The Energys explainer: How can warehouse LED lighting boost profits?

Statisticians and newspapers tell us that online-only retailers are enjoying a boom. The Telegraph reports that online sales “grew 18pc last year and by 27pc over the past two years…while bricks and mortar sales fell over both periods.”

The growing trend for virtual routes to market has seen a rise in demand for warehouse space, as businesses seek to satisfy the needs of an ever-growing number of online shoppers.

Whilst e-commerce companies typically enjoy lower overheads – with no costly retail estate to manage, there’s no doubt that it pays for online businesses to find ways of increasing the efficiency of their warehouse and distribution operations. It’s here that significant savings can be made to their operating costs.

How can efficient lighting make warehouses more profitable?

According to the Carbon Trust, even a 20% cut in energy costs represents the same bottom line benefit as a 5% increase in sales. Lighting can account for up to 80% of a warehouse’s energy bill, so upgrading to energy efficient options such as LED can have a significant impact.

In a fast-paced industry, achieving this sort of competitive advantage is crucial. But energy isn’t the only expense associated with legacy warehouse lighting. Maintenance costs can rack up too, as failed lamps need to be accessed by cherry picker, disrupting operations as sections of warehouse are cordoned off for replacement work.

Lighting also has an impact on staff wellbeing and productivity. Eyestrain, glare, picking and packing mistakes are all consequences of poor quality illumination.

Specialist solutions for a specialist space

The cost-saving argument for upgrading to LED is clear, but not all LEDs are made equal, and warehouses are particularly tricky environments to light. Open spaces, high ceilings, narrow aisles and high racking can make it difficult to illuminate spaces evenly.

Energys Group’s New Vision LED High Bay option offers excellent energy saving opportunities for warehouses, while providing even light distribution and glare control. The lamps have a life expectancy of over 50,000 hours and will maintain lumen levels at over 90% for the full warranty period of 5 years in normal use, dramatically reducing the maintenance burden.

For warehouses with legacy SONS or metal halide lighting, our retrofit options may be a faster, more cost-effective solution. Ranging from 20W to 100W, they provide a cost-effective ‘plug and play’ option to replace SONs and metal halides. Because of the high efficacy and directional nature of these LED lamps, together with the sharp white light and high colour rendering index, it is possible to reduce the power consumption of light fittings by between 50% and 75% with no discernible reduction in effective light levels.

Warehouse lighting success story

One example of lighting best practice is Prompto Despatch, a courier company in Ireland. Prompto’s 400W metal halide lamps were retrofitted with our New Vision 80W LED SON lamps, achieving instant energy savings of more than 75% in the company’s warehouse space.

“It was obvious from the outset that as soon as the New Vision LED lighting was installed we had made the right decision, with much improved lighting levels and instantly reduced energy costs,” says James Delea, Managing Director at Prompto Despatch.

It’s clear that LED lighting can offer significant efficiencies for warehouse businesses. But proven sector expertise and high performance products are key when selecting the right supplier. Only then will companies really reap all the benefits of modern, effective, efficient light.

Want to know more about the benefits of LED lighting for warehouses? Drop us a line or have a look at our case studies.

The February Energys advice portal; why price alone can’t deliver top quality commercial LEDs

No matter which sector you work in, an all too familiar disconnect exists; price versus quality.

It’s a challenge in virtually every aspect of human endeavour, and unfortunately it’s also a challenge in the world of LEDs.

Right now, the issue of LED quality is becoming ever more important. Demand for LEDs is growing exponentially as more and more firms realise their advantages. There are multiple benefits that go beyond simple energy and cost savings – our case studies are testament to that.

But the trouble is, the burgeoning market is like a green light to unscrupulous importers, whose substandard products you should avoid, with both sustainability and safety in mind.

Here’s what to do, to make sure you don’t fall foul of cheap LEDs.

There’s such a thing as too good to be true

It doesn’t take a vast amount of research to uncover the issues facing the industry. ‘As the market for LED lighting continues to grow, suppliers are competing to cash in,’ writes Lux Magazine.

‘And while competition is forcing prices down for consumers, the appearance of dodgy and dangerous products on the market means that those who go for cheap LEDs risk paying a much greater price.’

Lux highlights a shipment of 1,000 LED lamps, imported from China, identified at the Port of Felixstowe. A number of samples were found to have insufficient insulation and exposed live elements. They were potentially lethal.

Lux writes that the BBC’s Fake Britain team tested some of the lamps in a laboratory, alongside a branded lamp. The unbranded domestic lamp recorded 179V and 91mA in a touch test; multiple times higher than the maximum 60V and 2mA permitted in European safety standards.

Industry standards can help you avoid the cowboys

At Energys, our business hinges on using quality LEDs. As a manufacturer, we guarantee that our LEDs are safe, certified and branded.

So, we won’t offer you anything dangerous, anything that can’t perform up to its stated specification in the real world, nor anything that comes from shady sources.

To further our commitment to transparency, better reliability and safety, we have joined the Lighting Industry Association (LIA).

All LIA members commit to random inspections and testing of their LEDs. We’re happy with this, because we want to play our part in widening transparency and protecting our customers.

‘This process should be considered as a serious attempt to create a real differential to ensure the market has access to compliant and quality lighting products,’ Steve Davies, CEO of the LIA, has commented.

Question your supplier

All in all, we can’t advise strongly enough; steer away from cheap LED imports. Instead, find a number of reputable suppliers like Energys.

Ask these suppliers: where do your LEDs come from? Are they branded? How does their real world performance stack up against the energy savings claimed? Do you have customer references? How long does your guarantee cover any LED lighting for?

The best, most transparent suppliers will be keen to engage in such conversations. Those who lack information, or attempt to divert you to cheaper costs are likely to be selling exactly the LEDs you wish to avoid.

Interested in learning more? Read our guide to undertaking due diligence on your lighting supplier.

Energys welcomes LIA random product testing initiative

The Lighting Industry Association (LIA) has announced that from January 2017, all its members will participate in an ‘industry-wide market surveillance initiative’. The move will include randomised product inspections to ensure that the market has access to compliant and quality lighting products.

What is the LIA surveillance initiative?

The initiative aims to give consumers confidence in LIA member products, with the introduction of vigorous product testing by qualified laboratory engineers. LIA members will be randomly selected to put forward their products; test results will then be collated and published in an annual survey.

Raising standards in the lighting industry

The LIA surveillance initiative will ensure a level of confidence is maintained when buying from LIA members and that member products comply with safety and performance standards. These products will be recognised by the LIA member certification mark to highlight a trusted and high quality product.

How it will work

At the start of each quarter, the LIA will randomly select a minimum of 40 companies to put forward their products to undergo a rigorous quality control assessment. When a company has been randomly selected, a product from the company’s portfolio will be randomly chosen and put forward for testing.

More clarity and confidence for consumers

Kevin Cox, Managing Director of Energys Group said, “We are very supportive of the LIA’s initiative, which will provide a much needed push to drive quality in the lighting industry and give customers the reassurance that products stand up to manufacturer claims. As members of the LIA, Energys Group is proud to confirm that all of its products are covered by this extremely important initiative.”

Looking for advice on whether lighting product claims can be trusted? Read Energys Group’s guide to choosing the right LED lighting supplier.