how industrial led lighting affects manufacturing productivity

Manufacturing managers are always looking for new ways to improve the productivity of their operations. In stark terms, a manager proves his qualities if every dollar of input into a manufacturing facility generates multiple dollars of output. Retrofitting the lighting systems at an existing manufacturing facility to industrial LED lighting is a direct and easy way to achieve those output multiples.

Employees will always prefer to work in well-lit environments that give them the best opportunity to see fine details and color contrasts in work surfaces and materials. Industrial LED lighting can be tuned to generate light with brighter tones and higher color temperatures. Those tones and color temperatures include wavelengths of blue light that have been shown to improve alertness and, by extension, productivity and safety in a manufacturing environment. Further, industrial LED lighting better replicates the perfect color rendering index provided by natural sunlight, which is the best illumination to distinguish fine contrasts and colors. Several workplace studies have verified that improved alertness and visibility translates directly into better manufacturing quality and enhanced productivity.

Industrial LED Lighting Improves Manufacturing Productivity

These potential manufacturing productivity improvements are more than just theories or speculation. Objective studies in manufacturing facilities that have retrofitted to LEDs have demonstrated that productivity improvements of 6% to 11% are possible with new industrial LED lighting systems. The detailed analysis in those studies reveals that LED lighting enables manufacturers workers to feel more alert and to react more quickly while simultaneously reducing their fatigue levels.   

Better illumination with industrial LED lighting also improves safety in a manufacturing environment. Safety improvements lead to fewer accidents and mishaps that might shut down a manufacturing line or that can lead to worker absences.

Even without these direct productivity enhancements, industrial LED lighting will lower energy and facilities maintenance costs. Industrial LED fixtures draw up to 90% less electrical energy than their metal halide or high pressure sodium counterparts, leading to significantly lower utility bills for the same or better manufacturing facility illumination. Newer generations of industrial LED lighting are also more durable and are better able to withstand shocks and vibrations that are common in manufacturing environments. Improvements in LED technology have created fixtures that continue to operate for between 50,000 and 100,000 hours without replacement. Reduced energy and maintenance costs combined with improvements in worker productivity will rapidly compensate for any initial LED retrofit costs, and additional cost savings will go directly toward a facility’s manufacturing productivity bottom line.

None of these productivity improvements would have real value if industrial LED lighting did not comply with regulatory requirements and industry standards for hazardous location lighting. In pertinent part, those standards are based on the type and concentration of flammable materials that are either regularly or intermittently present in a manufacturing facility’s environment or that are stored or transferred through a facility in sealed containers. Industrial LED lighting comes with sturdy casements and fixture housings and tempered lenses that shield potential ignition sources in fixtures from flammable substances. Some LED system manufacturers, including Columbus, Ohio-based SpecGrade LED, produce LED fixtures with copper free casings and double folded aluminum fins that further reduce these risks by reducing spark potential and lowering thermal buildup in the fixture’s solid state drivers. 

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