Sometimes a lighting project is about more than just improving energy efficiency. The loading dock at TGH is a busy place with lots of activity and many vehicles coming and going at all hours. The previous lighting was old and inefficient and the light levels were starting to become a safety issue. Staff were recommended to not walk on the floor level and to always wear reflective vests as safety precautions.

The previous lighting was a combination of 250W and 175W metal halide lamps. With a service life of only several thousand hours, these lamps would quickly degrade in terms of light outputs and typically burn out in under a year, requiring costly maintenance.

It took quite some time to find an appropriate LED fixture for this application. We tested several fixtures, including the fixture used in the TRI-UC CEAL Lab, however we decided not to use it because the loading dock is a much dirtier environment than the research lab and we needed something to prevent dust ingress. We finally settled on the RAB Design RHB1R high bay fixture (pictured below), which is 100W and has an ingress protection rating of IP65 (fully dust tight, and protected against low pressure water). We also developed a rough photometric model to be confident that the light levels would be significantly improved. Finally, we installed a sample fixture before going ahead with the full installation.

New FixtureLoading Dock Model

RAB High Bay Fixture and Photometric Model

The end result, seen in the images below, is a much brighter and safer loading dock. In addition to making the dock safer, we also cut energy consumption by over 50% compared to the old fixtures. The new fixtures have a 5 year warranty, so maintenance has been significantly reduced. Annual electricity cost savings are expected to be $12,500 and the project overall has a 2 year payback.


As always, one person doesn’t make a project happen, so I want to thank the following people who were involved: Sam Zemicael helped select and supply the light fixtures, Tony Martucci from RPG Electric managed the installation, John Soares from TGH facilities assisted with providing information on existing infrastructure, and Tim Reid the TGH dockmaster helped with coordination. End result of a team effort: