What are the best industrial light fittings?

You’re in the market to buy the best industrial light fittings for your business. Smart move. All businesses want to lower their operating expenses whilst maintaining lighting levels to constantly meet the needs of the building and its occupants.

Most probably, the temptation is to go and buy the cheapest LED lights you can find and save 50% on your energy bill. Does the ‘best industrial light fittings’ mean cheap? Does ‘cheap’ really mean cheapest?

Definitely not. There is much more to this than simply selecting cheap high-efficacy luminaires.

However, selecting the most energy efficient lighting is a great place to start.

In this anonymised real-life situation, enModus look at four options for the best commercial and industrial LED lighting. Consequently, we show you how you can save 85% of your energy bills with the use of most energy efficient lighting.


Anonymised customer scenario

  • Building type: Warehouse
  • Location: UK
  • Number of lights: 97 high bay luminaires (38 with emergency lighting packs)
  • Energy costs: £0.11 / kWh
  • Hours of operation: 8,760 hours per annum
  • LED Lifetime: 50,000 hours (5.7 years)

Total cost of ownership calculation

  • Luminaire purchase cost – inc. driver, sensors and emergency lighting packs (where applicable)
  • Lighting controls (where applicable)
  • Installation costs
  • Energy costs
  • Maintenance and re-lamping
  • Smart lighting Platform as a Service (PaaS) subscription costs.

Option 1: Do nothing

Let’s be frank here. Burying your head in the sand is not an option. Because literally doing nothing is the worst thing you can do.

Subsequently, over the next 5 years you will spend a massive £213,477.60 across all 97 lights.  See Figure 1 below.

Figure 1. Legacy Lighting costs over the next 5 years

enModus TCO Legacy Lights GRAPH

Each 400W HID high bay luminaire will cost the business £2200.80 over the next five years. Alarmingly, the inefficiencies of the HID lighting technology mean that 88% will be spent on energy and 12% will be spent on re-lamping the high bay luminaire at every 20,000 hours of use. See figure 2 below. Similarly, the unnecessary carbon emissions make it the most damaging to the environment too.

Figure 2. Legacy Lights cost breakdown

Legacy Lighting Cost Breakdown

Hence, we can all agree that now is time to replace your legacy lighting with energy efficient LED lighting. And you want to ensure you select the best industrial light fittings. But which LED lighting should you choose?

Let’s look at the options…

Option 2: Cheap industrial light fittings

Your first instinct is to pick the lowest hanging fruit. As a result of switching from 400W HID lamps to 150W LED luminaires generates an instant 62.5% energy saving.

Also, you’ll be swapping a luminaire life time from 20,000 hours to 50,000 hours (and even up to 100,000 hours in some instances) and that means less maintenance.

Over a period of 5 years you’ve saved the business £113,542.38. See figure 3 below.

Figure 3. LED only costs over the next 5 years

enModus TCO LED Only GRAPH

From this perspective, you are safe in the knowledge that the company has lowered its operating expenditure and the carbon footprint has been reduced.

Therefore, job done. Time to move on to the next energy saving project, right?

Not so fast. Is this option really the cheapest LED lighting solution? It’s most definitely not the 85% energy saving we mentioned earlier.

You see, when searching for the best or the cheapest industrial light fittings it’s not just the initial cost of the luminaire that you need to consider. You also need to account for the installation cost and the ongoing energy usage costs.

In this switch to 150W LED luminaires your energy costs have been reduced by 62.5%, but still 70% of your remaining costs, over the next five years, is energy. See figure 4 below.

Figure 4. LED Only cost breakdown

LED Only Lighting Cost Breakdown

Now let us show you how you can lower your energy costs even further.

Option 3: Lighting controls for industrial buildings

As the saying goes ‘Power is nothing without control’. By that we mean going to the trouble of switching to LED lights but only unlocking a fraction of their potential.

What if we told you that lighting controls can save you another 30% energy savings?

The addition of DALI (Digital Addressable Lighting Interface) – think dimming groups of lights – we can typically accumulate a further 30%* control savings factor (CSF) of the energy usage after the switch to LEDs.

*The 30% CSF is used as a baseline in line with assumptions made by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE).

This 30% control savings factor reduces the cost of the lighting over the next 5 years to £87,001.24. That’s a further saving of £12,933.98 compared to Option 2 an LED only lighting solution. See figure 5 below.

Figure 5. LED + DALI costs over the next 5 years

LED + DALI Savings

Actually, the cost of the DALI lighting controls adds a little to the initial purchase cost. However, over the next five years the total cost per luminaire is £896.92 with 57% of the remaining costs being spent on energy. See figure 6.

Figure 6. LED + DALI cost breakdown

LED + DALI Lighting Cost Breakdown

The 62.5% LED savings plus the 30% control saving factor (30% of the remaining 37.25% = 11.25%) equals a total saving of 73.25%.

Addressable lighting control and energy savings. Sounds great doesn’t it?! Although it’s still not quite the 85% energy saving we promised.

Please note: When you compare figure 4 to figure 6 you will see there is an increased installation cost. This is because you are having to pull new lighting control wires through your building. It is unfortunate but inevitable that this causes some disruption to the operations within the building. We have not quantified the disruption in this calculation.

Option 4: Smart connected lighting

It’s time to get smart about lighting. Have you heard the phrase ‘the lights are on, but nobody is home’?

It’s a humorous phase used to suggest that someone doesn’t have enough common sense to make a good decision.

Ultimately, every customer over estimates their building usage. Who wants to pay for lighting energy when there is no one in proximity who needs it? In fact, very few buildings use 100% of the space 100% of the time.

In reality, dimming in groups limits the inherent benefits of effective lighting control. And that brings us to the golden rule for efficient lighting design ‘Lighting for people, not for spaces!’

Reduce energy consumption in 3 ways

Using an enModus Smart Connected Lighting solution we continuously dim individual LED lights based on 3 factors:

  1. available natural daylight – known as daylight dimming
  2. occupancy sensing – only turning the lights on when somebody is present
  3. and top trimming – ensuring the lux levels do not exceed a specified light level.

Sounds great but what does that mean to the bottom line of your business?

As an illustration we can save you £146,149.90 over a 5-year period. Hence this is the greatest energy saving in any one of the four lighting options in this blog post. See figure 7 below.

Figure 7. enModus Smart Connected Lighting cost saving

enModus Smart Connected Lighting GRAPH

Let us show you how enModus can create additional energy savings.

As previously mentioned the 150W LED high bay luminiares account for 62.5% energy saving. However, the enModus smart lighting controls can save you an additional 22.5% (60% of the remaining 37.5% energy usage). That’s a massive 85% total energy saving.

Therefore, over the next 5 years you’re only spending 44% of your lighting costs on energy. See figure 8 below.

Figure 8. enModus Smart Connected Lighting cost breakdown

enModus Smart Connected Lighting Cost Breakdown

Furthermore, we help you easily identify further saving opportunities as you use the smart lighting solution.

Above all, this presents the opportunity to ensure there isn’t a single watt of wasted energy from anywhere in your facility.

Likewise, the intelligent use of smart lighting controls means increased life time of LED luminaires, less carbon emissions and greater comfort for the occupants of your building.

Conclusion: The best industrial light fittings

Figure 9. Total Cost of Ownership

enModus Total Cost of Ownership 5 Years

When searching for the best industrial light fittings it’s time to stop thinking about cheap industrial lights and instead to start thinking about Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). See figure 9 above.

Therefore, now is the time to look at the bigger picture to find out what the numbers mean for the life (50,000 hours) of the lighting system.

Finally, now is also time to consider how smart connected lighting can benefit your business.