Why Having the Right Warehouse Lighting Really Matters

November 04, 2019

You may have the most modern warehouse storage system or machinery—but if your employees cannot see while they’re working with your warehouse equipment, all that is a waste!

So, proper warehouse lighting is essential for a productive warehouse work environment. Why? Not only does installing the right warehouse lighting fixtures help you save on utility costs, but it also increases warehouse safety and provides better working conditions that encourage productivity! Ready to find out how?

Why is Having the Right Warehouse Lighting Important?

No matter your industry, location, or warehouse layout, one of the essentials of a productive working environment is proper lighting. After all, if your employees cannot see as they’re moving throughout your warehouse, how can you expect them to get anything done?

Though OSHA has outlined warehouse lighting requirements that all companies must follow, you shouldn’t just do the bare minimum in order to avoid noncompliance fees when it comes to your warehouse lighting. You should also be constantly striving to optimize your warehouse lighting for your specific facility and needs! Why is this so important?

Having the proper warehouse lighting can provide numerous benefits for your business. From improving the efficiency of your day-to-day warehouse operations to keeping your forklift operators and employees safe, choosing the right warehouse lighting for your facility is an up-front investment that’s more than worth it in the long run. How?

5 Reasons to Invest in the Right Warehouse Lighting

Check out the list below to learn more about how the right warehouse lighting is fundamental for warehouse optimization, making it a worthwhile investment!

1. Decrease Utility Costs

When you’re running a large warehouse, there are a lot of overhead expenses—including utilities. If you think your warehouse lighting fixtures won’t affect your utility bills, think again! Having light fixtures that are not optimized to your warehouse’s layout could mean you’re paying for more electricity than you need, and when you’re working with a tight budget, even small areas of waste can prevent you from making the most out of your available resources.

Luckily, there are numerous solutions out there that can prevent you from paying more than you need for warehouse lighting. By installing the most modern and energy efficient warehouse lighting fixtures (such as LED light bulbs), you can decrease your electricity usage and therefore your electric bill! In fact, by 2027, it’s estimated that widespread use of LEDs could result in total savings of more than $30 billion at today's electricity prices. Other modern warehouse lighting solutions include technology that’s motion sensitive, which can be programmed to shut off entirely after a certain period of time if no one is working in a particular room. There are also adaptive lighting solutions that can either dim or turn off completely according to the amount of natural light available. This means that on a sunny day with tons of natural lighting, your indoor warehouse lighting fixtures won’t need to be operating at full brightness—saving you from paying for electricity you don’t need.

2. Create More Comfortable Working Conditions

Work environment can either have a positive or negative impact on employee performance and happiness. Conditions that are uncomfortable for workers can decrease their motivation and overall productivity—on the flip side, having pleasant, comfortable conditions can boost job satisfaction and performance. Think about it: if your employees are spending eight hours a day in a dark, poorly lit area, they’re likely to feel more tired and sluggish. Besides this negatively affecting their productivity, it will also affect their happiness. If your warehouse staff is constantly forced to work in these uncomfortable conditions, they may be more likely to leave your company and seek work with a competitor that is able to provide a better working environment.

Beyond just productivity and job satisfaction, inadequate warehouse lighting can also affect your workers’ health. In fact, common health effects associated with poor lighting can include headaches, eyestrain, and neck, back, and shoulder pain due to straining to see items in dark areas. Plus, when your employees can’t see, it also increases the chances of falling, tripping, or slipping and getting injured. These types of health issues can leave you having to pay higher worker’s compensation premiums. By installing the right warehouse light fixtures, you can avoid these expenses and have happier, more productive employees that aren’t dreading coming to work because they know their eyes will be sore all day or are worried about falling on the job and getting hurt.

3. Increase Productivity

Proper warehouse lighting can increase overall work efficiency and staff productivity. How? When employees can actually see what they’re doing, there is less chance for errors—for example, misreading a product label and grabbing the wrong piece of inventory to put on a truck for delivery. Plus, it will make it easier for them to find what they’re looking for in your warehouse storage system quickly. When your employees can spend less time searching for the right piece of inventory and more time moving it (which is what actually drives revenue for your business), they can do their jobs more efficiently and effectively!

Poor warehouse lighting can also decrease productivity in your workers by causing drowsiness. When compared to bright light, dim lighting increases sleepiness and reduces performance—which means lower productivity. So, if you want to prevent your employees from dozing off on the job or feeling sluggish after hours working in a dark room, proper warehouse lighting is a necessity.

4. Keep Employees Safe While Operating Forklifts and Working in the Loading Dock Area

The high danger risk associated with working with both heavy machinery and inventory means warehouse safety should always be a priority. You don’t want your employees working in unsafe conditions that increases the risk of an accident—and without proper warehouse lighting, the likelihood of a costly mistake drastically increases. According to OSHA, “slips, trips, and falls” alone make up 13% of all accidental deaths in industrial occupations. Often times, these incidents occur because an employee couldn’t see where they were walking or a hazard in front of them on the ground. So, ensuring your employees have proper warehouse lighting helps to reduce the chance of workplace injury or even death. This is especially important for employees operating forklifts and working in the loading dock area. Why?

The loading dock area is one of the busiest parts of the warehouse—and the most dangerous. Having the proper loading dock lighting is essential because it ensures that your employees can see while they’re inside dark trailers to load and unload inventory. It also decreases the chances of an employee slipping while loading inventory, or thinking they are stepping out onto a truck platform that isn’t there and falling.

When it comes to your forklift operators, proper warehouse lighting is also essential. When drivers can see clearly, there is less chance for mistakes—for example, running over an employee’s foot or bumping into a pallet rack, causing it to collapse. Besides increasing warehouse safety for your employees, installing proper warehouse lighting fixtures can also help protect your inventory and motive power equipment. If a forklift accident causes damage to the forklift, one of your warehouse storage systems, or your inventory, it can lead to higher warehouse costs. After all, if the inventory is too destroyed for use, you won’t be able to sell it, leading to lost revenue. If you have to replace expensive warehouse storage racks or make forklift repairs, this can also be an unexpected blow to your budget. The proper warehouse lighting can help you avoid these expenses!

5. Make Your Warehouse More Environmentally Friendly

Environmentally friendly warehouse lighting solutions can save you money over time and improve the reputation of your business. Swapping out old light bulbs with modern energy-efficient lighting not only reduces your overall carbon emissions, but also decreases electricity bills in the long run. Plus, many modern consumers prefer to buy from brands that are conscious about their carbon footprint.

Though the up-front cost of replacing old-fashioned lighting may be daunting, it’s a worthwhile investment because it will save you money in the long-run. Energy-efficient bulbs tend to last longer than traditional warehouse lighting fixtures, and also use significantly less energy. For example, LED lighting uses at least 75% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and last about 25x longer, meaning you have to replace them less frequently. This increased efficiency of LED lights makes them ideal for large-scale industrial use. Overall, these environmentally friendly warehouse lighting solutions not only help your warehouse go green and attract eco-conscious customers, but also reduces both your electric bills and the cost of replacing old-fashioned bulbs.

Transform Your Warehouse Operations with the Help of Proper Lighting & SSE

Whether your warehouse lighting goal is to go green with LED bulbs or provide a safer environment for your staff by installing new lights in your loading dock area, SSE can help! We’ve got the comprehensive warehouse lighting solutions you need to transform your warehouse operations for maximum productivity.

For more information about installing the proper warehouse lighting or to get started today, contact an expert at Southern States Enterprises!

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