Energy Conservation is on the minds of building owners and operators for all of the right reasons. Of all of the efficiency options for commercial building owners, it is lighting that has received the most incentive request by far. Lighting can be very personal, proper light quality and quantity is important for productivity and security, yet it is often only responsible for 20% of total facility power. Lighting savings however seemed to be favored by all, savings can be calculated precisely, and 2 to 3 year ROI’s bolstered by incentives, can be assured. For the last several years corporate planners have had a difficult decision regarding lighting conservation and exactly what to do with the thousands of inefficient tube light bulbs in their ceilings. Most realize that incentives and savings opportunities exist but that doesn’t make the decision any easier. The first choice is an upgrade to a more efficient florescent or a higher quality more expensive LED bulb. Due to the price point of LED most building owners are converting their florescent tube bulbs from the previous standard T-12 bulb at 40 watt to a thinner T-8 bulb at 32 watt or a T-5 bulb at 28 watts. This decision is further complicated by issues such as the longer lifespan of LED, fixture replacement, light quality and amount as well as lighting automation and dimmer controls.
Fortunately manufacturing advancements have led to a pricing revolution in LED making many applications affordable. These advancement have resulted in the recent release of new LED High Bay and Tube designs that are both affordable and effective. LED retrofit products have a special advantage in that all of the chips and their Lumen's are directed down where needed. No more will we be dependent on the reflective lumen's of convention Bulbs. Plain and simple, reflection in lighting is wasteful. New automated machining equipment will considerably lower the cost of producing an LED T-8 LED tube. At the same time manufacturing improvements have increased lifespan and lumen output. If your business has been waiting lower prices or better technology That time is now. LED products offer a long list of advantages to American business, and most retrofit LED products will show an ROI under 2.5 years. LED Lighting is also often eligible for incentives by the power companies in any areas.
One of the benefits of the new LED tube release is simplicity. T-8 conversions often require a ballast swap and a T-5 conversion likely requires an entire new fixture. New LED options will work with existing T-8 ballasts or with no ballast for T-12 refacement. We also have tube choices with external drivers to satisfy certain incentive requirements. The LED tubes are guaranteed for 5 years and 50,000 hours; this will reduce maintenance costs and improve the return on investment. They come in different light temperatures and lumen's for a fully customizable effect. These LED lamps offer dimmable options and work well with all automation controls to maximize savings and deliver desired results. A comparison of the project cost of this emerging technology confirms that it will be more affordable than a T-5 fixture conversion. This is the extraordinary news that will soon make florescent bulbs a thing of the past, as competition scrambles to keep up. Fortunately LED tubes have become affordable enough to change forever the technology used for this badly needed class of bulb.
Machine made LED tubes have performed above expectations for durability in laboratory testing as it offers 3 advanced strategies to dissipate heat better than any previous attempt. It is the buildup of heat that erodes LED performance and shortens lifespan. The 4’ LED Tubes use 288 superior SMD diodes compared to comparable products that have used only 150 lower quality DIP diodes. By comparison it would require a 25 watt DIP bulb to provide the same illumination as a 16 watt SMD LED. Since price has been the main obstacle to wide spread adoption to the advancement of energy saving technology it is expected that this important advancement is truly a milestone in the lighting revolution.
Aside from the watt to watt energy savings LED products allow for additional savings that should not be ignored. In fact LED tube lighting produces so much light that often it is not necessary to have a one for one replacement. It is called de-lamping and if possible often 30 to 40% less product is used for significant savings. LED tubes will come in different output in wattage for maximum flexibility. LED also produces much less heat which will increase air conditioning energy costs. When specified this technology can be dimmable or controllable to allow for light need and occupancy sensing. If a business is replacing 24 hour lighting or using the strategies listed above, the return on investment, at this new product price point, will likely be below 2 years even without incentives.