Let there be light!
12 December 2012
Switching to energy efficient lighting can save bundles of cash, argues Martin Needham of Lutterworth Ecolighting, and it needn't disrupt operations unduly With mounting pressure on businesses to cut costs throughout
With mounting pressure on businesses to cut costs throughout the organisation, warehousing and industrial operations are striving to reduce escalating energy costs for immediate savings and longterm gain.
Lutterworth Ecolighting's managing director Martin Needham reports that the desire for lower energy bills is driving the demand for replacement lighting installations, particularly from larger warehousing and distribution operations that operate 24-hours a day.
"To achieve optimum energy savings, a lighting system must be configured to the activity that is taking place inside the building," says Martin. "In a warehouse environment where there are fluctuating levels of activity in different areas during the day, this becomes all the more important.
"For the best results, design teams must understand the practical application of the lighting. This means identifying when lighting is needed, for how long and if there are any areas that require particular attention such as pedestrian walkways or racking." Traditional sodium lighting or metal halide discharge light fittings typically consume 450 - 460 watts, whereas the low energy light fittings that Lutterworth Ecolighting design, manufacture and install, can consume anywhere between 76w and 252w depending on the fitting type even when at full power. Despite the low wattage, the lights produce a very crisp white light when in use.
The fittings have built-in intelligent sensors to detect motion and monitor ambient daylight levels. When there is no occupancy in the area or when there is sufficient ambient daylight, the lights will automatically switch off or operate at just 10%.
Typically, this results in customers making energy savings in excess of 70%.
Return on investment is rapid and is usually within one to three years.
Aside from the financial and environmental factors, the most obvious and instant benefit of energy-efficient lighting is the superior light quality that the new technology generates. The result of a lighter and brighter working environment is improved visibility and enhanced workplace safety for employees.
Lutterworth Ecolighting reports that workforce delight at the improvement in the working environment is an inevitable result of an installation.
"Despite the benefits, there are still some companies that are reluctant to replace their lighting because they fear the installation will disrupt day-to-day operations," continues Martin. "However in the same way that an energy efficient lighting system is configured to activity, the installation process can also be coordinated around warehouse activity.
Our engineers work closely with warehouse managers to ensure works are scheduled in designated areas outside of peaks periods to avoid disruption." The numerous benefits of energyefficient lighting have recently been extolled to Carlsberg by consultants EHS Projects.
Steve Powers, director at EHS Projects says: "We have worked with Lutterworth Ecolighting for several years now and we are delighted to be at the point in this project where their lighting solution is installed and contributing to Carlsberg's carbon reduction commitment. The installation of Ecolite technology into the national network of distribution centres will help Carlsberg with this commitment, but will also improve the working environment for the employees and generate significant cost savings for the business."