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The Benefits of LED Lighting in the Workplace

People spend approximately a third of their day at work, so it’s not hard to imagine the importance of lighting in the workplace. The use of LED lighting is on the rise in homes across America and in the workplace as well. According to U.S. Department of Energy, “widespread use of LED lighting has the greatest potential impact on energy savings in the United States. By 2027, widespread use of LEDs could save about 348 TWh (compared to no LED use) of electricity: This is the equivalent annual electrical output of 44 large electric power plants (1000 megawatts each), and a total savings of more than $30 billion at today’s electricity prices.”

There are various aspects where LED lighting in the workplace is important.

PRODUCTIVITY

Proper lighting is key for productivity and comfort in office environments and often determines the perception, mood, and performance of employees. A study by the American Society of Interior Designers found the following:

  • 68 percent of employees complain about the light in their work space.
  • 75 percent report that they could be more efficient and productive with better light.
  • 30 percent suffer from headaches due to eyestrain.
  • 25 percent report losing 15 minutes per day due to eye focusing problems. This is equivalent to one and a half weeks each year.

Enhancements in workplace lighting are closely tied with the improved performance of employees. In fact, a Cornell University study demonstrated that a 3 – 5 percent gain in worker productivity could be obtained with LED lighting. In the case of more industrial work places, better lighting with LEDs helps the intricate work involved in factories, resulting in more accurate performances and less mistakes, which ultimately keeps costs down and raises productivity.

Research further shows that LED lighting has a positive impact on employees’ physical, physiological, and psychological well-being, which affects their overall performance and even attendance in the workplace.

SAFETY

The high quality of LED lighting helps people be more aware of their surroundings at work, including little hazards that could cause someone to trip or fall. In addition to everyday risks, there can be sudden emergencies. Emergency exit signs are typically LEDs because of its clearness, brightness, and long lifespan. Those same attributes can translate to any workplace retrofitted with LED lighting. Especially in case of an emergency, it’s critical that offices, stairwells, and exits are well-lit to ensure everyone’s safety.

PERSONAL CHOICE

LED lighting allows personal choice in work environments, whether it involves what a person prefers or the task at hand. LED lights enable people to use different levels of lighting. Through the use of individual controls that employees can operate at their work stations, productivity and overall well-being can increase.

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

LED lights require relatively low amounts of energy to power them. This can reduce lighting consumption by 55-90 percent. An LED light can typically last for up to 60,000 hours, which is considerably longer than incandescent and fluorescent lighting alternatives. This is not only better for your budget, but better for the environment too, by reducing carbon emissions. In addition, the disposal of phosphor and the particularly toxic mercury in the tubes is an environmental issue. They are not recyclable and eventually end up in landfills. LED lights do not contain any harmful chemicals and as a result are fully recyclable at the end of their life. The switch to energy-efficient LED lighting greatly reduces a company’s carbon footprint, showcasing the business as an example of environmental responsibility.

Switching to LED lighting can allow your business to reap many benefits. Contact us today for a free energy cost savings assessment and see what GreenTech Solutions Group can do for your company.

How Upgrading to LED Lighting Affects Manufacturing Productivity

Many manufacturing facilities are considering upgrading their existing factory lighting to more energy-efficient LED lighting to save on energy and maintenance costs. While the direct energy savings are absolutely notable, the effects of a lighting upgrade extend beyond only that. While considering an LED lighting upgrade, it is important to consider a total overhaul of your factory lighting. The gains produced may be hard to see at first, but once realized, they are significant and hard to ignore.

Effects of Factory Lighting on Morale

Employee’s morale should always be on managers’ minds because an employee that is happy and motivated will most likely be more productive and reliable. Today’s LED lighting color temperature is typically about 5000 Kelvins. This temperature is very similar to natural light and has been found to reduce melatonin production. This can result in employee alertness and reduce sleepiness and fatigue. Upgrading to brighter LED lighting improves the workplace by making it safer and look cleaner and more natural.

Safety Improvements with LED Lighting

Safety is an important consideration that will be improved with an LED lighting upgrade. If an employee cannot clearly see a hazard, accidents can happen. Workplace collisions can be prevented if proper factory lighting is in place to illuminate oncoming pedestrian or material handling equipment. It is also important to consider the upgrade to include specific workstation lighting. The improved workstation lighting can reduce machine and/or employee-related accidents by making hazards more apparent.

LED lighting is typically made of an array of tens or even hundreds of individual LED light chips with highly directed lensing. This causes very little shadowing. In addition, LED lighting maintains its brightness far longer than the typical HID lighting. Even though older lighting may still be working, it is operating at far less lighting output than when it was initially installed. This dim lighting can create safety hazards and lead to more workplace accidents.

Improvement in Quality Checks

Quality improvement always plays a big role in a production manager’s mindset. Improved LED lighting proves to be a valuable asset in inspection stations and quality control areas. As mentioned earlier, reduced shadowing can highlight quality defects in various parts and increases the ability to spot defects and quality deficiencies. LED lighting also enhances color recognition, which can improve quality control issues.

Many quality problems occur during the manufacturing or assembly process. LED lighting can reduce manufacturing errors since employees can recognize improper or missing components during the assembly operation. Staying alert is a crucial factor in operating machinery and product assembly. LED lighting helps prevent fatigue and therefore can lead to fewer mistakes and better quality output.

Health and Wellness Improvements

Poor lighting can lead to eye strain and causes headaches, tension, and eye discomfort. LED lighting can reduce these effects and possibly lead to better work attendance. If an employee is not feeling at their optimal, it can lead to poor productivity and production errors.

Increased Manufacturing Productivity

LED lighting in the workplace can improve assembly accuracy and potentially speed up operations. If sub-components can be found and oriented with more speed and accuracy, it will significantly increase productivity. As mentioned earlier, upgrading to LED lighting in your facility can improve overall alertness, make it easier to see clearly, reduce shadowing, and enhance color recognition during the assembly process, leading to increased inefficiencies and manufacturing productivity.

Conclusion

LED lighting is proven to be more energy efficient and longer lasting than traditional fluorescent, high pressure sodium, or metal halide lighting. As a result, most manufacturing facilities are evaluating LED lighting upgrades to reduce energy and maintenance costs. These savings can be quantified by projecting wattage reductions and the cost of bulbs and labor to replace old fixtures as they burn out. These savings alone can often justify any expense incurred with an LED lighting upgrade.

However, there are savings that are more difficult to quantify, but are extremely significant and can far outweigh the energy and maintenance savings associated with an LED upgrade. Consider how much profit could be realized if just a 1 percent increase in productivity could be gained with a brighter, LED lighting upgrade throughout a manufacturing facility. What about a 5 percent reduction in safety occurrences? How does that translate to insurance costs and workmen’s compensation claims? If overall product quality was improved by 3 percent, what does that mean to the cost incurred by defective products and customer quality claims? LED lighting can both improve quality during the production process and in the QC and inspection stations.

When considering upgrading to energy-efficient LED lighting, it’s imperative to factor in the not so obvious benefits and suddenly a marginally justifiable project becomes an easily justifiable one. It’s important to take the opportunity to not only replace existing fixtures and maintain previous light levels, but to significantly upgrade light levels to take full advantage of all the benefits LED lighting can have in the entire manufacturing environment.

Switching to LED lighting can allow your business to reap many benefits. Contact us today for a free energy cost savings assessment and see what GreenTech Solutions Group can do for your company.

Reposted with permission from Electro-Magtic LED Lighting blog

Save Big On Maintenance Costs with LED Lighting Retrofit

In addition to energy savings, many business owners are not aware of the significant long-term savings realized when converting a facility to LED lighting. Since most facilities’ lighting power usage represents 40-60% of total power usage, upgrading to LED lighting will have an immediate impact on the electric bill. Currently, LED lighting products typically consume 50 – 90% less electricity than traditional incandescent or fluorescent light sources. Upgrading an entire facility to LED lighting will drastically reduce a company’s electric bill and as an added benefit, the payback period is often reduced by generous utility rebates and government incentives.

Lighting Maintenance Expenses

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  • Cost of replacement lamps and fixtures
  • Cost of labor to replace spent lamps or damaged fixtures
  • Warranty protection and duration

In addition to the direct savings on electric costs, long-term maintenance savings associated with lighting replacement and labor can be significant when upgrading to LED lighting. This benefit is difficult to measure due to the various rated lifetimes on the current lighting fixtures, however the significant savings are an important variable when determining the absolute value of a lighting retrofit.

Here, we will dig further into this subject to uncover the real benefit that the longevity of LED technology can provide.

Lighting Comparisons

When people think of the lifetime duration of various lighting technologies, they typically do not take lumen maintenance into consideration. All lighting technologies have a rated life expectancy; however, the amount of useful light output varies depending on their respective lumen maintenance curve. All current LED lighting product lifetimes are rated at an L70 value, meaning that the once the light output is at 70% of its initial output it is considered at the end of its life. The rated lifetimes for many legacy lighting products are listed as when they fail to emit light or when a portion of the population fails to emit light. This is a significant difference between traditional lighting and LED lighting rated lifetime.

For example: Metal halide bulbs may last for 20,000 hours, but when measured using the methods defined in the TM-21 standard to determine the L70 value, the amount of usable light it is only useful within the first 8,000 hours. Fluorescent lighting presents a better lifetime curve; however, due to hard failures and rapid lumen degradation, it falls off significantly at 20,000 hrs.

lumen-maintenace-chart2

Even though a homeowner can change a single light bulb in a matter of minutes, when a building has many fixtures and bulbs, lighting maintenance becomes both labor-intensive and very time consuming especially when adhering to rated lifetimes. To effectively manage lighting, maintenance personnel are required to keep track of when products were installed, when they burn out, when to order more, in addition to the valuable time spent replacing when needed. Many go without changing bulbs that are at end of the lumen maintenance curve and thus light levels within the facility suffer. This suppresses worker productivity and efficiency, and can compromise the safety of the work environment.

In conclusion, although often overlooked, when upgrading to LED lighting there are significant gains in productivity and reductions in maintenance costs, as well as energy savings. However, these metrics are equally or more important when it comes to determining the financial value when investing in LED lighting.