- Posted by Jim Dore
- On June 29, 2017
Light-emitting diodes have been around for 50 years, but they have only developed to the point of being utilized for commercial and general-purpose lighting in the last 10 years or so. During the last 10 years, we have seen many changes in the LED market and product capabilities. With any emerging market, we have seen many company consolidations as well as company failures. Not to say this is over but the market has stabilized somewhat which can give consumers some comfort in the companies and products they are investing in.
So why should you consider making the investment to change out your incandescent, fluorescent, metal halide and other current lighting sources to a new LED? The answer is quite simple — ROI, reduced maintenance cost, great incentives, and environmental impact to start.
Below are my top 5 reasons why I believe now is the time to make the change to LED:
- Market Longevity – LED products and companies have been around long enough to stabilize and work out major technology issues.
- ROI – Lumens /Watt – The newest LED products on the market are upwards of a 150 lumens/watt which allows for a tremendous saving without sacrificing light levels and quality. Saving upward of 70% can be realized with some lighting retrofit projects.
- Maintenance – LED Life ratings – current LED’s on the market are rated from 50,000 – 140,000 hours of life. This is an increase of 5 to 10 times the life of traditional incandescent, fluorescents, and most other older lighting sources.
- Rebates and Incentives – Utility rebates and other incentive programs help buy down the capital cost of these projects making financial feasibility even better.
- Environmental Impact – We have a great responsibility to continue to help reduce our carbon footprint on this world and LED projects are one of the biggest ways to contribute to that cause.
An example of the effectiveness of an LED retrofit project would certainly be looking at your exterior building and parking lot lighting. A 400-watt metal halide pole light can be changed out in most cases with a 115 watt LED fixture. That’s a 75% reduction in load. Combine that with a high-low sensor set up and you can further reduce the usage when there is no one occupying the area. Most of these fixtures have a 50,000 – 100,000 hrs. life and that would be doubling or tripling the life of your current fixture reducing maintenance cost significantly. With utility rebates, combined with the energy saving and maintenance saving you can expect a simple payback between 2-5 years depending on the utility service area and cost of power.
Take the time to have an energy professional look at your current lighting and run some quick calculations to see if your buildings are good candidates of the newest LED lighting technology on the market.
Good luck! Continue to support Energy Efficiency and Environmental Stewardship.