In your Lean Business, Is Lighting Part of the Solution or the Problem?

Is lighting helping or hurting your Lean Manufacturing initiatives? Wasmer Smart Energy Blog


Commercial and manufacturing businesses of all sizes are looking to Lean Manufacturing and Lean Six Sigma methodologies to improve efficiencies and increase profitability. So, if you find yourself in the midst of a Lean journey, can you say with certainty that your current lighting is supporting your Lean goals? Or, is it working against them?

Consider these factors:

  1. Lighting impacts every aspect of your business and your process.
  2.  If you’re still using traditional lighting (e.g. fluorescents and metal halides) throughout your enterprise, your process efficiency and your profitability are suffering – big time.
  3. Making more informed lighting choices based on key metrics can help you reduce variation.
  4. Lighting plays a vital role in shaping your corporate culture.
  5. The right lighting keeps your focus on your customers.

These five factors are why it’s critical to make sure you have precisely the right lighting for your business’s unique needs. Too little light can hinder productivity and create safety issues. Too much light can lead to blinding glare, which presents its own set of productivity and safety issues.

This is why Wasmer Company believes in starting each lighting project with an enterprise-wide assessment. We measure light levels throughout the facility. Then, we compare those levels against standardized guidelines to see if the current lighting is within accepted lumen output tolerances for the tasks required within that space.

We also generate 3D photometric layouts so clients can see how light will be distributed throughout the facility. It’s a practical way to take variability out of a lighting implementation project. Without these layouts, you can’t be sure how lighting will perform until after it’s installed. But with approved photometrics in hand, you can be confident you are creating a solid foundation for a brighter future.

Once you know how you want your facility lit, product selection becomes key. Today, many businesses are converting from traditional lighting to high-efficiency LEDs in hopes of reducing energy costs. This is a sound strategy, but you need to consider your product options carefully. LED lights have very unique operating characteristics. As a result, both their longevity and performance can be susceptible to environmental factors, such as temperature extremes, dust and grit, moisture, vibration and corrosive atmospheres. If their performance degrades prematurely or they fail sooner than anticipated, you won’t realize the savings you had hoped to achieve.

We typically recommend LED lights that have been tested and validated to perform and last as advertised. Tactik Lighting, for example, specializes in LED lighting they refer to as military- grade. These units are designed and built to withstand the harsh duty environments that prove so detrimental to many of the brands that are made and assembled overseas. And in order to best support your Lean Manufacturing strategies, your lighting needs to strike that ideal balance between efficiency and reliability.

Optimizing your lighting can be transformative for virtually every department in your

  1. Improve net profitability by minimizing utility and maintenance cost.
  2. Improve quality control by facilitating visual inspections.
  3. Increase productivity by minimizing eye strain and related fatigue for employees enterprise-wide.
  4. Enhance employee safety and minimize workers comp claims.
  5. Improve morale through a more visually appealing work environment.
  6. Support increased sales by providing a cleaner, brighter and more meticulous appearance during customer tours.

In short, the right lighting solution makes it easier for your Lean organization to keep its focus where it belongs – on your customers.

To learn more about how Wasmer helped one customer on their Lean journey, be sure to check out this informative case history.

Learn more about effective LED lighting solutions.