Efficient lighting for the new Zalando logistics center

A new lighting system from Osram, equipped with modern T5 strip lighting in combination with an intelligent light management system is saving online retailer Zalando more than 60% in electricity costs each year compared with lighting without a light management system. Energy efficiency is a major factor in planning any new building. The logistics sector is always looking for energy-efficient solutions in new buildings that save costs and protect the environment, and the savings that can be made in lighting are considerable. According to a study by the Deutsche Post (“Delivering Tomorrow: Sustainable Logistics”), lighting in logistics centers is responsible for up to 80 percent of overall demand for electricity. It therefore makes economic sense to look closely at lighting requirements when planning a new logistics building.

Project description

In Erfurt Zalando, Europe’s largest online supplier of shoes and clothing, opened its largest logistics center in December 2012, covering a floor area of 120,000 square meters. Walk-through shelving systems have been installed in two halls to accommodate several thousand pairs of shoes ready for dispatch. The main requirement that the lighting had to meet was to minimize outlay in terms of the initial investment in the lighting components and their installation and subsequent operating costs for energy and maintenance.


Category: Industry, Flexible Lighting
Location: Erfurt, Germany
Technology/Services: Light management systems
Year: 2012

The basis for the lighting solution was a careful analysis of the requirements by managers at Zalando with the support of the installation partner Lück Gebäudetechnik and the Osram project team. The analysis showed that even if the light had to be switched immediately anyone started walking down a shelving aisle only16 percent of the aisles were occupied by employees at any one time – the remaining 84 percent provided scope for savings. To exploit these potential savings a light management system was included in the plans. The light management system includes presence detection in combination with constant lighting control. This results in maximum energy efficiency. By default, all 13,552 Hexal-a luminaires from Osram’s subsidiary Siteco installed in the shelving aisles and equipped with 1x35/49/80W DALI Multiwatt ECGs are dimmed to 10 percent luminous flux. When employees enter an aisle they are detected by a presence sensor and the Orientation lighting is faded up to the required illuminance level within a few seconds. New fluorescent lamps, irrespective of the manufacturer, have to be burnt in for 100 hours under full load before they can be dimmed. This is done by remote control at the push of a button either when they are first installed or during later maintenance.

Installation is a major cost factor in projects of this magnitude. The aim right from the start was therefore to develop a lighting system with installation-ready components to save time. The installation concept was optimized in cooperation with Zalando and the installation partner Lück Gebäudetechnik. For example, the sensor was designed and preprogrammed as a plug-ready sensor module for the die DUS mounting rail. The elements could therefore be installed by Siteco must faster, and with a total of around 63 kilometers of DUS mounting rails any time saving was critical. To help Zalando make a decision a test setup was prepared at Osram for the proposed system. This was followed by a check on the lighting plans and the final specification of the concept using a pilot system at the project site. This ensured compliance with the tight time schedule and a reduction in costs at the pre-project stage. In addition to the hardware, Osram also worked on an intelligent logistics chain. In consultation with the installation partner the package sizes and loading of the swap bodies were adapted to suit the project conditions.

The lighting solution developed by Osram offers Zalando potential savings of more than 60 percent. The additional investment for lighting and light management system will pay for itself after only a short time. With the Osram solution the company will not only be making considerable savings on operating costs but will also be protecting the environment.

Even in existing logistics centers there are enormous potential savings that can be made in lighting costs. Osram provides appropriate support for making these savings. The building will be analyzed from the economic and technical points of view with the aim of creating a suitable energy-efficient lighting system that also meets the requirements of the appropriate standards (such as DIN EN 12464 – Lighting of Workplaces). This involves maintaining or improving the quality of the light, reducing CO2 emissions and maintenance costs and saving energy. An investment in energy-efficient lighting is well worth it. The payback period is generally between three and four years and, depending on the operating time and electricity costs, may even be less than two years. In 2010 the Deutsche Post commissioned an energy audit at its Straubing sorting office. Compared with the old lighting system, annual electricity consumption was reduced by about 60 percent, corresponding to a CO2 equivalent of 51 tonnes. In all, the modernization of the Straubing sorting office is saving the company more than 25,000 euros in energy and maintenance costs each year.

Project Partner

Company name / RoleContact
Lück Gebäudetechnik GmbH / InstallationBlumenstraße 28
35423 Lich
Tel.: +49 6404 9135-0