When Keeping It Cool Is Mission Critical, LED Delivers

January 12, 2017 Neil Egan

It’s really no secret that converting to LED lighting saves on energy and maintenance costs in warehouses and storage facilities. That’s a given.  But if you’re in the business of keeping your customer’s goods cold, LED lighting can help on multiple fronts.

We recently did a cold storage warehouse conversion for Preferred Freezer, one of the largest public refrigerated warehousing companies in the world. Preferred has more than 270 million square feet of warehouse space that generate almost $300 million in sales. Each of Preferred Freezer’s facilities features state-of-the-art refrigeration to perfectly preserve customers’ products.

Preferred’s leadership knew they had a big problem with their existing metal halide and high pressure sodium lights. Not only were they more expensive to operate as lights, they gave off immense heat. Having roughly 300 of these lights in a freezer generated a lot of BTUs, and the refrigeration systems had to run harder. It was a double whammy on energy expenses.

Not only did Preferred Freezer’s old lights increase cooling costs and energy bills, they lost light levels quickly and needed to be changed every few months. Every re-lamp required bringing in a scissor lift and stopping product picking in the work area.

Light-level loss also affected picking efficiency. In a semi-automated retrieval process like the one Preferred uses, workers need to have enough light to quickly and correctly identify bar codes that label the customers’ products. Low light levels made it harder to see the barcodes, so product retrieval wasn’t as efficient.

Converting to LED lighting addressed all of Preferred’s issues. Energy costs decreased, freezers ran cooler, maintenance time and cost were reduced and operations ran more smoothly.

Better lighting also enhanced safety. According to Freddie Vazquez, Preferred’s Operations Manager for the past 11 years, “With the old lighting system, there were times the dock was so dark that the employees felt more susceptible to injury. There’s a huge difference with LED lighting. When you walk into the freezers that have been converted, it’s white and crisp,” he says. “You can see the numbers on those cases much more clearly.”  He also likes the way LED lighting looks:  “It makes the freezer look a lot better. When customers stop by, we take pride in showing the building.”

Preferred Freezer aims to be the best in their industry and that goal led them to LED lights. As the company’s growth continues, it’s certain to build on the foundation of superior facilities with leading-edge technologies.  No doubt, LED lighting will be among that mix.

Click here to read more about Preferred Freezer’s LED transformation. 


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