If you are considering upgrading to LED lighting for your building here are some things to look for from your supplier to ensure you get the maximum benefit from your upgrade. Each building is unique and it is important that your supplier take the time to understand your operation and particular needs so that you get the most from your investment. A lighting upgrade is a long term investment so it is important to get it right the first time.
Your number one motivation is probably energy savings so make sure you are provided with a detailed energy analysis based on your existing lighting and the proposed LED replacements. The analysis should include details on the various lighting schedules your building operates under. These schedules outline the operating hours per year for various parts of your building. For example, the exterior lights will most likely be on a different on/off schedule than your office or warehouse operations. The annual operating hours will also be affected by any controls you may already have in place to reduce your lighting energy so make sure this is reflected in the analysis to ensure you get an accurate energy savings analysis.
Finding the right LED replacement involves more than just substituting a lower wattage LED for your current light fixtures. For an office environment, it is important that your supplier look at current light levels and discuss with staff and management whether it is acceptable or not. There can be too little or too much light for the tasks being performed and now would be a good time to correct this so the light levels match the needs of the space and its occupants. Another consideration is colour temperature of the lights, i.e. warm tones or cool tones. LED’s now come in a variety of colour temperatures and gone are the days of the irritating “blue” light tones from the early technology. Studies have shown that a brighter light, say a 4000K – 4,500K colour temperature prevents drowsiness and people report feeling less tired late in the afternoon. Warmer colour temperatures (2,500 – 3,500K) can produce a more calming effect on people. This is something your supplier should discuss with you so that the occupants of the building are getting the maximum benefit from the lighting upgrade.
If your building is a warehouse or production facility a proper light level analysis is key to ensuring a successful upgrade. Often, a single LED high bay fixture can do the work of several standard HID high bays and a one for one swap is often not required. This can only be determined by your supplier doing a thorough photometrics analysis of the workspace, taking into consideration type of work being performed, building dimensions, etc.
Once all of the above has been done, the proposal should then provide a complete financial analysis detailing the energy savings, product and install costs, maintenance savings and any incentive payments available to you so that you can see the return on your investment and payback period. The proposal should also outline the greenhouse gas savings comparison as it is important for any business or organization to let the general public know that they are doing their part and are being good corporate citizens.