Environment is a real watchword these days. Another is efficiency. And when you are a major player in an industry anything that you do as part of your business strategy to achieve positive outcomes in these areas can have a significant impact on the company, industry, economy and environment.
The proposal by the facilities team at Hermes UK to change the lighting at its distribution facilities from traditional sodium to LED (light emitting diode) systems may have seemed radical, since the technology is viewed by some as 'new-fangled'. However, the figures speak for themselves.
Since 2010, in partnership with Sheffield-based manufacturer Constellation Lighting, Hermes has installed over 2,000 internal and external LED light units throughout their UK depots. As a result, Hermes are reporting a saving of over £600,000 per year, with initial payback period for each project of 14 months.
This saving is equivalent to 73% of Hermes' annual lighting bill and approximately 6,000,000kW per year.
The environmental benefits are clear too. By replacing 400W light bulbs with 75W LED units, the company has reduced its interior electricity consumption for lighting by a staggering 80%, representing a significant reduction in Hermes' carbon footprint.
In addition, the company has introduced the same technology for their exterior lighting, resulting in further savings - nearly £60,000 per year and a 24-month payback period. This investment has increased peace of mind also. With a better quality and even distribution of light, security has improved and image clarity on CCTV has increased significantly, due to lack of shadows and enhanced colour definition.
Due to long-life, maintenance costs are also lower, payback times have reduced, and additional savings achieved.
Further benefits include:
- All industrial fittings comply to protection class IP65, and as such are protected from the ingress of dust and water. Therefore, it is possible to wipe or even hose down the lighting units to clean them without risk of damage.
- Lights reach 100% brightness within 100ms of switch-on - practically instantaneous.
- 'White' light is easier to work in, better for reading labels and more comfortable for the workforce, thereby increasing pick-rate and productivity.
Andrew Tempest, facilities manager for Hermes UK, comments: "We wanted to invest in a technology that was going to prove its worth and LED lighting gave us exactly that, although the speed of return on investment surprised even us! We will be installing LEDs across all our facilities, as we want each of them to become a showcase of excellence."
Since it formed in 2000, Constellation lighting have developed a comprehensive range of LED lighting systems from high-power port crane lights to cold storage lighting currently operating at -35°C, providing lighting systems for organisations across the UK and abroad.