How to choose the best lighting for a food facility

When selecting LED or fluorescent lighting for a food facility or warehouse, understand that each type is better suited for some areas rather than others.

07/30/2015


LED has greatHere are some tips to help find the right fit for the plant. applications for warehouses due to its dimmability. Here are some tips to help find the right LED lighting for the plant. Courtesy: StellarAll lighting is not created equal. When selecting LED or fluorescent lighting for a food facility or warehouse, understand that each type is better suited for some areas rather than others. Here are some tips to help find the right fit for the plant.

LED lighting: ideal for warehouses, processing areas

When LED lighting first hit the market, most food manufacturers weren't interested due to its high price points. However, in recent years, the energy-efficient lighting solution is heating up again thanks to more reasonable price tags (though it’s still expensive).

LED has great applications for warehouses due to its dimmability. When working with LED lighting for warehouse, motion detectors are put in the light fixtures so when forklifts are moving down the aisles, the lighting will brighten and then dim after the trucks have passed.

In addition to its highly touted energy savings, LED lighting’s advantages include:

  • Longer lamp life—Most LED light fixtures last up to 10 years before requiring bulb changes. Fluorescent lighting requires new bulbs every one to two years. This allows plant owners to install lights in harder to reach places, such as over equipment, without worrying about interrupting production schedules.

  • Low maintenance costs—Because of its longer lamp life, LED lighting requires less maintenance than other lighting types, allowing the plant to continue operations with fewer interruptions from service personnel.

  • Ability to withstand cool conditions—LED lighting performs especially well in cooler conditions like freezer warehouses, unlike fluorescent lighting, which is more sensitive to extreme low temperatures, causing malfunctions.

Fluorescent lighting: cost-effective, best for employee areas and packaging

Years ago, the industry’s lighting of choice was high-intensity discharge lamps, but now it’s fluorescent. Fluorescent lighting is about 30 to 40% less expensive than LED lighting and is the default choice for budget-conscious plant owners.

Fluorescent troffers are better to use for less profitable areas of the plant—away from production and processing. This includes employee and office areas.

Fluorescent lighting can also be a viable choice for areas of the plant where product is less exposed, such as packaging. Keep in mind, because of fluorescent lighting’s short lamp life, plant manager must factor in relamping time (and associated costs)—again, every one to two years. The time it’ll take to perform this task will likely interfere with your production schedule.

Be mindful that some maintenance solutions for fluorescent lighting can create additional risks. For example, fluorescent lamps installed as top-access fixtures (to enable maintenance from above instead of forklifts) involve additional installation costs and require holes to be cut in the insulated metal panels (IMP) for every light fixture, compromising the building envelope for each room and lessening your insulation value. They can also create fall hazards for personnel.

Fixtures fit for washdown

Whichever lighting type a plant goes with, ensure it has the appropriate fixtures depending on the washdown procedures or product handling in the corresponding area.

For example, where there is exposed product such as meat, ensure the fixture is washdown rated vs. a standard high bay or low bay, which is best suited for minimal washdown areas such as packaging.

Also be aware of the energy requirements and standards in the state of operation. For example, California has stringent high energy requirements, with standards mandating most rooms include LED or dimmable lighting.

For other areas, review ASHRAE’s 90.1 standard for the industry’s benchmark for your facility’s lighting energy requirements.

- Jud Walker is a senior electrical engineer at Stellar. Walker has over 20 years of experience in engineering and construction of commercial, institutional, and industrial facilities. This article originally appeared on Stellar Food for Thought blog. Stellar is a CFE Media content partner. Edited by Joy Chang, digital project manager, jchang@cfemedia.com.

Stellar is a CSIA member as of 7/20/2015



Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2017 Top Plant.
Product of the Year
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
System Integrator of the Year
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
February 2018
2017 Product of the Year winners, retrofitting a press, IMTS and Hannover Messe preview, natural refrigerants, testing steam traps
March 2018
SCCR, 2018 Maintenance study, and VFDs in a washdown environment.
Jan/Feb 2018
Welding ergonomics, 2017 Salary Survey, and surge protection
April 2018
ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
February 2018
Focus on power systems, process safety, electrical and power systems, edge computing in the oil & gas industry
December 2017
Product of the Year winners, Pattern recognition, Engineering analytics, Revitalize older pump installations
April 2018
Implementing a DCS, stepper motors, intelligent motion control, remote monitoring of irrigation systems
February 2018
Setting internal automation standards
December 2017
PID controllers, Solar-powered SCADA, Using 80 GHz radar sensors

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

The Maintenance and Reliability Coach's blog
Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
One Voice for Manufacturing
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Blog
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Machine Safety
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
Research Analyst Blog
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Marshall on Maintenance
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
Lachance on CMMS
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Maintenance & Safety
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
Industrial Analytics
This digital report explains how plant engineers and subject matter experts (SME) need support for time series data and its many challenges.
IIoT: Operations & IT
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Randy Steele
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Matthew J. Woo, PE, RCDD, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Randy Oliver
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me