Since lighting makes up a large percentage of the energy used in the commercial / manufacturing setting, using cost effective alternatives can dramatically increase profitability.
One of the most common lights used in a commercial building is the standard fluorescent bulb. A fixture that contains the 2 to 4 fluorescent bulbs is typically installed in a suspended grid-work or mounted directly to the ceiling. The fluorescent bulb is tremendously more energy efficient than an incandescent bulb which wastes over 90 % of energy in the form of heat. It was the best option for many years but LEDs are now taking over in terms of energy efficiency as well as the quality of light and the fact that they are far less toxic (fluorescent bulbs contain mercury). There are currently 964 million fluorescent fixtures in use in the United States. Replacing those bulbs would dramatically reduce energy usage.
Most new construction projects as well as renovations are calling for LED lighting. The benefits of LEDs are many and I will list the most significant factors here:
- Occupancy Sensor Compatible – New lighting codes will require occupancy sensors that automatically turn lights on when a person enters a room and turns them off when the room is vacant. Fluorescent bulbs deteriorate quickly when they are repeatedly turned on and off and will falter when used with occupancy sensors. LEDs are an instant on technology that is well suited to occupancy sensor controls with no alteration of lifespan.
- Ease of Replacement – there are LED retrofit kits that can be installed in minutes using the existing fluorescent fixture and does not require alteration of the suspended ceilings that typically support the fixtures.
- Dramatic Energy Reduction – The retrofit can cut energy consumption over 40% compared to the energy used for equivalent fluorescent lighting.
- Reduced Maintenance Costs – The longer lifespan of LED means less bulb replacements and less use and cost of maintenance personnel.
- Improved Light Quality – fluorescent lights are known to flicker, hum and have a lack of shadow (the light is very diffuse). LED light has an even light distribution and is available in a variety of color temperatures.
- Less Heat Production – Less heat produced means less use of costly air conditioning.
- Green Technology – LEDs can safely be disposed of in a landfill. Fluorescent bulbs are one of the single greatest sources of mercury toxicity in today’s landfills.
If you are interested in energy savings and are considering a renovation of your building or business The Energy Alliance Group of Michigan has compiled a free report entitled Ten Questions to Ask Before an Energy Efficiency Upgrade! The report details the most important questions that need to be addressed before the launch of any energy efficiency project. To get the report simply click HERE.
The Energy Alliance Group of Michigan works with businesses and commercial building owners desiring increased profitability and environmentally friendly facilities through energy efficiency. That process often includes a reduction in energy use as well as an increase in renewable energy production