According to the data published by the European Commission, the price of electric energy for industrial use has been continuing to increase every year since 2009 and with the promotion of energy efficiency initiatives such as Europe 2020, it will be impossible to prevent LED technology from being adopted for industrial lighting.
The long road to white light
Despite the fact that LED lighting was discovered more than 50 years ago, its evolution has been very gradual. In the beginning, LEDs were manufactured using infrared light and it was not until 1962 that the first LED with a visible red light was obtained. Ten years later, in 1972, the first yellow light LED was produced. But another 22 years were necessary before the first blue LED was invented with a technology which produced a much more brilliant light. This enabled the next step to be taken and the first white light LED was produced which enabled the idea of substituting traditional lighting by LED lighting to be considered.
LED lighting in warehouses at last
Like all technology, in the beginning it was expensive to manufacture and the number of lumens per watt was still very low, which limited the use of LED lighting to specific applications. But in the last few years, the improvement in LED technology has reduced its costs and has increased its luminous efficacy to levels which are comparable to those of fluorescent tubes.
At the present time, this enables LED lighting to be applied to industrial environments, such as production plants and warehouses where the light fittings have to be installed very high and good lighting is necessary both for productivity and safety.
La eficiencia energética en los almacenes
Despite the fact that it is still more expensive to get LED lighting than fluorescent lights, the obvious advantage is its low electricity consumption. And added to this is the fact that, unlike fluorescent tubes, LED lights switch on immediately and their useful life is not shortened by continual switching on and off. Moreover, LED lights work perfectly together with control circuits such as movement sensors. This enables the lights to be kept off and only switched on when it is really necessary, even in areas of the warehouse where constant lighting is necessary for reasons of security.
Another characteristic of LED technology is that the light emitted is more directional. This provides greater efficiency in specific applications where the light needs to be concentrated on one certain area, such as the metal pallet racking aisles.
The inherent low consumption, together with a greater versatility in its control, makes it possible for LED lighting to make energy savings that can easily be greater than 70% and can even reach 90%.
Additional advantages for warehouse
But the advantages of LED lighting in industrial sheds and warehouses are not only the energy saving but also the fact that, unlike fluorescent lighting, LEDs need practically no maintenance; they can be working for several years without having to be replaced.
Another great advantage is the low heat dissipation of LED lights, which means that cold storage warehouses have been the first to be interested in replacing their lighting systems with LED technology since the saving in air conditioning consumption can be added to the saving in the electricity consumption in lighting.
In the next few years, we will see how the cost of LED lighting will be drastically reduced while fluorescent tubes will inevitably become obsolete.