Efficient Lighting in Industrial Real Estate

September 21, 2023 | By: CRE Insight Journal

Industrial real estate is a quickly growing segment of commercial real estate. E-Commerce has remained a driving force for the expansion and growth seen in industrial real estate, and efficient lighting is critical in the large warehouses utilized by e-commerce retailers. Efficient lighting is becoming more common place in industrial settings as the cost of bulbs, lamps, and fixtures continues to decrease, and there are numerous benefits to using this technology outside of their efficient energy usage.

The Importance of Efficient Lighting

Industrial property encompasses a diverse range of uses, from manufacturing to logistics, however the largest growth the industry has seen has come from e-Commerce. E-commerce grew sharply during the pandemic, and this led to large investments into warehouses for storing the goods sold in digital marketplaces. Many of these warehouses acted as both logistics hubs and vehicle repositories to make quick and effective deliveries to customers, brick and mortar locations, and even other warehouses.

Lighting a large warehouse can be costly and making sure your property utilizes efficient bulbs can make or break your bottom line each month. CRE Insight Journal has previously covered lighting options, and Light Emitting Diodes (LED) remains the most cost-effective option for industrial properties. Switching to LEDs, and even upgrading old LED bulbs, can have large effects on your industrial property’s energy usage and maintenance costs.

Benefits of LED Technology

LED bulbs have numerous benefits for any industrial property. LEDs are more efficient than fluorescent and compact fluorescent lights (CFL) as well as halogen bulbs. They produce less heat, which means that more of the energy used to power the bulb is transformed into light. This is important to note for your property, as it may require a different HVAC schedule if the temperature difference after upgrading is substantial.

Consider the lifespan of your current lighting system. How long do bulbs and fixtures typically last? How often do you have staff changing them? The lifespan of LED light bulbs is generally rated at 50,000 hours, meaning an LED light will be able to produce the same amount of light for approximately 8 hours every day for approximately 3 years.

Fluorescent lights typically have a life expectancy of 10,000 hours and incandescent lights boast a lifespan of 25,000 hours. These are only a fifth and half the lifespan of most LED bulbs, and changing these bulbs can be costly and time consuming. Compared to a fluorescent, maintenance professionals would only have to change the bulbs 1/5 of the time, and 1/2 as much if switching from an incandescent system. How many hours of maintenance will that save your budget? Reducing the amount of time maintenance professionals spend on changing bulbs can give them more time to react and stay ahead of more important maintenance on the property, all while reducing overall energy costs.

How do you light your parking lots? Are your industrial properties open 24/7, 7 days a week? LEDs are not only more efficient than older lighting solutions like high intensity discharge (HID) lights or high-pressure sodium lamps, and they are also less impactful on the environment, including our night sky. Light pollution from exterior light sources affects our ability to see the stars and planets in the night sky.

In cities and large facilities, it can be nearly impossible to see anything at night besides the Moon, but switching to LEDs decreases the amount of light pollution in an area and helps bring the stars back into view. This may not matter much for the day-to-day operations of your property, but it lends itself to the positive impact and change our facilities can have in our communities. Ensuring the stars and planets are visible for future generations of tenants, staff, and members of our communities will help build a positive reputation for your property.

Lighting the Way

Industrial real estate is booming in the wake of e-commerce, and it is critical to implement efficient lighting systems to save money on utility costs, maintenance costs, and to help keep our night sky visible. LED bulbs offer significant savings over CFLs and fluorescent lights, and they are more efficient at targeting your facility day or night. Utilizing efficient lighting at your industrial property will save ownership money, save staff time, and help bring the night sky back into view for the surrounding community.

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