As a contractor or new warehouse owner, lighting a massive space in the right way can be daunting. Especially in a food processing warehouse where safety and efficiency tend to conflict with one another. We at VL have the experience and knowledge about lighting warehouses. We have put together this blog to tell you how to light a food processing warehouse using our many years of experience.
Things to keep in mind when lighting a food processing warehouse
Food processing facilities typically used old lighting technologies such as high-pressure sodium lamps, metal halide lamps, and fluorescent lights. But these lighting systems have many limitations and are simply outdated. They have spectral power distribution and emit a lot of heat. To control the high temperatures, more electricity is used to get rid of the excess heat and the cycle of wasted energy continues. Avoid very high-temperature lamps because they negatively affect your food processes.
Additionally, most old lighting technologies contain mercury, a dangerous chemical that can be hazardous if it leaks into the environment. In case they break or burn out, Light fixtures that contain mercury must be disposed of in a specific way. This will be frustrating and costly overtime.
Metal halide lamps and fluorescents will buzz and flicker if they operate for long hours. Buzzing and flickering light can interfere with the productivity of employees and also cause eye strain and headaches.
To be safe and efficient you should stay away from the above methods for lighting your Food Processing warehouse.
What lighting do I need for a food processing warehouse?
- LED lights emit very little heat and their efficiency gets better at lower temperatures, something that makes them ideal for food storage facilities.
- Fluorescent lighting is more sensitive to extremely low temperatures, causing malfunctions. Therefore, if you are lighting in freezer warehouses, you should 100% choose LEDs.
- Fluorescents are a popular choice for plant owners on a budget however, choosing a yellow hue will affect employees productivity. As shown in almost every case, white light is much more pleasing to the human eye. Your employees will have enhanced clarity and morale.
- Most LED light fixtures last up to 10 years before requiring changes. This allows plant owners to install lights in harder to reach places, such as over equipment, without worrying about interrupting production schedules.
- Fluorescent lighting requires new fixtures every one to two years.
What is an NSF rated light fixture and why does it matter?
NSF International (formerly The National Sanitation Foundation) operates as a non-profit, independent, third-party certifier of products for the food processing industry. Its main goal is to ensure high safety standards for all facilities that manufacture and distribute consumer food, water and health products. NSF ensures that all products are in compliance with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). They help to protect the health and safety of end users of products bearing the NSF mark.
The path to NSF certification is rigorous. In order for a light fixture to be NSF certified, it needs to meet the requirements of NSF/ANSI 2 and pass the standards established for food protection and sanitation in terms of its materials, design, fabrication, construction, and performance. This means that not only the product itself is tested; the facility that manufactures the product also needs to pass a battery of tests that pertain to the stringent requirements of the FDA and USDA.
The protocol NSF P442: Controlled Environment Light Fixtures is a single certification that demonstrates that light fixtures are constructed for use in controlled environments such as pharmaceutical processing, biotech research, biosafety laboratories, surgical suites, clean room manufacturing, food processing and horticulture.