Feature, Industrial

Light where it’s needed, and not where it isn’t

Energy efficiency and cost savings were paramount for Travis Perkins when choosing lighting equipment

At the start of the year, timber and builders merchant Travis Perkins opened its largest distribution centre in the UK. The giant warehouse, in the Omega North industrial estate near Warrington, occupies 55,800m2 and handles the company’s storage and supply needs for the region.

Choosing the lighting for such a cavernous space presented a number of challenges. Energy efficiency and running costs were high on the list of priorities, along with the need to avoid glare for workers and prevent light spill into the surrounding area.

Put to the test
The Travis Perkins project design team tested a number of products at another location before making their final choice. Facilities manager Des Whatton was a member of the group that made the decision. ‘We looked at various aspects of the warehouse – what we wished to put in and all the facilities associated with it,’ he says. ‘Holophane’s products have been known to me for many years and we thought that their LED lighting system would be suitable for our new sites.’

Unlike many warehouse schemes, in which old HID fittings are upgraded in existing buildings, this was a brand new facility, so luminaires could be installed anywhere. For the main open area inside, the team chose Holophane’s I-Beam LED fitting, mounting it at a height of 14m, spaced on an 8 x 12m grid. In the racking area, Holophane DCR LED-based luminaires were mounted at 14m with a spacing of 6m down each of the aisles.

The Holophane luminaires were the lightest and easiest to handle of all the fittings that Travis Perkins tried, says Whatton, so installation was a quick one-man job. ‘It’s one of those fittings that you can fit and forget,’ he says.

Sensors have been fitted to the luminaires to make the most of the daylight entering through the skylights. They measure lux levels and dim the light fittings as required. Built-in PIR motion detectors ensure that the lighting comes on only when workers are present. Travis Perkins expects the system to be much cheaper to run than traditional HID lighting.

Opaque diffusers
Visual comfort was an important consideration. ‘The fittings arrived as requested with opaque diffusers to reduce the glare for anybody looking up at the light – which was a problem we had with one or two other fittings,’ says Whatton.

Outside, the lighting for the canopy required efficient control with instant start-up.

The team chose the Lux Award-winning Haloprism LED luminaire with the IP65 option, mounted at a height of 7m at 10m intervals. Haloprism has a prismatic glass enclosure that ensures the light is guided down to the floor as efficiently as possible, at the same time cutting glare to a minimum.

The car park lighting was another challenge because the site is close to the M62 motorway with its associated stringent planning constraints. Holophane DSX luminaires, mounted at 8m and spaced on a 40 x 48m grid, were chosen for the quality of their light distribution and efficient light control to the ground. The fittings also incorporate presence detection and daylight dimming technology.

‘The luminaires in the car park are dark-sky compliant – the light cut-off is tightly controlled, which was a crucial concern at the planning stage,’ says Whatton. ‘We had to avoid any glare or light spill on to the motorway at all costs, and the solution provided the ideal answer to this problem.’