a popular option.



Fluorescent lighting doesn’t tend to be as bright as HID, but it is generally cheaper and more flexible. Fluorescent lighting is available in a wide variety of colour temperatures and shapes, with a more flexible design than HID lamps. They also use less energy than HID lamps, and may have a longer life span when kept on consistently.

However, the costs can add up when you consider that fluorescent lighting deteriorates when cycled, meaning that turning it off and on (such as to save energy when not in use) will lead to frequent replacements. Fluorescent lighting also does not typically perform well in particularly cold or hot environments, making it a poor choice for cold storage, and an inflexible choice for areas affected by extreme weather events.


LED lighting

LED lighting is the most modern warehouse lighting format, and arguably the most effective. We could summarise the reasons, but in case you’re on the fence about upgrading your existing lighting – or installing an unfamiliar form of lighting – here are some benefits in detail:


5 benefits of LED lighting for warehouses

Better safety

LED lighting can vary in colour temperature, but generally has a much brighter, whiter light than traditional forms of lighting. The even distribution of light illuminates aisles better than traditional lighting, and means that fewer light fixtures are often required compared to traditional formats. This helps to highlight where objects or pallets may have been left obstructing aisles, or in the wrong places – preventing dangerous collisions with racking or personnel.

Facilitates different racking formats

Some racking types obstruct traditional lighting more than others. Narrow aisle racking for instance can provide much greater storage density than traditional pallet racking – as much as doubling your storage footprint – but the narrow aisles reduce visibility when the overhead lighting is uneven. While in-rack lighting can be installed to mitigate this, LED lighting solves the problem by illuminating even these smaller spaces, helping to enhance worker safety.

Improves productivity

As well as impacting on worker safety, low lighting can inhibit productivity by making labels harder to read, and pallets harder to find. While technology such as RFID can help to locate pallets more quickly, LED lighting is a simpler solution with wider reaching benefits. LED lights are bright enough to illuminate large spaces without being overpowering, helping to enhance storage and retrieval in even dense racking.

Reduces fatigue

The low light levels and warm lighting often produced by HID or fluorescent lighting can both contribute to fatigue, causing individuals to be less productive, and increasing the risk of safety issues such as collisions or dropped objects. Bright LED lighting helps to reduce fatigue without being so bright as to cause eye fatigue, and induce some of the same problems

Saves energy

At a time when energy prices are particularly high, most businesses are inclined to save money on energy use wherever possible. LED lighting is far more energy efficient than either halogen or fluorescent warehouse lighting, as it produces less excess heat. This also helps to maintain warehouse temperatures where those are regulated, saving further energy costs. On top of this, LED lighting does not require noble gases or dangerous chemicals, reducing its overall environmental impact.

Warehouse lighting is an underappreciated aspect of daily operations, with a wide-reaching impact on warehouse efficiency, safety and operational costs. Utilising LED lighting can help you to save money and mitigate risks – as well as facilitating the use of more space efficient high density pallet racking formats. To learn more about ho0w you can integrate LED lighting with high density pallet racking and upgrade your storage space, contact us today.

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