Feature, Industrial

Saving energy is child’s play at Playmobil’s new warehouse

More than 5,200 linear fittings light Playmobil's new warehouse - but only when there isn't sufficient daylight available

No parent wants to have to explain to their kids why they didn’t get what they asked for from Santa.

So when toy maker Playmobil was setting up its huge new logistics centre in southern Germany, it was keen to make sure the place operated without a hitch.

That includes the lighting. The warehouse, which is the size of 12 football fields, has been lit with 5,200 continuous linear LED fittings from Trilux, to provide comfortable, low-glare and highly efficient light. Office areas on the same site have been lit with LED ceiling fittings.

In its 41-year history, Playmobil has sold 2.6 billion of its little plastic figures, and the new facility in Herrieden, Bavaria, which employs 300 people and has space for 135,000 pallets, is part of its plan to continue that success into the future.

Trilux’s E-Line fittings achieve an impressive efficacy of 134 lumens per watt, and with a 50,000-hour operating life and the ability to dim or turn off lights automatically when they’re not needed, Playmobil’s investment in the LED solution should pay for itself quickly.

The luminaires have a choice of optics, colour temperatures and lumen packages, so different versions can be used to provide the right light for narrow aisles between racks in the warehouse, as well as open, high-ceilinged areas used for packaging and dispatch.

The system includes daylight and presence sensors to make sure the lights are dimmed or turned off when there’s enough natural light, or when no one is around. The lights can be monitored and controlled centrally, and rows of shelves can be dimmed or controlled in groups.

Maintenance for the new luminaires will be kept to a minimum – their operating life is 50,000 hours measured to L80/B10. What that means is, once the lights have been running for 50,000 hours, only 10 per cent of them are expected to have declined in light output to below 80 per cent of where they started, so light levels will still be pretty good.

Even if all the lights were running on full for 24 hours a day, that would mean well over five years of useful life. With controls in place, it should be much longer.