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  • By Bob Kilroy, Jewel Electric Supply Co.

What is new in LED Lighting?

LEDs are light emitting diodes that give off far more light per unit of electricity than the traditional fluorescent or incandescent lamps and fixtures. While they are typically more expensive on the initial purchase, the money they will end up saving the user justifies the expense: often having the product pay for itself within a short period of time. For this reason it just makes good sense why businesses should switch to LED lights.

Let’s take a look at why it makes sense to update your facility to LEDs now.

• LED lamps are more efficient

LEDs operate much more efficiently consuming far less energy than that of the incandescent and compact fluorescent style lamps. LEDs save up to 70% of the energy cost over the incandescent lamp which uses most of its consumed energy to produce heat.

• LED lights last longer

LED lights are reaching new highs. Not so long ago it was typical to see LEDs with a lifespan of thirty to fifty thousand hours. Today we are seeing some products achieving up to one hundred thousand hours. Compare that to average rated life of the incandescent lamp of two thousand hours or its successor, the compact fluorescent which had a rated life of ten thousand hours.

When considering replacement cost you must consider the number of replacement lamps necessary to achieve the life hour rating of the LED; at least five (5) compact fluorescents or twenty-five (25) incandescent for each LED.

• LED lamps are easily controlled

Because LEDs are instant on and off and there is no warm up time, the LED product line is user friendly with controls ranging from dimmers, dimming systems, motion controls and an vast array of day-light harvesting devices. The use of lighting controls enhances the energy savings by adding as much as an additional fifty (50) to seventy-five (75) percent savings on utility cost to their bottom line.

• LED light bulbs operate quieter and cooler

Incandescent lights produce more heat than they do light and the compact fluorescents while producing less heat are often associated with annoying ballast hum. LEDs burn cooler and operate in silence, requiring less air-conditioning and creating a more pleasing environment.

• LED bulbs are more adaptable

LEDs can be adapted to the space, directing the light to the area it is required. In fact what was once a weakness; pinpointing the light beam is now one of its strengths. LEDs can be used to increase the amount of light in a space, accent s saving energy.

• LEDs allow for a variety of colors

LED lighting is not limited to one shade of light or one color like the incandescent was. LEDs produce light in a wide color spectrum by simply changing the semi-conductor materials being used. Different colors can be achieved and are measured in Kelvin degrees ranging from the warm (3000K) to the cool white (6000K).

• The fun side of LEDs

LED lamps are available with lots of options like LEDs with a built in security camera that can be viewed on any Bluetooth device or a lamp with a Wi-Fi extender built into the lamp or how about getting a LED lamp with built in Bluetooth speakers?

• Ease of replacement

Because LEDs are available in a large variety of shapes, styles and colors it makes replacing the existing style and color of lighting almost seamless. Often these replacements produce a better and more efficient light source, noticeable more on the utility bill than to the eye.

• LEDs are environmentally friendly

Because LEDs can save up to 70% of a company’s energy they accordingly reduce the company carbon footprint. A large portion of disposal cost are eliminated, hazardous materials created by the mercury content of the CFLs are no longer being sent to landfills and less resources to generate power are consumed; all of which is good for the business and the environment.

• LEDs have a future

With LED quality improving, prices for LEDs dropping and the National Energy Act encouraging and incentivizing the LED replacement market, LEDs are surely becoming a permanent part of our landscape.

• Insurance rebates

LED lighting and controls provide an opportunity for better, safer security and can help decrease property risk factors; helping to reduce insurance cost.

• Federal and State rebates

Many businesses qualify for both federal and state rebates for installing LED lighting and control upgrades. With payback periods averaging 14 to 18 months and private financing available for projects, now is the right time to jump on board and start your retro-fit project. Save energy without sacrificing style and convenience is one huge benefit that a property owner and / or tenant receives by installing LED lighting and control upgrades.

Bob Kilroy is the VP at Jewel Electric Supply Co. in Jersey City, NJ.

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