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Warehouses Basic American Foods - Warehouse

Basic American Foods brightens warehouses,
accommodates traffic with low profile HID lighting

Quality illumination is as important in a warehouse as it is in other parts of a processing facility— particularly when products are palletized and moved with lift trucks. Basic American Foods, located in Shelley, Idaho, recently retrofitted the lighting system in both of its 25,000-square-foot warehouses to boost the light levels and create a more pleasing environment for employees.

The warehouses (one triangular-shaped and the other long and narrow) were previously illuminated with eight-foot single-tube fluorescent fixtures, which tended to create a dark, dreary atmosphere. During the retrofit, Rick Lake, electrical project manager for Basic American Foods, Inc., specified a Holophane high intensity discharge (HID) system with 400-watt metal halide lamps.

“Warehouse A has a higher light level requirement because of the two automatic palletizers and the production equipment located there. Even though Warehouse B is only used for storage, we did not want the change to be too drastic for lift truck drivers going back and forth between the two buildings,” Lake explained.

The lighting system installed is Enduralume® Low Profile luminaires with integral side mounted ballast. Lake indicated that lift truck traffic created the need for a low profile fixture in the warehouses where the ceilings are 18 to 20 feet high. Pallets in the facilities are stacked three high to within three feet of the open truss ceilings.

“When the lift trucks move the pallets, the lifts on the vehicles are just inches below the trusses. If the diffusers on the lighting fixtures hang down too far, the trucks could strike the units and break them,” Lake said.

The low profile Enduralume luminaires are 18 inches deep and are installed between the trusses. The mounting height for the fixtures is 18 to 20 feet, with the units spaced 20 feet on center. A total of 80 luminaires were installed in the two warehouses.

llumination levels within the facilities are 50 to 60 footcandles maintained—compared to 20 footcandles with the fluorescent system.

“Replacing the fluorescent system with the HID fixtures allowed us to increase the light levels significantly,” Lake confirmed. “The white light provided by the metal halide lamps is much brighter—which is an advantage as far as the employees are concerned. The higher levels of vertical illumination also help the lift truck drivers read the labels on the products.”

Lake indicated the Enduralume fixtures were easy to install. The units include a quick disconnect feature that facilitates installation and maintenance. “We completed the retrofit ahead of schedule, which lowered our installation costs,” he said.

“The new lighting system has been a good investment,” he added.
Because the Enduralume fixtures are illuminated 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the fixtures will be group relamped to prevent any loss of efficiency. The units will likely be maintained during the two-week shut down that the plant schedules each summer.

The Basic American Foods processing plant is 500,000 square feet and employs about 350. The facility produces potato flakes, granules and sliced potatoes for the commercial and retail markets. Plant officials have standardized the lighting in the processing facility, installing Vantage® Food Luminaires with 400-watt metal halide lamps.


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