LED Lighting Tips for Warehouses and Fulfillment Centers

Michael Tobias
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    - LED lighting can achieve energy savings of 25-90%, depending on what lamp type is being upgraded.

    - Upgrading to LED lighting is one of the most effective energy-saving measures for buildings, and this includes warehouses and fulfillment centers.

    - High bay LED fixtures consume 60% less energy than HID bulbs, and their service life is 5-10 times longer.

    - When replacing fluorescent tubes, LED lamps can reduce electricity consumption by up to 50%, and their service life is 2-5 times longer.

    If you ask energy consultants to analyze a building, their list of recommended measures will normally include an LED upgrade. While this technology brings a higher upfront investment than other options, the long-term ownership cost is much lower. Warehouses and fulfillment centers can take advantage of LED lighting to cut their power bills, especially if they operate around the clock.

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    Urban fulfillment centers can achieve an excellent lighting quality with a combination of LED high bay lights and shop lights.

    • If your facility is currently using HID and fluorescent lights, there are LED retrofit bulbs available. They reduce project costs by using the existing fixtures, upgrading only their lamps.
    • Alternatively, you can replace the entire lighting system with integrated LED fixtures. This is an excellent option for adaptive reuse projects and major renovations, and also if you’re planning a new construction.

    Below we will discuss the main types of LED fixtures you can use in a warehouse or fulfillment center, achieving energy savings and lighting quality. You will also save on lamp replacements and maintenance, thanks to the longer service life of LEDs.

    High Bay LED Lighting for Warehouses

    LED high bay

    Conventional high bay fixtures use metal halide bulbs or high-output fluorescent tubes. However, LED is a much better option in terms of efficiency and durability. For example, the following three fixture types have the same application, but the LED option has notable advantages:

    Fixture Type

    Power Consumption

    Service Life

    Metal Halide


    10,000 hours

    T5 High Output Fluorescent

    324W (6x54W)

    20,000 hours

    LED High Bay


    50,000 hours

    In this example, the LED fixture would be saving 57% with respect to the MH lamp, and 38% with respect to the T5HO fixture.

    LED high bay fixtures can be classified into round and linear, based on their shape and lighting distribution:

    • Round LED fixtures emit light equally in all directions, and they are suitable for areas where you need uniform lighting. They are also referred to as UFO fixtures, since they look like floating discs of light when switched on.
    • On the other hand, linear fixtures concentrate their lighting output towards the sides, making them a great option for the aisles between product shelves

    There are also LED retrofit lamps for MH bulbs or T5HO tubes, which can be used to upgrade existing high bay fixtures. This is a great option if you want to reduce project costs without compromising quality and performance. However, integrated LED fixtures offer a slightly better efficiency and lighting quality.

    Integrated LED fixtures are the best option for new constructions, since you must install a complete lighting system anyway. Instead of purchasing older products and upgrading them later, you can simply pick the best option from the start.

    LED Shop Lights for Work Areas in Warehouses

    work area

    High bay fixtures can be complemented with LED shop lights for work areas with lower ceilings. Shop lights are normally suspended from chains, and have their own power cord and pull-chain switch. These features give shop lights more mobility that other fixtures, and they can be relocated easily if necessary.

    Conventional shop lights use T8 or T5 fluorescent tubes, and in older installations you may still find T12 tubes. However, LED shop lights are more efficient than all fluorescent options. They are also more durable, while fluorescent tubes can be damaged or loosened from their bases with frequent movement.

    For example, you can use 40W LED shop lights instead of conventional 2x32W T8 fluorescent fixtures, reducing power consumption by 38%. You will also get a service life of 50,000 hours or more, while the T8 tubes will need a replacement in around 20,000 hours - or even earlier if they are switched frequently.

    LED Outdoor Lighting for Warehouses

    parking lot lights

    Outdoor areas of warehouses can use a combination of LED wall packs and pole-mounted area lights. These fixture types have traditionally used HID bulbs, just like high bay lights, which means you can expect major savings with LED lighting. Electricity costs can drop by 60% or more, and the lamps will last up to 10 times longer. In this case, since you’re dealing with an outdoor environment, you must look for LED fixtures with dust-tight and water-proof housings.

    LED lighting offers energy and maintenance savings in industrial buildings, and this also applies for warehouses and urban fulfillment centers. LEDs consume less energy than traditional HID bulbs and fluorescent tubes, and they also have a much longer service life. A reliable lighting system is very important for a fulfillment center - without adequate lighting, work is disrupted and accidents are likely.

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    Tags : LED lighting LED upgrade fulfillment center LED retrofit warehouse lighting

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