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Pick To Light system: What is it, how does it work and when should it be used?


One of the interesting systems to streamline manual picking processes in a warehouse is racking with an integrated Pick To Light system.

What is the Pick To Light system?

The Pick To Light system is an order preparation system integrated in Carton Live Storage that has a system with electronic compartment indicators and numerical displays to facilitate the location of an item.

The system integrates a numerical display with buttons, controlled with the warehouse management system (WMS). This same software turns on the display to tell the picker which storage channel and what quantity of goods to pick.

This type of system is indicated for warehouses with a large volume of work to streamline the process as quickly as possible. It is recommended for goods with a high turnover and that require fast shipping, optimising logistics management.

How does Pick To Light work?

The operation of this racking involves the use of lights, generally LEDs, and display devices to guide pickers in the product picking process.

Each storage channel on the racking is fitted with a display device, and in turn is linked to an inventory management system that records the quantity and type of products stored in each location.

When a product picking order is generated, either manually or through a warehouse management system, the racking receives notification of the products that need to be picked.

In this situation, lights on the racking turn on at the specific locations where the products to be picked are located for easy identification. Each light is associated with an item and shows the quantity required for the picking order.

Pickers arrive at the illuminated location, remove the required quantity of products, and confirm the pick by pressing a button or scanning a barcode on the display device.

After unit loads are picked, the system automatically records the action and updates inventory in real time. This helps maintain an accurate view of available stock and makes replenishment planning easier.

Light picking devices can prepare several orders simultaneously with several pickers simultaneously, even adding a different light to each user if required.

What are the benefits of Pick To Light?

The light picking system has a very clear and defined utility within a company’s logistics, and its implementation has the following advantages:

  • Time is saved because pickers quickly know where the product is and their movement is reduced, saving time and increasing productivity.
  • It makes work easier for pickers because this system allows several of them to do the work at the same time, in the same place.
  • The warehouse is always well organised.
  • Reduce errors in picking areas.
  • It is a good solution for wave picking.
  • It is a much faster process, with labour cost savings and greater customer satisfaction.
  • It updates inventory in real time as stock movements are transmitted to the WMS. It is also much easier to detect an error.
  • It is an ideal system for small products that are easy to handle manually.
  • Increased productivity and fulfilment of order delivery times, while eliminating errors in the preparation process.

 Differences between Pick To Light and Put To Light

They are two picking methods based on the use of light signals and connected to the warehouse management system (WMS). There is some difference between the two methods.

  • Pick To Light: The light signal shows the products and the quantity to be removed from the racking. When the picker picks it, the signal turns off.

In this method, the empty containers move and the picker must fill them with the goods.

  • Put To Light: A light device indicates in which location and how much quantity the picker should place in each package. It is a useful system for replenishment phases.

In this method, the empty containers are stationary and the picker must fill them with the goods.

When do you use Pick To Light in a warehouse?

The use of racking with the integrated Pick To Light system may be recommended in warehouses with any of the following characteristics:

  • With orders that need quick and quality preparation.
  • With small or light goods with the possibility of moving manually.
  • In facilities with a very intense picking load.
  • Goods that have a medium-high turnover and require very quick dispatch from the warehouse.

The Pick To Light system is therefore very interesting and useful in logistics. Its ability to speed up processes, reduce errors and deliver in shorter periods makes it a perfect storage solution for certain types of goods. Choosing the appropriate storage system is key to ensuring the proper and efficient functioning of the supply chain.


At AR Racking we have an extensive catalogue of storage solutions that adapt to any space or need, and with the Carton Live Storage system designed for its functioning with the Pick To Light system.

For any query contact our team who will offer you personal advice for the design or installation of your warehouse.