NEW LIGHTING RACKS UP SAVINGS
Dingy, gloomy, dark – that was the first impression of new owner Ian Smith, President of All-Connect Logistical Services Inc., when he initially toured this industrial building, originally used for welding. Faced with increasing customer demand and in need of a bigger footprint, Smith acquired the 36,000 square-foot warehouse space but before moving in, he knew he needed to upgrade the lighting.
Smith’s first move was to contact Oakvillle Hydro to leverage expertise and access funding for the project. With the help of an incentive of $18,000, a variety of outdated light fixtures were upgraded, including a number of high bay fixtures that were replaced with 160W LED fixtures. The new lighting provides dramatically better illumination with fewer lights. The upgrade resulted in savings of more than $23,000 a year in lighting-related energy costs.
As for the warehouse, it’s now vibrant, clean and bright. The lighting scheme was re-aligned with the floor plan to minimize shadows and enhance visibility to make it safer for staff to stack products and read barcodes. It’s so bright, that existing – and even prospective – customers are taking note. “We had guests touring through from overseas,” says Smith. “They were so impressed with the facility that they took photos to share with their colleagues.”
SAFER, QUIETER, MORE PRODUCTIVE
For Smith, the qualitative benefits of good lighting far outweigh the financial investment. “I wanted to create the feeling of a downtown office,” he recalls. “Why shouldn’t a warehouse be as bright and comfortable?” He’s noticed that employee morale is up in a more cheerful environment. Another unexpected perk: the LEDs don’t hum the way older lamps do. “It’s almost too quiet,” jokes Smith. “The guys want a radio to cut through all the silence.”
CONTROLS BRING ADDITIONAL SAVINGS
As the warehouse is not a 24/7 operation, timers were introduced to avoid wasting energy. Today, warehouse lights are scheduled to run during operating hours, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Lamps within the aisles are equipped with motion sensors so that lights turn on only as needed, and shut off automatically. Should lights need to be turned on manually, the instant-on saves valuable time compared to the many minutes it took to power up the old lights.
Working with Oakville Hydro, All-Connect took advantage of incentives to speed up payback and make the investment easier. For Smith, it all comes down to value. “Energy efficiency gives you a sense of accomplishment,” he says. “It’s not how much you make, it’s also about how much you save.”