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LED Lighting Makes Sense and Dollars

LED lighting (light emitting diode) is a technology that was invented just over 50 years ago.  It has been on the radar of the lighting industry for many years as the next big thing, the key to tremendous energy savings and maintenance cost reductions.  As recent as 5 years ago the technology was still only on the verge of cracking the mainstream marketplace, it was only marginally suitable from a performance standpoint and the costs were rather prohibitive.  However, in these past 5 years the research and development put into the technology by manufacturers has proven to increase performance to cutting edge levels and with it, costs have lowered considerably.  Now, an LED product is available as a viable solution for virtually any application.

 

Indoor – There are now a wide range of excellent LED products for residential, commercial and industrial applications, everything from strip lighting for under-cabinet or kick spaces to hi-bay lighting for airplane hangars.  Almost all of the products available from the major manufacturers are dimmable and are available in a variety of colour temperatures, typically from 2700K (degrees Kelvin) to 5000K.  LED is an instant on technology which means that there is no warm up time for the light to come up to bright like you get with CFL or HID lighting, it is also unaffected by repeated on/off switching.  These features pair perfectly with occupancy sensing and daylight sensing controls.  On average, LED lighting is 70% more efficient than incandescent, halogen and HID lighting.  Perhaps its best feature though is its longevity.  Most LED fixtures carry life ratings of 50,000 – 100,000+ hours which can translate into maintenance free operation for 16 – 32+ years for most Monday to Saturday business schedules.   This extended life equates to cost savings that will pay for the fixture many times over during its lifespan.

 

Outdoor – Outdoor area lighting and parking lot lighting is the application where the fastest return on investment is available when converting HID to LED lighting.  The dusk to dawn operation of these applications means that the lighting is drawing power for half of the year or 4380 hours.  With these extended hours of use they are also burning through lamps and ballasts which are very costly to replace in these generally hard to access areas.  A common 400W pole top fixture will use approx $180 of hydro each year and require approx $500 of maintenance every 3-4 years.  Over a 22 year period, the average life of an LED fixture, the HID fixture will cost approx $7610 to operate.  A replacement LED fixture would only cost approx $1380 over that period, all of which is hydro costs.  For many malls and commercial parking lots where there are large quantities of this type of lighting, the accumulative savings are incredible.

 

With the LED products available now it makes nothing but sense, and dollars, to consider the benefits for your lighting system.  If you wish to learn more about which LED products are best for your application, contact DDM Electrical Design and we will arrange a time to meet in person.

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