Warehouse lighting

Warehouse Lighting Requirements: Essential for Safety & Efficiency

Warehouse lighting relies on efficiency to ensure worker safety, prevent accidents, and maintain productivity. Inadequate illumination can lead to serious risks like slips, trips, falls, and collisions with equipment or products. It also strains workers’ eyes and makes it difficult to read labels or inspect items properly.

Providing the right type and level of lighting is not just an OSHA requirement but a necessity for any warehouse operation. Factors like ceiling height, aisle widths, racking configurations, and specific tasks all influence the lighting needs in different areas of a warehouse facility.  Below, we have provided a guide on all you need to know about warehouse lighting requirements and what they are.

What Are The Lighting Standards In Warehouses?

In many warehouses, lighting is usually between 150-300 lux, depending on application and position. Because no two places in a warehouse are essentially the same, it is important to know the right lighting level to use in the right place.

Areas with racking typically require 200 lux. Dispatch or open areas typically use between 200 lux to 300 lux. Aisles typically have about 100 lux to 200 lux of lighting. For these lighting levels, the IESNA (Illuminating Engineering Society) recommends a ceiling reflectance factor of 60% and a floor reflectance factor of 40%.

How Much Light Do I Need in a Warehouse?

While the minimum requirement is 110 lux for general warehouse areas, OSHA and industry standards recommend 100-400 lux depending on the specific tasks and areas within the warehouse facility. The lighting requirements can vary significantly based on the warehouse layout, racking configurations, aisle widths, ceiling heights and the activities being performed in different zones. The Society of Light and Lighting recommends a lighting level of between 150 lux and 200 lux with a maximum of 300 lux. However, it is important to know that many warehouses go beyond the 300 lux recommendation depending on their lighting needs.

How To Calculate The Number Of Lights Required In A Warehouse?

The number of lights plays a crucial role in determining the intensity of lighting in a warehouse. To calculate the number of lights needed:

  • Determine the desired illumination level (in lux or foot candles) for different areas of the warehouse lighting based on the tasks performed and OSHA/IES guidelines
  • Calculate the total area (in square meters or feet) of the warehouse space
  • Calculate the total lumen requirement for the space: Lumen requirement = Area x Desired illumination level
  • Choose the appropriate light fixtures and determine their lumen output per fixture
  • Calculate the number of fixtures needed: Number of fixtures = Total lumen requirement / Lumen output per fixture
  • Determine the spacing and layout of the fixtures based on Ceiling height, fixture mounting height, beam angle, and aisle widths between racking.

It is important to ensure the presence of a grid pattern of fixtures to create brightness and uniformity. 

How Many Lumens Are Required In A Warehouse?

For warehouses that handle large items and goods, the ideal warehouse lighting lumen requirement is estimated to be around 10 lumens per square foot. In warehouses that store and move smaller and less bulky items, the number of lumens needed is around 30 lumens per square foot. For aisles, the ideal lumen requirement for warehouse lighting lies between 10 lumens and 30 lumens.

What Is The Best Warehouse Lighting? 

warehouse lighting
Warehouse Lighting Requirements: Essential for Safety & Efficiency 2

Not all lighting comes in a fluorescent white shade, and this can make choosing the ideal warehouse lighting more challenging. To choose the best lighting, it is important to consider several factors such as brightness, burn time, beam angle, ability to be dimmed, colour rendering index (CRI), and colour temperature.

Typically, a light fixture with a color temperature ranging from 3000K (Kelvin Scale) to 5000K is a great choice for warehouses. Light fixtures with lower Kelvin scales of 3000K will have a warmer color while those with a Kelvin scale higher than 5000K will have a cooler white color. In many cases, it is best to stick with LED lights with a Kelvin scale of between 4000K and 5000K, as they radiate little heat but offer a crisp and clear white glow for easy visibility.

What Are The Minimum OSHA Lighting Requirements For Warehouses?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) dedicates several guidelines toward ensuring the safety of workers on duty. Since lighting is an integral factor in occupational safety, OSHA has several rules to ensure every warehouse lighting provides enough illumination for its employees.

OSHA has several standards that dictate the acceptable amount of lighting a warehouse is supposed to have. The organization does this using a form of measurement called foot candles (FC). Foot candles require that there is at least one lumen of light per square foot of space. However, this rule is quite flexible as different types of spaces may require an additional amount of minimum foot candles to meet OSHA regulations.

According to OSHA:

  • General areas on vessels and vessel sections such as accessways, exits, gangways, stairs, and walkways must have lighting of about 3fc
  • General landside areas such as corridors, exits, stairs and walkways must have lighting of about 5fc
  • Landside work areas such as machine shops, electrical equipment rooms, carpenter shops, lofts, tool rooms, warehouses, and outdoor work areas must have lighting of about 10fc
  • Changing rooms, showers, sewered toilets, and eating, drinking, and break areas must have lighting of about 10fc

Choosing The Right Lighting

When it comes to choosing the right lighting, professional LED lights make all the difference for warehouses. LED lighting is an excellent choice for warehouses due to its high energy efficiency, long lifespan, superior illumination quality, and durability in harsh industrial environments.
National LED offers a wide range of LED light options to help you illuminate your space. From indoor LED lights to outdoor options, National LED has all you need to elevate your warehouse lighting.

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