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2024 trends: Why Britain’s booming warehouse sector is good news for the lighting industry

2023 represented a challenging year for the UK’s manufacturing sector. According to S&P Global/CIPS, a downturn in production volumes accelerated across the year, with business optimism dipping to a 12-month low by December. 

However, one sector within manufacturing that bucked this trend is warehousing. Thanks to advancements in technology, changes in consumer behaviour, and the rise of e-commerce, the warehouse sector has evolved into a cornerstone of the supply chain. Warehouses are crucial for meeting the increasing demand for efficient and rapid logistics.

In Q3 2023 alone, demand for new, or refurbished, industrial and logistics space in the UK increased by 1 million sq. ft according to Cushman & Wakefield, with the volume of space under offer up from 7.5 million sq. in Q2 2023 to 8.5 million sq. ft in Q3 2023. The outlook for 2024 is also encouraging. Major warehousing and logistics schemes identified in the construction pipeline by Glenigan’s industry analysis include a £500m railhead and logistics hub at Ravenscraig in Scotland and the £410m Humber International Enterprise Park in Hull.

So, what does this mean for the lighting sector?

A requirement for sustainable and energy efficient lighting solutions

The increase in demand for warehouse space, coupled with a need to mitigate high energy costs, and the need for more sustainable operational processes, are driving demand for energy efficient LED lighting systems. Here are five key reasons that sustainable lighting solutions are of prime concern for warehouse business leaders:

1. Reduced operational costs:

Energy-efficient LED lighting solutions consume significantly less electricity compared to traditional alternatives. In a sector where energy bills can constitute a significant portion of operational costs, adopting energy-efficient lighting leads to substantial savings over time.

2. Longevity and maintenance savings:

LED lights have a longer lifespan than traditional alternatives, reducing maintenance costs. The durability and reliability of LED lighting reduces the need for frequent replacements and associated labour costs, contributing to overall operational efficiency.

3. Enhanced visibility and safety:

Efficient lighting is crucial for maintaining a safe and productive working environment within warehouses. LED lights offer better illumination and colour rendering, improving visibility and reducing the likelihood of accidents or errors. This helps to safeguard the wellbeing of workers and contributes to operational efficiency.

4. Lower carbon footprint:

The environmental impact of traditional fluorescent lighting systems is substantial, which is why their use is being phased out and new sales are now banned in the UK. LED lighting uses up to 80% less energy than fluorescent lamps, resulting in a significantly lower carbon footprint. By transitioning to energy-efficient lighting solutions, the warehouse sector can contribute to national and global sustainability goals.

5. Compliance with regulations:

The UK Government continues to tighten regulations regarding energy consumption and environmental impact. Adhering to these regulations is not only a legal necessity but also a responsible step towards building a greener and more sustainable future. Energy-efficient lighting helps warehouses stay compliant with evolving environmental standards.

With the warehouse sector set for continuing growth, the UK Warehousing Association (UKWA) has announced that 2024 will see the launch of a year-long campaign to highlight the contribution of the industry to the wider UK economy, and its role in achieving the UK’s net zero goals. Energy efficient LED lighting like Tamlite’s LED-based EXPO range will be integral to achieving these. Tamlite designed the Expo specifically to perform to high energy efficiency and environmental performance standards in large spaces. Designed and manufactured in the UK, the EXPO range offers strong sustainability credentials, in addition to being a cost-effective lighting solution. 

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T-Word is a content resource powered by Tamlite, one of the UK’s leading lighting manufacturers. Here, you’ll find a wide range of news, guidance and technical information centred around lighting, energy, sustainability and the built environment. We also cover the latest lighting terminology, legislation and best practice – as well as answering commonly-asked questions. 

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