Lighting a Multi-Site Industrial Environment

Managing an industrial environment such as a multi-plant site or industrial park is a massive undertaking with thousands of details to attend to.  Even the lighting you choose can have an effect on your success and that of those working at the site.  Fortunately, making some informed decisions can save energy, increase productivity and brighten the outlook for everyone involved.

Optimizing Your Indoor Industrial Lighting

Theoretically, the lighting needs of a business could include almost anything, but for most (especially in an industrial setting) the focus will be on maximum productivity. To achieve this, it’s best to use natural light or simulate it as closely as possible. Let’s review some best practices for using natural and LED lighting in this manner:

  1. We mention LED lighting for a reason: LED’s last longer and use less energy than legacy lighting, are more durable than any other type, and an LED keeps the same brightness and color throughout its life.
  1. Be aware of the role of the circadian rhythm, which governs waking and sleeping cycles, and the role of light in it. The frequencies of natural daylight and artificial light that mimics it ensure that workers are more alert, more productive and tend to have better sleep.
  1. During daytime hours, use as much natural light as your building layouts allow, and consider increasing the area of windows and skylights. Installing modern controls will allow you to adjust the brightness of your artificial light based on the amount of natural light in the facility, saving energy and making the environment more aesthetically pleasing.
  1. When installing artificial lighting, choose lights that are in the Cool White range, with a color temperature of 4000 to 5000K. This range works well with the circadian rhythm, is available in a wide range of lighting options, and is also the best color range for detail work.

Balancing the Concerns of Different Tenants Related to Optimization

Normal Cool White general and detail lighting will be optimal for almost all industrial setups, but not all. If your site is in an industrial park or other multi-tenant site, you may be called on to make significant changes to fit the more specialized needs of an individual business. For example, if a client’s operation requires a great deal of color matching, they may need specialized lighting that has a high Color Rendering Index (CRI). When dealing with these issues, consider the following:

  1. If you’re in a remodel/build to suit situation, be sure to fully assess the tenant’s needs and make sure none of their expectations are missed or go undocumented. Make sure all items are incorporated in leases, contracts, etc.
  1. With every tenant, highlight the cost savings and production boost from optimized LED lighting.

Optimizing the Lighting in Outdoor Areas

The right outdoor lighting can be a major asset to an industrial site. It not only increases safety and security, but brightly lit exteriors make an area look more professional and inviting.

As inside the facility, LED lighting is best for exteriors. It’s available in a wide range of styles and applications, path accent lighting to towering pole lights. It’s also more attractive than halogen lighting (no sickly orange glow) and comes on instantly.

The color temperature of outdoor lighting is much less important than in the interior. It’s best to choose whatever temperature between 3,000 and 5,000 makes your facility look its best.

If non-LED lighting is currently installed in your outdoor areas, retrofit fixtures are available to provide LED light without the expense of a total replacement. Working with the experts at Thayer Energy Solutions will help you choose the right fixtures and arrange them for the optimal coverages.