What to Look for in Cold Storage LED Lighting

3 min read - Commercial

Lighting a cold storage facility presents a few challenges that other facilities don’t.  Factories and other warehouses, for example, typically don’t experience the bitter temperatures and damp conditions that a cold storage facility does. 

Having the right lighting in place for each area in a cold storage facility is critical to workers’ safety, comfort, and productivity. Selecting the right lights for the environment ensures that they’re able to withstand the facility’s ambient conditions and sanitation practices. Traditional lights like HID and fluorescents aren’t the best solution for these spaces — but not all LED lights are appropriate, either.

Let’s take a look at some of the features and benefits that should influence the choice of LED lighting for your cold storage facility.

Characteristics & Specifications

LED lights for cold storage must do more than illuminate the immediate area. Consider the following:

Full Floor Coverage

It’s important that every LED fixture provides ample lighting coverage for every inch of the cold storage facility, including the racking. This could mean high brightness levels in one area and lower levels in an adjacent space. Every fixture must provide the illumination needed to eliminate potential hazards and keep workers safe while navigating the facility. 

Temperature Tolerance

Not all LEDs are manufactured to withstand extreme cold, so select only those with thermal/cool temperature ratings that match your facility’s conditions; ratings provide a temperature minimum or maximum that the light is able to tolerate. Many LED fixtures rated for cold storage can work in temperatures as low as -40°F.

Moisture Tolerance

Fixtures in cold storage facilities are often subjected to condensation, and depending on what’s stored in the space, they may need to be regularly sterilized with liquid agents to ensure code compliance after installation and throughout operation. When selecting LED fixtures, look for the “UL Listed” label demonstrating that they’ve been tested and align with applicable requirements and expectations. 

For cold storage facilities in particular, it’s important to choose UL listed lights that are designed for Damp or Wet conditions — these are not interchangeable. Those labeled for Damp conditions are appropriate for spaces that experience ambient humidity and condensation, while the Wet listing means the lights can be in direct contact with liquids, such as frequent washes and rinses for cleaning. 

Environmental Impact

When choosing your LEDs, consider the environmental impacts. This means finding the lights that will illuminate the facility exactly as needed in an energy-efficient manner, which saves you money and helps the environment in the process. Gordon Food Service, for example, saw annual cost savings of $141,754 and reduced their annual carbon dioxide output by 1,134 tons after retrofitting their legacy lights with new LED fixtures from Orion. 

Even before installation, working with companies like Orion that manufacture and assemble most lighting fixtures in the U.S. will ensure a smaller carbon footprint due to shorter shipping distances.

Case Study: How Pepsi Bottling Ventures Reduced Their System Hours By 30%

Return on Investment

If your facility still uses outdated fixtures like fluorescent, HIDs, or even first-gen LEDs, you’re probably spending significantly more on energy than you should be. Retrofitting the building with today’s energy-efficient LEDs involves upfront costs, but you’ll see a return on that investment in short order. 

Most retrofit projects that upgrade from fluorescents to LEDs, for example, result in up to a 50% reduction in energy use and payback in 1 to 3 years! Once the project is paid off, the energy savings can then be put back into the business for improvements to the facility or hiring additional personnel.

What’s more, LED lights have a lifespan of 50,000 to 100,000 hours — or roughly 5 to 11 years — which means you’ll spend less time on maintenance and finding replacements. 

Rebates & Warranties

Many utilities and manufacturers offer rebates for DLC-listed products, which put less strain on the electric grid than traditional lighting solutions. With utility rebates, the government gives you money back for your project, meaning you’ll end up paying less on this initial investment. DLC-listed product rebates are also available for lighting controls — a win-win for cost and energy savings.

For added peace of mind and potential cost savings, LED fixtures often include warranty protection. Orion’s products, for example, typically offer warranty coverage from 1 to 10 years.

Learn More: How to Find Commercial LED Lighting Rebates

Controls & Automation

Lighting controls allow you to program your setup so that every fixture is always at the precise level required for the space. You can program the controls to automatically turn light on or off at specific times, turn on only when in use, dim or intensify in different locations in the facility, and more.

This kind of programming and automation reduces the need for manual intervention and ensures the most efficient use of energy. When you work with Orion, we’ll help you pair your lights with the best control options for your needs.

Cold storage facilities have unique conditions that you can accommodate with the appropriate LED lighting solutions, and the experts at Orion can help you evaluate your options.

Your Comprehensive Cold Storage LED Lighting Guide

Ready to explore solutions? We’ve created a complete guide that delves into more detail on cold storage lighting and controls solutions, including specific products! Access Orion’s Cold Storage Lighting and Controls Product Guide by clicking on the button below. 

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