Cold Storage Lighting – Luminaires in Extreme Cold

If you run a business with cold storage facilities, you know that the cost associated with running cold storage is significant. Lighting costs are a part of overhead and are costly since luminaires are a source of heat. Many types of lights do not perform well in cold temperatures either. Fluorescent lights, for example, will break down over time in a cold storage facility increasing your lighting maintenance costs. Understanding the basics of cold storage lighting, however, will make a substantial difference in your overall lighting costs and the performance of your lights.

Cold Storage Lighting Fundamentals

As you may already know, there are many types of lighting fixtures: CFLs, LEDs, incandescent, neon etc. There is one thing they all have in common: they all release heat. Incandescent lighting fixtures, which generate the most heat of any type of lighting, move electricity through a wire inside the fixture, and release energy in form of light and heat.

Fluorescent lights use a special tube that includes a partial vacuum. They contain no air, but they do contain some mercury. Mercury gets excited by high voltage that runs through the tubes, and fluorescent powder coats them converting the UV radiation into the light we see. While the tubes do not release much heat, the ballast, on the other hand, can release up to 10 % of input power as heat. In other words: the ballast releases 10 watts of heat for every hundred. In an hour, this process represents a potential increase of 39 degrees Fahrenheit in a 45 cubic foot volume. Put another way, your cooling systems needs to compensate for the discharge of heating increasing overall costs.

LED lighting, on the other hand, does not produce much heat. They use less energy than even CFLs because they use lower voltages and currents; therefore, their heat output is reduced. They also have a longer life span than other lighting fixtures. LEDs use up to 60 % less energy than other luminaires. This results in long term costs savings and a lower carbon footprint. It is expected that all businesses will use LEDs by the end of the 2020 in cold storage applications because of these benefits.


In cold storages, it is essential that lighting does not create too much heat. Traditional lighting options like incandescent and fluorescent release a lot of heat increasing cooling costs to compensate. Also, there are maintenance issues with these types of bulbs. LED lighting fixtures are a good solution for cold storages because they produce little heat, use less energy, are easy to maintain, and have a long lifespan. 

Contact a local sales rep to learn more about how Lumax LED technology will work in your cold storage facility.