What is an LED? LED stands for “Light emitting diode”. Unlike most traditional lighting where incandescent lights produce light through a vacuum or fluorescent lights emitting light using gas, LEDs produce light from a semiconductor when there is electricity. Because LED is a solid piece of material, it is much more durable than fluorescent or incandescent bulbs.
Advantages of LEDs:
1. No Mercury, argon, xenon or neon gas. While older technology of lights uses gas which can be highly toxic to the environment or health, LED’s contain no gas.
2. It is unidirectional. LED’s are created to provide light in the direction is designed. So for the same lumen output, LED’s are brighter because fluorescent bulbs shine light in a 360 degree angle.
3. Color of lights can be altered by chromophore.
4. No Glass. For all the grocery stores or other facilities out there requiring light covers in food sections, you don't have to worry about that with LED's. It does not shatter like other sources of lights if dropped.
5. Energy efficient. With the advancement in technology, LEDs have been able to produce lighting like the traditional lights consuming much less electricity!
Several warehouses in the valley use a typical 400 watt highbay fixture which produces around 20,000 lumens when it's brand new. But that lifespan quickly decreases because of the poor life cycle of a metal halide. On average, these metal halides run at 70% output which takes us down to 14,000 lumens while still consuming 454 watts.
An LED system to replace metal halide would produce 18,000 lumens while consuming 150 watts. This is a 66% operating cost reduction while maintaining 92% of its output at 50,000 hours during the warranty period. Most LEDs are rated to last around 100,000 hours.
A common 4 lamp T5 fixture consumes 232 watts and costs around $150 with the lamps.
At 100 fixtures, the total comes out to 23,200 watts and $15,000.
A retrofit would be to use 22 watt T5 LED light bulbs to replace the fluorescent light bulbs costing $120. At 100 fixtures, the total comes out to 8,800 watts and $12,000.
At LightDay Solar, we're not trying to sugar coat the fact that LED's are expensive. We understand the initial investment is higher that fluorescent light bulbs, but let's look at the numbers.
LED's at a minimum should last at least 100,000 hours. T5 lamps should hopefully have a life around 36,000 hours. Compared to an LED, a T5 will have to be changed out 3 times during the life cycle of an LED. Below is a break-down of the finances:
T5 Fluorescent: 15,000(fix cost) + $25,000(maintenance cost of T5 over 100,000 hr.) + $30,489(Energy Cost in a year assuming 24/7 Operating hours) = $70,489.
T5 LED: $12,000(fix cost) + $0(maintenance cost of over 100,000 hr.) + $11,563(Energy Cost in a year assuming 24/7 Operating hours) ) = $23,563.
Seeing these numbers, it is a no brainer to go LED. Go LED and be worry free for the next 100,000 hours or go T5 and set aside a budget for maintenance.
Keep in mind, LightDay Solar is a Trade Alliance with the utility companies in Arizona so we can help you receive rebates and incentives to bring the initial cost down even more! If interested, please inquire below!
Energy efficiency and renewable energy Professionals