Get Rid of Your Lighting Problems Once and For All
With the wrong lighting system, maintenance can be a time consuming and expensive activity. Inefficient lamps raising energy costs to lamps burning out quickly are just two of the many issues a facility may experience. These are problems that linger and will continuously cost the facility money unless they are properly fixed. In this week’s blog, we will discuss how you can end these nagging lighting problems and save on your energy cost.
Burnt Out Lights
The most visible lighting issue is burnt-out lights. As a light degrades over time, it’s lumen (measured light) output begins to decrease until the light fails or burns out. Depending on the light source, it may degrade very quickly while other sources degrade much slower and last longer. Outdated light sources such as fluorescent lamps, quickly degrade from the moment they are installed. While LED’s steadily decline and last up to 70% longer compared to fluorescent lamps. As you can see on the graph to your right, fluorescent lamps see a huge drop in lumens installation while LED’s decline very slowly over their lifetime. Therefore, LEDs can greatly reduce the load on your maintenance team caused by swapping out lights because they last significantly longer reducing the number of times you would have to replace lamps.
One of the most common lighting applications we see is troffers fitted with fluorescent tubes. These are used in a variety of facilities ranging from office spaces to warehouses. Over time, the fixtures themselves begin to degrade. The lenses start to yellow while collecting dust and bugs and the performance of the fixture begins to decline. Previously, we have seen lenses fall from fixtures and shatter on the floor due to deterioration in a school district. Luckily, this issue occurred when students were not in the school but could have been disastrous if they were. Furthermore, these older fixtures commonly lack control capabilities such as dimming or occupancy sensing.
Pricey Lighting Cost
We’ve all received those expensive electrical bills from our utility company that we review and are left astounded with how much energy we consume. Outdated lighting options such as metal halides, fluorescents, and incandescents use high amounts of energy compared to the amount of light they output making them inefficient. In the lighting world, we use a simple ratio to measure the efficacy of a light source which helps us compare their efficiency. The ratio is Lumens (Light Output) / Watts (Energy), this calculation is easy to do, and some light manufacturers provide the final value on their packaging. For example, a common fluorescent tube (32w-4ft-T8) has an LPW (Lumens per Watt) of 80. Meanwhile, an LED tube (10.5w-4ft-T8) has an LPW of 171.
Lack of Customization and Control
Antiquated lighting options commonly lack control capabilities meaning the only operation the lights can complete is being turned on and off. In an office space, for example, we have seen employees who always keep their overhead lighting off and use lamps because their lights are too bright or overbearingly white. With modern LEDs, you can install controls that offer many features to help make your facility more comfortable for employees and reduce lighting complaints. Features like dimming enable employees to adjust the fixtures’ light output to a comfortable level. Furthermore, these controls increase the lifetime and efficiency of your lighting system by using less energy. Daylight harvesting adjusts the light levels of fixtures based on the amount of natural light entering a space to increase efficiency while ensuring the amount of natural light combined with artificial light is not overbearing.
As you can see, many of the lighting issues you may experience in your facility can easily be resolved by upgrading your lighting. Investing in efficient lighting is an excellent way to reduce your overhead cost and create a better facility for your employees and customers. If this is something you are interested in, we recommend filling out the short form below. This form will connect you to one of our team members who will schedule you for a complimentary energy assessment. This assessment will reveal where you could be saving on lighting cost, potential incentives you could receive and the cost of upgrading your facility. This is a great way to assess if an upgrade is right for your facility so you can make an educated decision.