Facility managers across the board most likely face the same challenge with regards to their current lighting situation, “when and how do I transition to LED lighting?”
Some may still have reservations because they may feel the technology is ‘new’. While we are well past the “early adopter” phase of the new technology adoption curve, familiarity with the LED light source and its benefits may still be vague for many facility staff. This blog is not intended to change your mind about your need to transition to LED lighting, but hopefully, it will broaden your understanding of LED lighting and give you the knowledge you need for making the case when the time is right for you.
LED lighting has significantly improved in the past few years
Most OEM’s now offer their 5th and 6th generation of LED product – that would include both replacement lamps and LED fixtures. As with any product that undergoes rigorous research and development, each generation will bring a more stable and reliable product. Another huge benefit to that development is that it also brings the cost and pricing into a much more competitive arena. According to a recent report LED technology has now matched its rival, fluorescent, as a price competitive solution! In 2017, there are few within the industry that would argue against the notion that LED is the future of lighting.
Key LED benefits to consider:
You may still be wondering, is the future now for my facility or should I wait? Here are 2 very important things to consider as you contemplate your decision.
1.) Reduced energy costs
LED lighting can reduce your electric bill by 20% to 50% or more depending on your current lighting application.
You can replace your T8 32-watt bulb with a 14 watt LED tube, a 90-watt PAR38 halogen with a 17 watt LED PAR38. In almost every case you find it is reasonable to assume that you can find an LED replacement that will reduce the lighting portion of your electric bill on average 50%!
2.) Reduced maintenance costs
With LED’s commonly rated from 25,000 to 50,000-hour life easily exceed the 1000 to 2000 hours for incandescent / halogen bulbs that are currently being used.
Longevity of the LED technology translates into fewer bulb change-outs and lower maintenance costs for facilities. Savings on labor cost alone can help justify the cost of LED equivalent lamps as you begin to transition your facility.
Worth noting too is the fact that many power companies also help subsidize the cost by offering incentive/rebates to qualifying accounts.
So by combining the reduced energy costs, reduced maintenance costs and power company rebates your ROI could be very appealing!
What can you do now to start identifying some “low hanging fruit” that may be in your facilities as we speak?
Focus in places where lights are on 24/7
Your facility may have lights that have to be on for reasons that are non-negotiable. Think about other areas such as parking garages, common areas, stairwells or any other places that your lights burn 24/7. These are some of the low hanging fruit to target, the longer the light burns, the faster the payback, start saving money now! Do you have a lot of parking lot lights, outside building lights, high bay warehouse lighting? If so, these too are energy hogs that can easily be changed to LED, watch your power bill go down, and your profit line go up!
Look for tough maintenance areas
Every building has them, those hard to get to lights. Do you have to rent special lifts or equipment just to change a light bulb? Do you have expensive flooring that you can’t afford to damage? Do you have areas where you can only work on the lights after hours causing you to adjust workers schedules and pay overtime? All of these are examples of low hanging fruit that you should consider changing first as you start your transition to LED. Energy savings tends to be the driving force in the decision to convert to LED, but maintenance cost should never be overlooked.
So, in conclusion, the question to you Facility Manager’s remains, when and how do I transition to LED lighting? Let me give you one example to consider.
We converted a manufacturing facility last February in North Carolina and here are some numbers I’d like for you to think about…
Their lights averaged burning 18 hours a day, six days a week, and the local power company had an LED incentive/rebate program. The facility is approximately 200,000 sq ft, and we replaced around 1100 lights. Total cost of the project was roughly $175,000, with a rebate around $125,000 – so the customer’s cost reduced to $50,000. We estimated a power savings of $3,400/month with an ROI of 16 months.
After comparing the last six months, they are saving $4,000/month, and their ROI is down to 12.5 months!
So the question should be “Can you afford not to transition to LED?” Look at it this way, every hour, day, week and month you continue to put off converting is money that could be paying for your upgrade. So let ASD work with you to see if your facility would benefit by transitioning to LED now.
My next blog will focus on how LED lighting and low voltage data solutions are on a collision course that is guaranteed to change how buildings are designed and why we feel that LED technology will lead the way.
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