In the food and beverage processing industry, massive amounts of energy are used to ensure that food is processed and stored safely on its way from suppliers to consumers. A few of the reasons that these factories are such high energy consumers are the size of the facilities, the constant operation (24/7), the energy requirements of machinery, and often, the cooling requirements for food safety.
Reduced Energy Consumption
In the food and beverage processing industry, one of the fastest and simplest ways to reduce energy consumption is to install contemporary LED lighting fixtures. Modern LED lighting is readily equipped with occupancy sensors and controls so lights are only in use when needed.
According to this IMPO article, “companies can cut their lighting energy consumption by as much as 80 to 90 percent over legacy systems like high-pressure sodium (HPS) and other high-intensity diode (HID) sources.” The cost savings are a primary reason to make the switch, but there are other considerations as well. Consumer preferences are shifting to patronage of businesses that are perceived as contributing to environmental conservation, sustainability, and corporate social responsibility.
Made for Extreme Temperatures
LED lighting for food and beverage processing is made to perform well in extreme temperatures, unlike other lighting types that do not perform effectively in hot or cold environments. LED lights also do not emit as much heat, which reduces the amount of cooling energy needed to compensate for heat from light fixtures in both cold storage and traditional factory areas.
Decreased Maintenance Costs
Maintenance is an important factor when choosing lighting solutions, as well. Due to the durability of LED lighting, fixtures do not have to be changed as often – saving money, time, equipment and labor costs. Another positive benefit is that production lines are impacted by lighting maintenance less often.
Rated for Food Safety
Food safety is another huge priority that drives the transition to LED lighting for food and beverage processing facilities. The NSF and other certifying agencies have documented requirements for “food safe” lighting, and there are a variety of LED fixtures that meet the defined criteria.
Promote Employee Safety and Productivity
Not only are regulations for food safety documented, but there are also lighting requirements for employee safety and productivity. The number of foot candles is carefully specified because higher foot candles (brighter light) gives employees better visibility to see what they are doing, to perform their tasks more easily, and to identify issues more quickly. LED lights also provide better color rendering index (CRI), which reduces color distortion of objects being lit. Superior CRI means that items and surfaces illuminated are more true to their organic color.
LED lighting is a compelling investment because although the obvious financial implications are appealing, the secondary benefits also contribute to lower operational costs through enhanced employee safety, improved morale, and increased productivity throughout overall facility operations.