Better Warehouse Lighting

In addition to the slack economy, warehouse managers must juggle other issues: worker safety, the environment and increased corporate responsibility. Managers are turning toward lighting to reduce operating costs, as well as improve safety, the work environment, productivity and quality.

Three Philips Lighting products designed to resolve each of these needs are becoming increasingly popular in warehouses.

• The ALTO T8 Fluorescents are designed to minimize mercury (60 percent less than competitors) while maximizing performance and energy efficiency.

• The Econo-Watt Metal Halide, a 360W high-output lamp, has replaced 400W standard metal halides.

• The T5 High-Output has a 20,000-hour rated life, longer group relamp cycles, dimming/control systems and smaller lamps.

High-bay fluorescents

According to Phil Henry, director of marketing and product development for Crescent Stonco, older lighting systems cannot provide the continuous quantity or quality of light needed for the visual tasks in today’s warehouse facilities. There is pressure to reduce energy costs while at the same time improve light quality. Proper lighting can be expensive from an energy efficiency standpoint, but poor lighting can be more expensive when quality of light issues that impact production are considered.

Providing quality light that reduces energy costs is the optimum solution. A major trend in warehouse lighting today is replacing metal-halide HID lighting with high-bay fluorescent fixtures. The newer high bays combine the more energy-efficient T5 and T8 fluorescent lamps with the mounting flexibility of high bays. They exceed energy requirements, making them more environmentally friendly.

For example, the standard 400W metal halide fixture rated for 36,000 initial lumens will lose up to 45 percent of lighting ability through depreciation and fixture inefficiencies. In contrast, the newer fluorescent high bays report only a 6 percent loss and are rated for 20,000 initial lumens, which means the maintained lumen output is the same.

Additionally, a four-light 54W T5 high bay requires only 239W compared with the metal halide that consumes 454W, a dramatic 50-percent savings in energy use. The high bays that incorporate the T5 technologies produce brighter illumination with features like instant on compared with a slow warm up, uniformity to spread light evenly while minimizing shadows, built-in switching and high lumen maintenance and fixture efficiency.

“With features like these, it has become apparent that fluorescent T5 high bays are the wave of the future,” Henry said.

Ted Simpson, marketing manager for industrial and outdoor market segments for Philips Lighting, agreed the T5 Fluorescent is the hottest warehouse lighting solution. “It provides better quality of light—higher color rendering and lumen maintenance than traditional HID—and it can be dimmed to save energy. In addition, the pulse-start metal halides are becoming increasingly popular for energy efficiency and quicker start times.”

“Install and forget” performance

Leviton Manufacturing has introduced a new line of commercial-grade occupancy sensors featuring a self-adjusting technology. The sensors analyze real-time occupancy patterns to continually adjust delayed off times and sensitivity for maximum energy efficiency. The product line includes passive infrared, ultrasonic and state-of-the-art occupancy sensors that integrate passive infrared and ultrasonic sensing in the same device.

Leviton’s Multi-Technology sensors with advanced detection capabilities come in ceiling-mount and wall-mount versions. These devices feature ultrasonic sensing for maximum sensitivity combined with infrared sensing to prevent false triggering from air conditioning and corridor activity. They offer a “belt and suspenders” approach that provides accurate detection in many applications.

New infrared sensors are available in three models: a ceiling-mount, wide-view wall-mount and high-bay wall-mount. The devices detect motion within a field of view or coverage pattern, and work well in open areas where no physical obstructions block the sensor’s field of view.

The Infrared Aisle High-Bay sensor is specifically designed for long, relatively narrow spaces such as warehouse aisles and corridors. The lens provides coverage up to 125 feet when mounted 30 feet above the floor.

In addition to warehouses and storage areas, the Leviton ceiling-mount ultrasonic sensor is a good fit for restrooms, office areas with cubicles, general work spaces, cafeterias and other public areas where physical obstructions may exist and a passive infrared sensor will not afford the maximum detection capabilities.

The sensors are designed for use with a Leviton Power-Pack that contains a 24V DC power supply for the sensors and a 13A relay for switching incandescent or ballast lighting loads. This device and companion Add-A-Relay Units are designed for easy mounting in junction-box knock-outs. EC

WOODS is based in Phoenix and writes for various consumer, trade and home improvement publications. She can be reached at


Stay Informed Join our Newsletter

Having trouble finding time to sit down with the latest issue of
ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR? Don't worry, we'll come to you.