Warehouses and distribution centers are busier than ever. In order to keep up the current pace, as the logistics industry continues to be challenged, prioritizing employee comfort and wellbeing, while ensuring a stellar safety record aren’t just nice-to-haves, but necessities.
LED lighting – and scalable, connected systems, even more so – can help create the secure and productive workspaces employees demand, while laying the foundation for the warehouse of the future.
Brighter lighting for better results
Sufficient illumination is the first step toward safeguarding warehouse or distribution center operations, and it can even enhance staff productivity for a more efficient facility.
Flip the switch on safety by replacing legacy, conventional light sources with LED lighting. According to Liberty Mutual, slips, trips and falls accounted for 33.1% of U.S. workplace-related disabilities, which resulted in approximately $19.4 billion in costs in 2018. Quality LED lighting can offer uniform illumination, minimizing shadows and potentially confusing variations in perceived brightness and help improve visibility throughout the facility. In turn, well-lit zones can make it easier for workers to spot potential hazards, particularly in congested areas like loading docks, packing stations and order picking sections, as well as create a sense of comfort for employees. Some of the latest LED light sources are also designed to reduce glare and flicker to support visual comfort and acuity requirements, contributing further to a secure indoor environment.
In addition to ensuring a well-lit work floor, the right LED lighting delivers good color rendering with adjustable shades of white light to enhance employee productivity. Tunable, or adjustable, lighting can support employees’ vitality, concentration and alertness, which can positively contribute to day-to-day operations and workflows.
Delivering the next era of security and productivity
Warehouses and distribution centers can unlock more value from their facility’s lighting and infrastructure by connecting to the Internet of Things (IoT). Connected lighting systems merge built-in sensors with cloud-based software to deliver insights and functions well beyond basic illumination.
For example, connected lighting can help take safety procedures to a new level. These systems incorporate visual light communications (VLC) technology, or sensors within the luminaires, to collect occupancy data from zones across the warehouse. This information can be sent to employees via their mobile devices to notify them of off-limit or closed areas and even overcrowded spaces to support your facility’s physical distancing protocols. Workers can be triggered to find a less busy route as they navigate through your facility, especially during high traffic times of the day, like closing or opening shifts.
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Connected lighting can also be integrated with UV-C (or ultraviolet-C) upper-air solutions to help reduce bacteria and viruses and support air flow quality. These UV-C upper-air solutions treat the air directly under the ceiling and then with mechanical ventilation and/or natural convection, the air flows back into the lower air layer of the room, where people are present. Facility managers can ensure work continuity within the space 24/7, while supplementing current disinfection methods and creating a sense of comfort among employees.
Additionally, connected lighting systems offer scene management functionality with bio-adaptive light recipes. Light scenes can be programmed according to shift schedule or tailored to fit employees’ work functions, for instance. This can help support their circadian rhythm, or natural body clocks, which are responsible for regulating mood, alertness and relaxation. Begin the day with a crisp, bright tone of white light for an energy boost and to promote concentration. As employees’ shifts progress, you can then scale down the lighting to warmer tones and help them transition to a restful, relaxed state.
Unleash the possibilities of a smart facility
The logistics industry requires an around-the-clock safe, efficient and productive environment. Investing in LED and connected lighting solutions can help warehouses and distribution centers deliver on this, allowing you to maintain continuous operations and preparing your business and facility to handle what may come in the future.