LED Lighting for Factories and Warehouses.

If you want to know more about Energy Saving LED Lighting for Factories and Warehouses, read on. We’ll also show you how using a qualified lighting design engineer is essential to get optimal savings.

CIBSE Lighting Guide 1 - The Industrial Environment

Lighting Regs.

Factories and warehouses have specific legal lighting requirements for safe lighting levels for different tasks. A qualified lighting design engineer will design your lighting to provide the correct lighting levels, uniformity and glare. While not primarily part of the energy equasion, they will also keep you right regarding emergency lighting requirements. Where people are operating machinery, it is critical to ensure you have the correct lighting.

In addition to safety, the recommended lighting requirements are also widely acknowledged to improve employee productivity, and minimise absenteeism.

LED Lighting and the value of lighting design - OfficesRule of thumb v Designs

A common practice is to replace fittings one for one. On a one for one basis, savings of 40-60% are common. There are times when this will be the best solution, but often there are solutions that will provide better savings.

Many LED fittings produce more light, or perform better, than their historic equivelant. This means that it is often possible to use fewer LED fittings, or fittings of a lower wattage. Only lighting calculations will tell if this will work. Click on the photo to see our video on how Lighting Design can reduce the quantities of fittings required.

In this example, smart design would reduce the quantity of LED panels by over 1/3. This would also mean your energy saving would increase from 59% to 74%. So lighting design would save you approx 40% on material, and increase annual savings on electricity by 15%.

Put another way. If you didn’t use a lighting designer. Replacing one for one would cost you an extra 40% in material, and 15% per year in electricity. Your lighting levels would be too high, meaning your staff could start experiencing eye strain. Productivity would likely fall, and absenteeism would probably rise.

As I mentioned above, many LED fittings perform better than older technologies. Manufacturers of quality LED products often make their fittings in multiple outputs. This has the benefit for designers of choosing the minimum output that gives the correct lighting levels. Without a design, selecting the correct output would be guesswork. When guessing, while good savings are obtained, lighting levels are rarely correct.

Luxultra Ultra Ledbay

Workshops and Warehouses

When looking at LED lighting for factories and warehouses, workshops and stores usually consume most electricity. High ceilings mean hibays and lowbays were most commonly used, usually 250w or 400w. As these fittings age, they become less efficient. I had one job where the consumption of an old 400w fitting was measured at over 600w.

Where people are operating machinery, correct lighting is critical. Modern quality Hibays offer more output options to get the correct light without using too much electricity. They typically produce less glare than UFO versions.

Lighting control options, such as daylight dimming helps maximise savings. Sensors in the fitting will dim it to maintain the correct lighting levels. This means that on bright days, the fittings will be dimmed or off, using considerably less electricity. This also has the side effect of prolonging the life of the fitting.

Presence detection can add considerably to the savings in stores and warehouses, particularly areas infrequently accessed. This can be combined with daylight sensors so that the fittings will only be on when daylight is too low, AND someone is present.

Luxultra Aquarius

In area where moisture is present, e.g. plant rooms, or some types of workshop, vapour proof fittings can be used. These are also available with a full range of sensors and controls.



LED panels have become the staple product for replacing 600×600 modular fittings in offices and other areas with suspended ceilings. The model workshop in the photo was designed to 1000lux for fine detail work. Remember not to replace a 4 lamp module with a standard 36w LED panel, it will be over-lit. See the Youtube video earlier in the post for info on reducing quantities, or we can use a lower output panel.

Should you have an unusual ceiling, like Burgess, Armstong or SAS, we can supply fittings to fit into them.

Ricoman Victus

Misc areas

Areas like corridors, stairs and toilets are a good source of energy saving. Often the lighting in these areas are left on all day, but only used infrequently. Precence detection can offer big increases to the savings achieved by only switching the lights on when occupied.

Luxultra Mecury Floodlight

External Lighting

External Lighting is another area where clients or contractors often replace fittings by guesswork. There are specific requirements for roads, car parks and yards with turning circles etc. Getting the lighting right helps security, and prevents accidents, so it’s crucial to get it designed. Manufacturers of quality floodlights and street light fittings, will not only make multiple outputs, but different optics. Some applications will require a forward throw, some sideward, or somewhere in between. In these applications, often a combination of optics, and outputs will be required to get the correct lighting. This can’t be guessed at, it has to be designed.


Factories and warehouses are often among the biggest consumers of electricity through their lighting. The good news is that the resulting savings by moving to LED can be bigger. The caveat is that it’s the type of business where it’s also most important that the lighting is correctly designed. Designing correctly will not only ensure you are optimising your savings, it minimises accidents, and maximises employee productivity.

I have seen countless jobs where clients or contractors have replaced fittings based on guesswork. The client saved a bundle of cash on his electricity, but the resulting lighting was almost always dangerously low. Many of them had to be re-done shortly thereafter.

The factory in the photos saved over £25,500 per annum on their electricity, and improved their lighting in the process. The total cost of labour & materials was circa £32,000, giving a payback in just over a year.

Finance is often available for projects like this. The monthly saving on electricity is £2,125, but the cost of financing over 3 years is less than £1,000.

This means that it can cost you £0.00 to do the job, because the savings are often more than the cost of the finance.

What this really means to you is that employing a professional lighting design engineer should be a must.

Iain Ross MSLL