Making the Most of Your LED Upgrade
LED lighting is highly efficient. With careful planning, however, you can get a lot more than just lower energy bills.
LEDs have made quite an impression on the lighting industry. They offer serious benefits in high efficiency, long life, excellent color quality and are compatible with controls. Despite this, an LED upgrade is no walk in the park. Careful planning is required to optimize savings and performance. Take the following steps to ensure the success of your lighting replacement program.
Conduct a survey
Before you upgrade, survey your lighting system to determine where changes may be needed. Do you have poor lighting in some areas and problems with glare in others? Consult with a qualified lighting designer or engineer. They can answer these questions and help you design a lighting system that will improve productivity and enhance your indoor environment.
With their many benefits, you may be tempted to replace all of your lighting with LEDs. That could be expensive, and LEDs may not be the right fit for every application. Prioritize your replacement program, upgrading where it makes the most sense and where you'll get the most bang for your buck. Areas to consider include:
- Hard-to-reach places. LEDs last 50,000 to 100,000 hours (depending on fixture type and application) and are resistant to vibration. They can save money and reduce labor-intensive maintenance costs in high-ceiling areas and parking lots.
- Cold temperature environments. LED performance increases as the temperature falls. They're a great fit for walk-in coolers or freezer cases.
- Task and display lighting. LED lighting is directional in nature, delivering light right where you need it while using less energy.
LED technology is changing rapidly, and product certification and testing procedures are still developing. Find out if the product has been tested according to recognized standards, such as those published by the Illuminating Engineering Society. Make sure a warranty is included and be clear about what it covers. Choose products that are ENERGY STARu00ae- or DesignLights Consortiumu2122- qualified. By asking suppliers the right questions, you can help ensure light quality and performance.
Even LEDs waste energy if they're left on in empty spaces. Make lighting controls, such as occupancy sensors and daylighting, a part of your LED upgrade. They can optimize your savings by limiting light use only when and where it's needed. LEDs are inherently dimmable, and they start instantly, making them ideal for most control strategies.
With a little extra time and effort, you can significantly reduce your energy costs and take full advantage of all the benefits that LED lighting has to offer.