Switching to Dialight’s LED lighting systems

Switching to Dialight’s LED lighting systems delivered an immediate power saving of 66% for March Foods, one of the UK’s leading food contract manufacturers and packing businesses.

Operating from 11,000 m2 (120,000 ft2) purpose-built premises in Cambridgeshire, March offers its brand-owning customers individually-tailored production cells, warehousing, laboratory facilities, engineering workshops, offices and an extensive range of blending, filling and packing equipment.

Managing director Paul Cope spent three years looking for a way to reduce energy consumption in his warehouses before deciding on Dialight’s LED lighting solution.

“We had two 3,250 square metre (35,000 sq ft) warehouses with a total of 84 x 450W HPS lamps operating 24/5 and Saturdays,” he says. “Even though we are not constantly in and out of all bays in the warehouse all the time, the old lamps couldn’t be switched off as they took 10-15 minutes to re-strike. 

“I wanted a more energy efficient solution and to be honest, the lighting was getting so that Lord Lucan could have hidden in our warehouse!”

The new system also needed to solve a maintenance problem, says Paul: “With 15 metre high ceilings (49 ft) you need to bring in a cherry picker to replace failed lamps and you can’t have people working underneath. That means we’d typically wait until 4-8 lamps had failed before hiring the scissor lift over a weekend to replace them. This was costing about £2,000 annually.”

“On top of that, the HPS lamps are fragile and hang about 4-5 feet from the ceiling, so that just puts them in the range of an extended pallet truck. It was quite common to lose a few of them that way.”

The solution involved replacing the 84 x 450W HPS lamps on a one-to-one basis with the Dialight DuroSite™ Series LED High Bay. This highly robust 150W fitting features eight arrays in a compact oval pattern that enables it to direct light efficiently with less wastage and delivers an immediate saving in power of 66%.

Unlike HPS, the LED lighting has instant-on ability, so it works well with occupancy sensors and this has further increased energy saving to 72% as well as reducing carbon emissions by over 100 tonnes per year. 

The oval pattern of the arrays also means less wasted light on racking and more directed at floor level in the aisles where 110 lux was measured under the HPS. This increased to 221 lux after the installation of the LED High Bays.

March Foods funded its LED installation with a 4-year interest-free loan of £38,000 from the Carbon Trust, which offers a £1,000 loan for every 2.5 tonnes of CO2 saved - so the capital expenditure is effectively funded by the energy savings. 

Having originally underestimated the energy savings to be made from using occupancy sensors, Paul now estimates that payback will take less than three years and may even be six months sooner than that when movements in electricity prices are taken into account. With this sort of payback period, he believes it makes sense to retrofit LEDs even with a lease of 5 years or less on a building.

Paul says: “We’re delighted with our LED lights and the five-year guarantee is very important for us. I insist on a spotless warehouse, so I really like the brightness. In fact we’re now thinking of going LED in the loading bay between the warehouses and even in the offices.” 

For more information on Dialight LED ATEX or safe area lighting, please contact our experienced sales team on:

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