In addition to energy savings, many business owners are not aware of the significant long-term savings realized when converting a facility to LED lighting. Since most facilities’ lighting power usage represents 40-60% of total power usage, upgrading to LED lighting will have an immediate impact on the electric bill. Currently, LED lighting products typically consume 50 – 90% less electricity than traditional incandescent or fluorescent light sources. Upgrading an entire facility to LED lighting will drastically reduce a company’s electric bill and as an added benefit, the payback period is often reduced by generous utility rebates and government incentives.
Lighting Maintenance Expenses
- Cost of replacement lamps and fixtures
- Cost of labor to replace spent lamps or damaged fixtures
- Warranty protection and duration
In addition to the direct savings on electric costs, long-term maintenance savings associated with lighting replacement and labor can be significant when upgrading to LED lighting. This benefit is difficult to measure due to the various rated lifetimes on the current lighting fixtures, however the significant savings are an important variable when determining the absolute value of a lighting retrofit.
Here, we will dig further into this subject to uncover the real benefit that the longevity of LED technology can provide.
When people think of the lifetime duration of various lighting technologies, they typically do not take lumen maintenance into consideration. All lighting technologies have a rated life expectancy; however, the amount of useful light output varies depending on their respective lumen maintenance curve. All current LED lighting product lifetimes are rated at an L70 value, meaning that the once the light output is at 70% of its initial output it is considered at the end of its life. The rated lifetimes for many legacy lighting products are listed as when they fail to emit light or when a portion of the population fails to emit light. This is a significant difference between traditional lighting and LED lighting rated lifetime.
For example: Metal halide bulbs may last for 20,000 hours, but when measured using the methods defined in the TM-21 standard to determine the L70 value, the amount of usable light it is only useful within the first 8,000 hours. Fluorescent lighting presents a better lifetime curve; however, due to hard failures and rapid lumen degradation, it falls off significantly at 20,000 hrs.
Even though a homeowner can change a single light bulb in a matter of minutes, when a building has many fixtures and bulbs, lighting maintenance becomes both labor-intensive and very time consuming especially when adhering to rated lifetimes. To effectively manage lighting, maintenance personnel are required to keep track of when products were installed, when they burn out, when to order more, in addition to the valuable time spent replacing when needed. Many go without changing bulbs that are at end of the lumen maintenance curve and thus light levels within the facility suffer. This suppresses worker productivity and efficiency, and can compromise the safety of the work environment.
In conclusion, although often overlooked, when upgrading to LED lighting there are significant gains in productivity and reductions in maintenance costs, as well as energy savings. However, these metrics are equally or more important when it comes to determining the financial value when investing in LED lighting.