If you’ve been guilty of overlooking the importance of your company’s warehouse, you are not alone. Nevertheless, widespread negligence cannot be an excuse for you to keep making this mistake. One of the simplest and most effective solutions is to complete warehouse lighting upgrades.
Warehouse lighting upgrades can take many forms while there are several logistical and legal issues that must be accounted for too. It can leave you feeling a little confused, but our ultimate guide to warehouse lighting upgrades in Los Angeles and Orange County will soon provide the clarity you need.
In the midst of a fast paste, fully operational warehouse. Warehouse lighting upgrades are essential to all businesses and can help keep a company sustained with cost savings. Lighting upgrades are not only beneficial for savings, but for the safety of workers and efficiency of the warehouse production. To determine if lighting upgrades are going to be beneficial to your energy bill, a complete lighting survey is required. A lighting survey determines the amount of energy you are using to the amount of energy you will use after lighting upgrades.
The concept of upgrading your warehouse lighting facilities is fairly self-explanatory. However, as a business owner that may experience very limited time in the warehouse environment, it’s quite likely that your understanding of warehouse lighting will be limited too.
When developing a new warehouse lighting strategy, the following checklist should be used;
There is no one-size-fits-all option, and you’ll need to consider a range of elements such as ceiling heights, wall colors, natural lighting, and warehouse size. When you get it right, though, the new lighting setup can provide many years of service.
What are the benefits of warehouse lighting upgrades?
Before analyzing different lighting fixtures and setups, you must first acknowledge the incentives for making those upgrades. Aside from vindicating your decision, it’ll provide guidance as you look to make calculated decisions.
The key benefits gained from warehouse lighting upgrades are as follows;
Save money: LED lights and energy-efficient solutions utilize less electricity, which reduces ongoing energy consumption to ensure that all lighting upgrades pay for themselves in the long run. The positive ROI should be enough for all business owners to make the switch.
Increase safety: good visibility is an essential attribute for health and safety, especially in busy warehouses where natural lighting is low and potential hazards are commonplace. Brighter lights are the perfect solution. Furthermore, LEDs are less prone to shattering, which also enhances the safety.
Improve comfort: the white light produced by upgraded lighting is closer to natural light, causing less train on employee’s eyes. Moreover, they produce less heat, making it easier to control the temperature inside a business setting that is prone to high heats due to the building type and use of machinery.
Boost image: the eco-friendly upgrade is something that the business can promote to clients and employees alike. This creates a better brand image, which can translate to better business relations as well as increased productivity and conversion rates. It’s an outcome all businesses require.
Save time: upgraded lighting facilities are designed to last, thus reducing the need for maintenance. This removes stress and prevents unnecessary downtime. Given that time is money, it’s imperative that you complete the right upgrades to ensure that the warehouse remains in perfect condition.
The list of immediate and long-term benefits are sure to boost your bottom line while also improving the atmosphere throughout your organization. Better still, the transition allows you to satisfy the latest requirements.
When redesigning the lighting facilities within the warehouse setting, it’s imperative that you meet the legal requirements as determined by the California Code of Regulations.
Title 24 is a particularly important set of regulations that are found in Section 6 of the legislation. It covers a range of issues such as plumbing and structural systems, but its rulings on electrical features are where warehouse lighting must pay greater attention.
Title 24 is automatically triggered whenever a permit is pulled and will be needed when converting at least 10% of the lighting fixtures in the warehouse setting, as it falls under the category of “luminaire alteration”.
Compliance with Title 24 covers a wide range of issues. As far as warehouses are concerned, the main issues include;
Demand response: when your warehouse is bigger than 10,000 sq ft, it requires controls that can reduce the lighting load by at least 15% as needed.
LPD requirements: lighting power density means that wattage allowances should be distributed to each location within the warehouse. The three methods used to achieve this are prescriptive, performance, or tailored.
Manual requirements: the warehouse will require a manual on/off switch, as well as a manual dimmer switch to reduce lighting output.
Occupancy switches: occupancy sensors detect when an area isn’t in use and adjusts the lighting load accordingly. Meanwhile, some designated spaces may require switches that turn lights off after a set period of time. Restroom facilities are the most common solution.
Understanding some of the key features of Title 24 is vital. However, business owners should familiarize themselves with the process too. Generally speaking, the following steps must be followed;
A lighting designer meets with the business owner to discuss the project before completing an audit and plan for a code-compliant setup.
The plan is coordinated with an electrical engineer who will be responsible for the various compliance documents.
A plan reviewer checks the documents to confirm that it is a suitable and practical proposal that can be sent off for confirmation.
The final plans must be accepted by a third-party ATT contractor before the design and systems are put into place. Following the installation, the ATT inspector will return to sign off the project and confirm compliance with Title 24.
When meeting a lighting designer, the warehouse lighting audit or lighting survey is an essential feature that allows you to unlock the full potential of the workspace while also considering compliance regulations and pinpointing areas of improvement.
The lighting audit will cover every room and communal space within the warehouse, taking each of the following into account;
All of these features will help the lighting designer identify the best course of action before designing a full lighting plan proposal to be sent off for official examination.
Completing a warehouse lighting audit is vital for compliance, function, and safety. Nevertheless, business owners must also make decisions based on what works best for them. To upgrade the California warehouse lighting correctly, you must do the following:
High bay lighting upgrades should be top of every warehouse owner’s agenda. High bay lighting is the ideal solution for warehouses that have higher ceilings than other commercial settings. Measuring the distance of ceiling to floor as well as ceiling to work surface levels should allow you to determine the right lumen expectancy. Meanwhile, you must check the ceiling materials as not all roof lighting systems are suited to all ceiling styles.
High bays are available as rounded spotlights or linear beams. The latter is particularly useful for aisles, while the rounded ones can be positioned to increase visibility where it is needed most. The use of backup power makes them especially useful as they can remain on even when the main source of power is lost.
The high bay fixtures are particularly useful as they can be positioned at varying heights depending on the function.
In addition to the right fixtures, the choice of bulbs has a telling impact on the output, visibility, and efficiency of the warehouse lighting. There are three types of bulbs commonly used in the industrial setting, which are;
Metal halides: they boast high-quality color rendering and do not require warming up. However, their functions are limited, due to no dimming, while the use of mercury makes them less eco-friendly than other solutions.
Fluorescent: they are cheaper and commonly used as beam tubes. While the running costs are higher due to lower efficiency, the lower initial outlay ensures that they remain a very popular choice, especially in aisles.
LED: they offer the best energy-efficiency ratings while they are dimmable and offer other telling features. Despite becoming the staple for commercial and industrial spaces, introducing them does require an initial outlay.
For most situations, LEDs are the best option. However, the warehouse lighting audit can clarify the available options, along with the pros and cons of each.
As well as the heights, you must ensure that all light fittings are positioned correctly to provide ample lighting coverage in the designated spaces. The warehouse floor plan can be very complex when you consider the different assignments that take place in the space, as well as the machinery used.
A comprehensive lighting plan should think about the heights, directions, and wattage levels of each light. This should extend to lights that notify employees of threats and hazards
In addition to the high bay ceiling lights and other key lighting functions, warehouses in California must also satisfy the health and safety lighting. Emergency lighting and exit lighting are the two key areas to consider.
Meeting the standards set by regulatory bodies isn’t merely a matter of compliance. A range of direct benefits will follow, including but not limited to;
Emergency lighting and exit sign lighting must satisfy the standards as per the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), International Building Code and International Fire Code organizations.
OSHA’s Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) states that an exit route should offer a continuous and unobstructed path of exit, which cover three key areas;
Exit access: for example, a corridor leading to a fire-resistant stairwell.
Exit: an area separated from the rest of the warehouse building.
Exit discharge: the area that leads to the street or outside grounds.
Moreover, exit signs should have the word ‘EXIT’ clearly shown with letters of at least 6” in size. Exit signs must also be illuminated to at least 54 lux in an attention-grabbing color while signs must also be used to guide people towards the exit if there could be any ambiguity in relation to the direction of travel.
Emergency lighting fittings are a requirement in all industrial settings, including the warehouses. They supplement the exit sign lighting. Emergency beams should be powered separately from ceiling lights so that they stay illuminated even when the primary power source is lost.
Lights with adjustable heads aren’t a legal requirement but can provide added flexibility, which makes a significant difference when an emergency situation arises.
Once the lighting upgrade has been completed to the necessary standards, the ongoing maintenance needs should be minimal. After all, the warehouse will now have ample lighting and increased energy efficiency while using fixtures and bulbs that are designed to last.
Nonetheless, for the sake of health and safety compliance, it’s important to complete an annual audit. The maintenance audit will cover the basics used in the pre-transformation inspection, with extra focus on the exit lights and emergency lighting. It should provide peace of mind to employees and business owners alike.
If you notice faults, including blown bulbs or a loss of power in designated areas, you must attend to those issues ASAP.
To find out more about warehouse lighting audits and upgrades in California, get in touch today.
Ample lighting is one of the most important features of any warehouse, and you must not ignore the warehouse lighting in your California warehouse any longer. After all, a refit can satisfy legal requirements, increase productivity, and boost your bottom line while also protecting employees and the brand image.