Saving Money and Increasing Safety with LED

ThinkstockPhotos 623689570By Dwayne Kula

In the construction industry, there are many electrical contractors whose job is to help choose, install and order the electrical components for a project. A majority of this work revolves around lighting fixtures, and an electrical contractor that knows about different lighting technologies and safety requirements will be able to help aid in the construction process for an energy efficient and safe building.

For this reason, choosing the best lighting technology for the job is about knowing how each light works, what it offers, and its benefits (or flaws). Traditionally, the most common lighting fixtures were metal halide, fluorescent and high-pressure sodiums. They are still common due to being inexpensive, but in recent years LED has became more affordable and efficient, allowing for higher ROIs. When comparing LED to other lights, here are six significant ways that LEDs are an improvement:

  • Energy reductions – At 75 percent reductions in energy consumption, no wonder why it’s the No. 1 reason projects are choosing LED over other lighting technologies. With energy savings like these matched with the ever decreasing costs of LED, positive ROIs are achieved within a few years, whereas a few years ago it may have taken longer.
  • Longer lifespans (and the overlooked benefit) – LEDs offer lifespan increases by two to three times, up to five or six. Considering that an LED can last anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 hours whereas a HPS light may only last 20,000, the increase in lifespan is substantial. This allows for less replacement fixture purchases, which is the obvious cost saver. The overlooked benefit of longer lifespans in a lighting system is the reduced costs in maintaining the lighting system. Considering that you will pay someone less often to maintain your lighting fixtures, it also will lead to some serious savings.
  • Less lumen depreciation – All lights depreciate light output over their lifespan, but LEDs depreciate at a much slower rate and overall less. When lumen (light) depreciation occurs, at some point the fixture will produce underlit areas, which can lead to safety hazards. Additionally, this requires buildings to buy replacement lights more often. With LED, this will happen at a much slower rate, allowing you to keep your lights longer.
  • More controllable color temperatures – Different environments require different color temperatures. For example, a retail location may want a color temperature to contrast with the items on shelves. With a parking lot, they want to reduce light pollution and maintain good curb appeal. Previously, HID technologies wouldn’t allow such a controllable output. With LED, it can be customized to exact needs.
  • No flickering or buzzing – Flickering and buzzing lights can cause irritability, strain, and distraction. This can be a safety hazard when workers are exposed for extended periods. In addition, productivity levels drop due to this distraction. Both of which are not ideal in a commercial or industrial environment.
  • Directional lighting – Directional lighting offers less wasted light by directing it exactly where it’s desired to go. Traditionally, reflectors were used in other lighting technologies to reflect lost light back down to where it’s desired. The issue with this is that lot of light still gets lost during this process, leading to less efficient fixtures that are also contributing to light pollution. Since LEDs are directional by nature, they do not incur this issue.

Dwayne Kula is the founder of MyLEDLightingGuide, which specializes in industrial and commercial LED lighting. He can be reached at (888) 423-3191.


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