At a time when going green is gaining momentum and facility managers and owners are trying to save costs wherever possible, the conventional high-powered illumination strategy is under increased scrutiny.
Industries around the globe are switching to LED lighting for a multitude of applications – improving industrial, outdoor, and indoor spaces; including parking areas and warehouses. LED lighting has outperformed other technologies, especially when it comes to energy consumption, maintenance costs, and lighting quality. LEDs operate differently than those traditional light bulbs and are comparatively a way more rugged and durable than traditional light sources.
These days, LEDs are increasingly common in street lights, walkway, parking garage lighting, and other outdoor spaces lighting, modular lighting, refrigerated case lighting, and task lighting. Now, when thinking about the industrial lighting needs, LED automatically comes in the conversation. Many of the industrial facilities have very high ceilings to accommodate overhead cranes or high stacking shelving units or even manufacturing equipment or processes happening at high levels, like a stamping plant. Those presses are big!
This is a bare fact that warehouses or manufacturing units are typically vast and cover a lot of vertical as well as horizontal spaces and require powerful lighting to provide the appropriate luminance levels for adequate illumination. In the meantime, considering the nature of jobs that are performed in these premises, the requirement of uniform illumination is a must so as to maintain the smooth functioning of a variety of operations without inviting any mishaps in the industrial environment.
State of Indian LED Lighting Industry
India LED lighting market witnessed a surge in recent years on account of growing population and subsequent urbanisation. In 2018, India’s energy demand grew by 4%, which outpaced the global energy demand of 2.3%. With the increasing rate of electricity consumption, the demand for an environment friendly and cost-effective lighting solution is also gaining traction. Hence, not only the general lighting but the industrial lighting segment is equally poised to grow in time to come.
According to a recent report of ‘Research & Markets’, the Indian LED lighting market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 23.6% during 2019-25. Several government schemes such as Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) and Street Lighting National Programme (SLNP) remained the biggest demand drivers for the LED lighting market in India.
The aim of such initiatives is to increase awareness among the consumers regarding the adoption of LED light sources over the conventional ones such as incandescent bulbs, CFL, halogen lights, MHLs and HPSV lamps. For instance, under the SLNP, the government aims to replace over 1.34 crore conventional street lights in India, out of which, around 1.04 crore street lights were already replaced as on November 2019.
Points To Ponder While Adopting LEDs
Efficient LED sources are changing the way that we see high-bay lighting in warehouses and distribution centres, but there are some important factors that can’t be ignored. There are the obvious considerations, of course. Energy efficiency and running costs will always be high on the list of priorities, and maintenance of high level equipment is usually a logistical nightmare whenever it comes around. An LED solution seems to make sense, but there are extra-special challenges when it comes to warehouse lighting.
Blueprint of Installation: A blueprint of the installation of these LED lighting system is a must. This may sound an obvious thing, but installation work doesn’t always happen with racking systems already in place. It is well observed that luminaires that end up on top of shelves are next to useless. So, better making sure about where the racking is meant to be before letting the electricians loose on the installation. Poorly arranged lighting installations waste energy, badly reduce luminance levels by delivering light to the wrong place and make maintenance an unnecessarily expensive and time-consuming procedure. This doesn’t only apply to LED installations, of course, but it is also a fact that the light distribution from an LED luminaire is less forgiving than the type of HID sources that these places are used to.
Optics Matter: There is a new generation of high-bay lighting that depends on the use of optical systems to deliver its light pattern. And to make use of the benefits that optics offer, it is necessary to select the right version of the lighting unit. It’s easy to get light onto the floor, but the operatives need a good wash of light on the vertical face of the racking. That’s one of the big improvements that LED sources have brought to high bay lighting.
Whereas ‘traditional’ high-bay luminaires typically used elliptical HID lamps in spun aluminium reflectors that delivered a wide cone of light, the form factor for the LED high-bay luminaires varies from a high output central module within a reflector, replicating the old HID versions, to styles of linear array that have a definite asymmetrical distribution that suits washing of vertical surfaces.
Controlling Glare: LED arrays are different and hence do not work like conventional HID sources. The point intensity of each LED chip can make glare a serious problem if operatives are obliged to look upwards into the luminaire face. This is a typical problem for fork-lift drivers when they need to stack products at the higher levels of racking. This is why there is a necessary trade-off between luminaire efficacy and visual comfort. An LED high-bay luminaire may report excellent luminous efficacy but may rely on poor optical control to achieve that figure. A good optical system will take into account the needs of those working under the luminaire and may sacrifice a degree of efficiency in doing so.
Light, Only When Needed: Considering the nature of job within these premises, there will be times when 100% working illumination isn’t needed. LED installations should be efficient in any event, but that’s no reason not to exploit the technical characteristics of the source. Whereas HID dimming was never really a working option, LEDs can be dimmed very easily. So, to make it more advantageous, using localised presence detectors would help reduce energy consumption when no work is going on in specific bays. More energy can be saved with LEDs, if rooflights are linked with the daylight control.
Operational Awareness is the Key: Further, to know the benefit of these LED installations, some kind of monitoring software will be needed to get an idea of how efficiently these new lights are performing. It is, therefore, better to link a robust lighting control strategy with reporting software that can gather all the feedback to help the owner remain updated on how well the installation is working. Having a full-time analysis of a lighting installation that’s operating at height and over long periods can bring all kind of benefits when it comes to preventative maintenance.
Scheduling Future Course of Action: Spaces like these i.e. factories & warehouses remain operational 24×7 and that means a life-term for the LED array of around promised 20,000 hours is less than four years. This calculation would help to schedule the replacement of the specified equipment, which can be re-fitted with a new LED array and driver when that day comes.
Whole-life assessments of LED installations should come with a statement of the manufacturer’s intentions when the internal components need to be replaced. This is a relatively new area for manufacturers. There has been so much emphasis on the longevity of the LED that it has taken some time for the hard truth of the matter to be discussed. LEDs are not for ever but the luminaire housings can be.
Why Adopting LEDs to Industrial Premises is a Must?
No wonder that, there is a growing desire these days from industrial setups or warehouses to add LED lighting in their premises. And it’s not just because going with LED lighting is trendy, but there are a lot of cost-saving benefits a business can experience. Typically, LED utilises 60% less energy than conventional fluorescent and HID lighting systems. This is because LED lighting solutions are designed to reduce energy consumption costs while providing such expanded spaces with regular, contemporary lighting, besides improving work habits and the well-being of employees.
Life Expectancy: Longer life for which LED technology is known helps the owner to cut replacement expenses. Depending on how large is the warehouse or industry space, replacement of numerous lights get especially pricey since most warehouses have light fixtures mounted many feet above the floor. Upgrading to an LED system helps reducing the number of times the replacement of burnt out lights is needed for which extra labour is required and hence additional cost is incurred. In all the maintenance cost is cut down by as much as three times.
Capping Undue Accidents: Considering that brighter facilities are safer facilities, LEDs facilitate safer work environment. Warehouses generally are big spaces, with tall shelves and deep aisles. This can lead to a lot of darkened areas without the proper lighting. Bright new LED lights are capable of illuminating all areas of a warehouse facility very uniformly. LEDs are also more reliable and longer lasting than other lighting alternatives.
LED lighting in warehouses is also easier on the eyes. Turn on a fluorescent light and it’s bound to flicker, while LED lamp illuminates immediately without any flickering and frequent on and off operation. Therefore, replacing older warehouse fixtures with LED lights can minimise workplace accidents, errors, and improve safety. This can even reduce medical insurance benefit costs and keep production running at a high level with a fully staffed floor.
Automation Friendly: Going forward, this is the age of automated world where things are changed with a simple touch. Many LED lighting systems can be integrated into an automated wireless network which can control how the lights operate. This not only accelerates savings but also provides superior lighting management capabilities. A networked system allows individual fixtures or zones to be configured, scheduled, and task tuned while also reporting on alerts and energy.
In many warehouses, lighting control components are often difficult to reach or may be too far to access. One option is to incorporate motion sensors to coordinate LED light usage based on occupancy in various areas of the warehouse. In spaces where there is no activity, there is no need to keep lights on at all times. This is another opportunity for warehouse owners to keep their energy usage and utility costs down.
Employee Satisfaction: Employee satisfaction is another factor that strongly advocates switching to better lighting system. Numerous research studies document the relationship between lighting conditions and human performance. Working for an extended period in insufficient lighting can lead to worker fatigue; conversely, exposure to appropriate levels of light can make employees more alert which can lead to happier, safer employees and fewer errors.
Healthier and happier workers are safer workers. Bright, effective lights can help avoid accidents which can hold up production and, of course, even result in fatalities. This can hurt productivity not only practically but also in having to deal with the repercussions of horrible accidents. Unhappy employees also mean less turnover, which can cost any business time and money.
More Productive Atmosphere: Improved productivity is nowadays major concern of industrial premises, wherein lighting plays an important role. Natural sunlight is the best way to keep workers productive. When natural light isn’t possible in such a space, LED lights are the next best alternative. LED lighting can emit a bright, pure white light that appears like daylight, causing a bodily reaction similar to natural sunlight. Lights that are too dim or too harsh will directly affect worker performance. It’s been said implementing brighter lighting, like LEDs, can provide health improvements and increased productivity.
LEDs Vs Conventional Lamps
Historically, various lighting technologies are used in warehouse and industrial settings. Some of the most common include metal halide (MH), high pressure sodium (HPS), and fluorescent. While each of these bulbs have their merits, industrial LED lighting outperforms its conventional counterparts in more than one important ways.
Decreased Maintenance Requirements: As discussed above, LED lights have a lifespan that is four to forty times longer than many conventional bulbs. This means fewer replacements for bulbs that wear out. LED lighting technology also generates light differently than typical fuel and filament lighting by using a diode. This means that there are fewer moving pieces to break, and consequently, fewer repairs or replacements.
Maintenance is an especially important consideration when it comes to industrial lighting or warehouse lighting. By definition, high bay lights have higher mounting points which, in turn, mean that changing a light unit requires some specialised equipment or creativity. Scaffolding, catwalks, and hydraulic lifts are generally used to swap or replace bulbs, and each of these can result in additional maintenance or equipment costs. Again, the lifespan of industrial LED lighting means that fixtures need to be changed much less often, which means savings bottom line.
LEDs Eliminate Warm-Up Times: Metal Halide lamps in particular are notorious for long warmup times, generally 15-20 minutes is typical to get to full power. This is why these lights are required to be turned on well before the sun’s light is completely gone, so as to operate the lights for 20-25 minutes before they ever really need them to illuminate the space. That means they’re burning energy before they’re ever required. Moreover, metal halides are less efficient at lower power end up burning more energy per unit of light output while warming-up to full power.
Improved Lighting Quality: Industrial LED lighting typically scores better in head-to-head comparisons against most other bulbs when it comes to colour rendering index (CRI), correlated colour temperature (CCT), and foot candles. CRI is a measurement of a light’s ability to reveal the actual colour of objects as compared to an ideal light source (natural light). In non-technical terms, CCT generally describes the glow given off by a bulb – is it warm (reddish), or cold (bluish white)? Luminance, basically a measure of efficiency, compares the amount of light coming from a source and the amount of light hitting the desired surface. On all three fronts, LED lights perform very well.
Increased Energy Efficiency: Not only do LED lights generate light differently, they also distribute light differently than conventional lighting solutions, which results in less energy required to provide the same output. How does that work? First, many conventional lights waste a lot of the energy they produce by emitting it as heat, especially the MHLs. Second, most conventional lights are omni-directional, which means that they output light in 360 degrees. So, a lot of light is wasted pointing at a ceiling, or being diluted because it has to be redirected through the use of fixtures. Industrial LED lighting for such specific applications eliminates these two problems of wasted energy through heat loss and omni-directional emission.
The Ability to Dim Lighting: LEDs require LED-specific hardware in order to dim. Fortunately this hardware is readily available, easy to install, and adds significant value to the overall lighting solution. LEDs actually get more efficient when they are run at less than full power different than metal halide bulbs. In addition, the lifespan of the bulb increases when the device is run at less than full power. This allows saving even more money by managing lighting in an intelligent manner. Those facilities that install LEDs as part of a comprehensive smart lighting solution will incorporate the high efficiency LED lights in conjunction with sensors like timers or motion devices that adapt to ambient conditions and traffic patterns or the particular facility.
While LEDs provide improved energy and maintenance efficiencies as well as a better quality light, there are a few things they do for warehouses and large, open facilities in particular that most people don’t necessarily realise. Much of this has to do with the technological differences between LED lights and conventional lighting which remains under the scanner for issues like disposal hazards, shorter lifespan and less efficient light.
Moreover, owners of such spaces who still are continuing with their conventional lighting system are ending up paying more energy usage, which they can save simply by switching over to LEDs. The most obvious benefit of upgrading to LED lighting is that it has an immediate impact on the monthly electricity spend, with demonstrated energy savings of up to 85%. In some cases it is reported that typical return on investment calculations show full payback from as little as three months.
The Global Scenario
The global LED industrial lighting market is expected to grow at a CAGR of close to 9% during the period 2018-2022, according to a new market research study by Technavio.
The report presents a comprehensive research of the global LED industrial lighting market by type, which includes lamp and luminaire. The report also determines the geographic breakdown of the market in terms of detailed analysis and impact, which includes key geographies such as APAC, the Americas, and EMEA.
Market driver: phasing out halogen, incandescent, fluorescent, and HID lamps
A major growth driver for this market is the ban placed on the use of halogen lamps. Many countries around the world have placed bans on the use of halogen lamps to boost the growth of LEDs for their inherent energy-saving feature. Halogen lamps consume much more power than LEDs. They also have a larger carbon footprint. The governments around the globe have passed several measures to phase out incandescent light bulbs for general lighting and focus on energy-efficient lighting alternatives. Fluorescent lighting is used in industrial applications and warehouses. Fluorescent lamps also are used in manufacturing plants for high-bay and low-bay lighting.
According to a senior analyst at Technavio for lighting research, the continuous use of fluorescent lamps reduces their lifespan. A ballast can be used to overcome these challenges, but purchasing a ballast adds to the overall cost. These issues can easily be overcome by using an LED luminaire or lamp. This is because LEDs do not use mercury, which makes it safe for use across several applications. Furthermore, the high ROI of using LEDs will further accelerate their adoption across the industrial segment.
Market trend: increasing interest in CSP LED lighting for industrial applications
CSP LED lighting module is a LED module in which a single chip has a direct-mountable package that is the same size as the chip. CSP LED lighting modules are a revolution in LED lighting owing to their small size that makes them viable for many applications such as spotlights and downlights. CSP LED lighting modules are gaining momentum in the global LED market primarily due to features such as increased power density at a smaller surface and the optimal use of the LED. The low form factor of a CSP module, along with a wide beam angle, permits the module to be used in floodlights, spotlighting, and downlight applications required for industrial lighting.
Market challenge: high cost of implementing LEDs
The initial cost required to integrate LED lighting into manufacturing plants and production facilities is exorbitant. This prevents firms from integrating LEDs into their plants, and these firms prefer other types of lighting such as CFL, LFL, and HID. These end-users prefer the use of traditional lighting sources over LEDs as they have a lower initial cost. The assembly process for an LED is carried out manually as it is a complicated procedure. A clearly defined standard procedure for manufacturing LEDs on machines has not yet been developed.
Technavio is a leading global technology research and advisory company. Their research and analysis focuses on emerging market trends and provides actionable insights to help businesses identify market opportunities and develop effective strategies to optimise their market positions.