Warehouse space is in the throes of transformation. The so-called fourth industrial evolution (4IR), in which breakthroughs in the Internet of Things, robotics, and artificial intelligence drive “extreme automation and extreme connectivity,” is revolutionizing warehouses and logistics centers. New technology means new opportunities, but it can also leave business owners and decision-makers uncertain about what new tools to adopt. Which make the most sense? Which will still be useful a few years from now?
Such questions are especially relevant when it comes to lighting for warehouses and logistics facilities. For one thing, the latest LED lighting installations are the exact opposite of disposable: They typically last for over a decade. That means building owners and facility managers need to think twice before they buy – merely replacing lighting when application conditions change is not an option. (Not to mention that such a move would be contrary to the “circular economy” principles that are gaining more and more purchase in industry today; and would encourage new business models and practices based on the make, use, and return principle.)
And application conditions will change. Due to changing customer demands, tech innovation, and facilities expansion, warehouses and logistics/distribution centers are becoming more and more dynamic. New tenants arrive, extra production facilities go on line, spaces divide or combine or otherwise undergo redesign. The upshot for lighting is that it needs to become more versatile, more adaptable, and even capable of being put to new uses in different settings.