Jan 27, 2021 | Trends

LED Lighting – The Truth About the Savings

If you are looking for a project that is simple to implement but will provide significant return on investment, converting your facility to LED lighting hits the mark. The initial investment plus the higher cost of LED bulbs may cause hesitation for some building managers, but the immediate savings and short payback period should encourage exploration and action.

There are so many benefits to retrofitting to LED lighting. The main benefit is that LED bulbs use 50-90% less electricity than incandescent or fluorescent bulbs. For instance, a 6-watt LED bulb will give an equivalent light output to a 40-watt incandescent bulb.

Benefits of LED Lighting Retrofit

  • Longevity – LED light fixtures have considerably longer lifespans.
  • Safety – LEDs use low voltage and are less of a fire hazard, they do not emit ultraviolet radiation and emit very little heat.
  • Slow Failure – LEDs dim out over time without cutting out abruptly.
  • Eco-Friendly – LEDs contain no chemicals, toxins, or environmentally damaging substances. Since they last longer, landfill disposal is reduced.
  • Easy to maintain – simple wipe down from time to time.
  • Efficiency – LEDs use up to 90% less electricity.
  • Size – LEDs are available in all sizes but can be extremely small expanding the number of applications they are suited for.
  • Labor Savings – Due to their longevity, the number of times they will need to be replaced is reduced by two thirds.
  • Flexibility – LEDs can be installed in existing fixtures, so no cost involved in changing the fixtures.
  • Light quality- LED lights emit very bright, pure white light similar to daylight. LEDs do not flicker and buzz over time as metal halide lights often do. LEDs produce more focused illumination, providing higher quality lighting and more control while reducing unwanted glare.
  • Zero warm-up time or restrike delays – turn on quickly.
  • Net Zero Energy – LEDS are a step toward advancing carbon neutrality goals.

Georgia College Successful Retrofit

Georgia College & State University (Georgia College) shared their Parking Lot LED conversion test to demonstrate the benefits of a retrofit project. Georgia College retrofitted a 500-space parking lot with LED lighting. They converted double-head metal halide fixtures containing 1,000-watt metal halide bulbs to single-head LED fixtures that use 285-watt bulbs. The LED bulbs had a life expectancy of 50,000 hours nearly 35 times the lifespan of a halide bulb. They estimated a 26- or 27-month payback in energy savings.

The conversion reduced their energy use from 94,221 kWh to 20,965 kWh. The cost saving estimates held true, often exceeding the original $7,500 annual savings estimate. They went from $10,612 annual cost to $2,639 after the project. The cost savings were important, but the institutional and global benefits solidified the commitment to LED lighting conversion. The college’s sustainability council deemed the project phenomenally successful and began the process of converting to LED campus wide.

Converting to LED lighting could be a 2021 budget and facility planning line item with big returns. Evaluating current fixtures and space lighting requirements is the first step. Due to the vast selection of bulbs and fixtures available, pulling in an expert with experience in the latest developments and most suitable selections for your facility is a good idea. Albireo Energy has dedicated, experienced personnel that are immediately available and can help.

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