New lighting reveals energy and maintenance savings

LED fixtures improve conditions in facilities, offices, parking lots and the yard.

By ·

Manufacturer Thermo Fisher Scientific set out to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions across all its sites. At its Asheville, N.C., facility, the company installed new LED lights inside and outside to significantly reduce maintenance and utility costs.
Before the new lighting, some plant operations had to be halted to deal with lighting outages.

“We have areas in the plant for parts inspection and assembly processes and when a light goes out, as menial as it may seem, it is critical,” says Steve Haney, maintenance manager.

Before production could begin again, Haney had to send someone with the necessary equipment to repair the light, costing time and money. In addition to outages throughout the year, Haney managed a scheduled lighting maintenance process during the facility’s summer shutdown that required four people working full time to replace bulbs and ballasts—at an annual cost of almost $10,000.

The new turnkey solution (Cree) included replacing nearly 2,000 florescent high-bay lamps and wrapped and recessed strips and fixtures. New LED high-bay/low-bay fixtures replaced more than 580 florescent lamps in the 25-foot high production area, and surface lighting in 4-foot and 8-foot lengths replaced more than 600 florescent strips to bring bright light to task areas of the facility.

The office areas also received upgraded lighting, and the parking lot and building lights were replaced with pole-mount and wall-mount luminaires. Haney heard from employees that the improved light levels created a more comfortable work environment and improved product quality.

“You can see what you’re doing better and spot defects in the workmanship easier with the lights we have now,” Haney says. “The outside lights made people feel more secure coming into and leaving the facility at night. Even truck drivers say it’s much easier it is to back trailers into the docks.”

The lighting project allows Thermo Fisher Scientific to reduce lighting maintenance and energy costs in Asheville, and similar plans are now in motion at other facilities.

About the Author

Josh Bond, Senior Editor
Josh Bond is Senior Editor for Modern, and was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and associate editor. He has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce University.

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