Why Businesses are Moving Towards Energy Efficient Lighting|
Article- June 2013 By Larson Electronics.com
Larson Electronics 60 Watts Class 1 Division 2 LED Light
If you’re a business professional, whether your business is a small company or a large corporation, you are likely intimately familiar with the challenges and complexities related to maintaining a profitable enterprise. Today’s business climate is presenting even greater challenges as professionals in every field seek ways to cope with the ever increasing cost of operations, and finding ways to keep these increases as low as possible, or even offset them to realize a net savings has become a prime focus. Among the many ways professionals are going about realizing these savings, reducing energy consumption is proving to potentially be the most cost effective.
Every business has as a part of its operating costs the use of electrical energy. Despite the increased focus on developing a greater variety of alternative energy sources and improving the effectiveness of existing energy sources, the cost of energy continues to increase. Lighting systems are notorious for poor efficiency and alone can account for 35-50% or more of businesses total energy consumption, and as a result represent an area of great potential for cost reductions. Achieving these cost reductions relies on utilizing lighting systems with greater efficiency, but without decreasing overall illumination levels or negatively impacting illumination quality.
It is only within the last fifteen years that serious improvements in lighting technology have made possible such significant improvements in efficiency without a loss of general lighting quality. Most older buildings still utilize outdated T12 fluorescent fixtures as well as incandescent bulbs, both of which not only perform below modern efficiency standards, but will no longer be available thanks to changes to efficiency standards contained within the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. This means that not only is it important to consider upgrading to more efficient lighting systems because it is a good potential source of cost savings, but the needed replacement parts and lamps for older systems will soon no longer be available. Once current stocks of non compliant bulbs and fixtures run out, manufacturers will no longer be producing them.
Although the cost of upgrading to more modern lighting systems at first may seem daunting due to their higher price compared to older and more traditional types of lighting, the truth is that their full benefit is realized over the long term rather than at initial installation. Particularly with more efficient T8 style fluorescent bulbs and newer LED lighting systems, although initial outlay is higher than with the older systems they replace, their significantly higher efficiency helps them to produce a substantial and oftentimes very fast return on investment, with following savings representing a net gain in overall business profitability. For an idea of just how effective upgrading to more efficient LED and T8 style lighting can be, we have included below some real world examples that demonstrate the kind of results that can be expected with a comprehensive upgrade to LED and high efficiency fluorescent systems.
-The Aultman Hospital in Canton, Ohio, has performed a lighting refit using LED lighting systems which is now saving the center $13,000 a year in energy costs.
Grocery chain Food City estimates it will save $337,000 a year in lighting and maintenance costs due to the installation of LED lighting systems within its cooler units.
-Automotive giant General Motors is projecting more than $800,000 a year in savings on electricity at its Spring Hill Manufacturing complex in Tennessee from an upgrade to high-efficiency fluorescent lighting and wireless controls.
-Professional services firm Ernst & Young has upgraded to an LED lighting retrofit that is expected to save the firm over 1 million in energy costs. This estimate takes into account the fact that energy used by lighting will be cut by at least 54%, and maintenance costs will be slashed by a further 50%. Even more interesting, the firm notes that the new system is not only more efficient, but that the quality of illumination has been improved as well.
-The famous Smithsonian American Art Museum has reported that it recovered the higher initial cost of its LED retrofit project in 16 months of operation through energy savings. In the single 1,200 square foot gallery where this upgrade was performed, the LED system has reduced energy costs from lighting from $2,984 to $816 a year.
-OC Transpo, a professional transit service provider for Ottawa and Carleton, Canada, reduced lighting costs by 43 percent at its St. Laurent garage with the performance of an LED retrofit by Energy Ottawa. This LED retrofit is expected to result in a $137,000 savings in energy costs each year.
-Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center has replaced approximately 700 T8 and T12 fluorescent light fixtures in their parking areas with T8 style LED tube lamps. This upgrade to LEDs from old style fluorescent fixtures is expected to reduce the hospital’s energy costs for illuminating this area by almost 57 percent, or $2,500 per month, according to the company responsible for the installation.
These are just a smattering of examples demonstrating how effective upgrading to more efficient lighting systems can be. As LED lighting technology continues to progress and more businesses, facilities, and municipalities embrace the potential savings such systems offer, these examples will soon become the norm. The biggest hurdle for most as of this time is the lingering doubts that previously less effective and efficient LED and fluorescent systems created. Problems with lower than expected efficiency and reduce lighting quality although a decade ago were once valid, the new systems now available have for all intents made such concerns no longer relevant.
For almost every potential source of cost cutting and savings in a businesses operation, there exists the potential for a matching compromise or expected reduction in performance. With energy efficient lighting however, such compromise and losses are not only minimal, they are typically non existent and in most cases a net benefit can be realized. By upgrading to energy efficient lighting such as LEDs, you can save money in the long run, reduce energy and maintenance costs, and actually improve the quality of the illumination in your workplace, all without have to accept any downside.