We have compiled a list of LED fun facts that are informative and helpful to know.
For all those business owners, retailers, and houses of worship that have not yet committed to LED upgrades, these facts are important to consider.
An incandescent lamp converts about 9-10 percent of the energy fed to it into light, whereas LEDs convert nearly 100 percent of the energy they consume as light.
LEDs contain no mercury— and at least 95 percent of an LED is recyclable. Compare this to the wasteful design of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), which not only contain mercury, but also create a large portion of electronic waste due to their design — the fluorescent tube portion of a CFL ceases to work long before the ballast inside the CFL or its other electronic components are ready to die. This alone creates tons of waste every month.
LED lamps on average are not subject to serious damage from external shock. If you drop an incandescent lamp, there will be a lot of broken glass to clean up, and if it’s a CFL, not only will it break, there are mercury decontamination procedures recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency you will have to follow.
When LED light is used in fresh food displays, it has been proven to breed significantly less bacteria than its halogen or fluorescent counterparts.
A majority of residential/commercial LED A-lamp manufacturers claim a whopping 50,000 hours lamp life on average, with newer models claiming up to 100,000 hours. (Incandescent lamps have a lifespan of about 1,000 hours and CFLs have a lifespan of about 10,000 hours.) If this sounds impressive, it is! Consider your usage on just the 50,000 hour varieties:
If you use your LED bulb for 24 hours a day, every day, that bulb is rated to last 6 years!
If you use your LED bulb for 12 hours a day, every day, that bulb is rated to last 11 years!!
If you use your LED bulb for only 4 hours per day, that bulb is rated to last 17 years!!!
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the widespread adoption of LEDs in residential and commercial applications over the next 20 years will save about $265 billion (Yes! That’s BILLION!), will prevent the need for constructing 40 new power plants, and reduce the electricity demand of lighting by 33 percent.
If the entire United States would replace only 50 percent of the existing incandescent Christmas lights around the holidays, the potential energy cost savings starts around $17.2 billion dollars.
Switch to an LED bulb in the porch light and you’ll notice considerably fewer bugs, if not a complete decrease in your porch bug population! Why? Because incandescent lamps and CFLs produce copious amounts of ultraviolet and infrared radiation, which attracts bugs.
Due to the physics involved, LED lamps have what is called Instant On — unlike their incandescent and CFL counterparts. What this means is when you switch on an LED lamp, you get the full brightness of that light instantly. Incandescent lamps and CFLs experience significantly less lamp life from being switched on and off frequently, and CFLs in particular can experience greatly reduced lamp life if they are switched off and back on within 15 minutes of heating up.
The lighting industries as a whole are pushing LEDs to replace incandescent sources in a variety of applications, but the first time that LEDs actually did displace incandescent lamps was in vehicle brake lights, signal lights, and traffic lights – back in 1987!
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The light-emitting diode (LED) is one of today’s most energy-efficient and rapidly-developing lighting technologies. Quality LED light bulbs last longer, are more durable, and offer comparable or better light quality than other types of lighting.
LED is a highly energy efficient lighting technology, and has the potential to fundamentally change the future of lighting in the U.S. Residential LEDs — especially ENERGY STAR rated products — use at least 75 percent less energy, and last 25 times longer, than incandescent lighting.
Widespread use of LED lighting has the greatest potential impact on energy savings in the U.S. 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.
LED lighting is very different from other lighting sources such as incandescent bulbs and CFLs. Key differences include the following:
Light Source: LEDs are the size of a fleck of pepper, and a mix of red, green, and blue LEDs is typically used to make white light.
Direction: LEDs emit light in a specific direction, reducing the need for reflectors and diffusers that can trap light. This feature makes LEDs more efficient for many uses such as recessed downlights and task lighting. With other types of lighting, the light must be reflected to the desired direction and more than half of the light may never leave the fixture.
Heat: LEDs emit very little heat. In comparison, incandescent bulbs release 90 percent of their energy as heat and CFLs release about 80 percent of their energy as heat.
LED lighting is currently available in a wide variety of home and industrial products, and the list is growing every year. The rapid development of LED technology leads to more products and improved manufacturing efficiency, which also results in lower prices. Below are some of the most common types of LED products.
Industrial and Commercial Lighting
The high efficiency and directional nature of LEDs makes them ideal for many industrial uses. LEDs are increasingly common in street lights, parking garage lighting, walkways and other outdoor area lighting, refrigerated case lighting, modular lighting, and task lighting. See our industrial and commercial lighting case studies
Kitchen Under-Cabinet Lighting
Because LEDs are small and directional, they are ideal for lighting countertops for cooking and reading recipes. Since the color can appear more cool or blue than many prefer in a kitchen and there can be some excessive shadowing from some fixtures, it is important to compare products to find the best fixture for your space.
Recessed downlights are commonly used in residential kitchens, hallways, and bathrooms, and in a number of office and commercial settings. The Department of Energy estimates there are at least 500 million recessed downlights installed in U.S. homes, and more than 20 million are sold each year. LED technology can decrease downlight wattage by 75% or more.
LED Replacement Bulbs
With performance improvements and dropping prices, LED lamps can replace 40, 60, and even 75 watt incandescent bulbs. It’s important to read the lighting facts label to make sure the product is the right brightness and color for the intended location. When chosen carefully, LED replacement products are a far superior option.
LEDs consume far less electricity than incandescent bulbs, and decorative LED light strings, such as Christmas tree lights, are no different. Not only do LED holiday lights consume less electricity, they also have the following advantages:
Safer: LEDs are much cooler than incandescent lights, reducing the risk of combustion or burned fingers.
Sturdier: LEDs are made with epoxy lenses, not glass, and are much more resistant to breakage.
Longer lasting: The same LED string could still be in use 40 holiday seasons from now.
Easier to install: Up to 25 strings of LEDs can be connected end-to-end without overloading a wall socket.
Estimated cost of electricity to light a six-foot tree for 12 hours a day for 40 days
Estimated cost* of buying and operating lights for 10 holiday seasons
*Assumes 50 C-9 bulbs and 200 mini-lights per tree, with electricity at $0.119 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) (AEO 2012 Residential Average). Prices of lights based on quoted prices for low volume purchases from major home improvement retailers. All costs have been discounted at an annual rate of 5.6 percent. Life span assumed to be three seasons (1,500 hours) for non-LED lights.
By replacing your home’s five most frequently used light fixtures or bulbs with models that have earned the ENERGY STAR, you can save $75 each year.
Compared to traditional incandescents, energy-efficient light bulbs such as halogen incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and light emitting diodes (LEDs) have the following advantages:
Typically use about 25%-80% less energy than traditional incandescents, saving you money.
Can last 3-25 times longer.
Today’s energy-efficient bulbs are available in the wide range of colors and light levels you’ve come to expect. While the initial price of energy-efficient bulbs is typically higher than traditional incandescents, newer bulbs cost less to operate, saving you money over the life of the bulb. Many of the newer bulbs last significantly longer than traditional bulbs, so you won’t need to replace them as often.
The table below compares a 60 watt (W) traditional incandescent with energy efficient bulbs that provide similar light levels.
*Based on 2 hours/day of usage, an electricity rate of 11 cents per kilowatt-hour, shown in U.S. dollars.
If it seems like LED lighting is popping up everywhere you look these days, that’s because it is. Installation of A-type bulbs jumped 160 percent between 2014 and 2015, and those numbers continue to grow. Projections show that increased usage could save Americans nearly $630 billion in avoided energy costs between now and 2035. That’s because no other lighting technology has more energy-saving potential than LED lighting—also known as solid-state lighting (SSL).
But SSL is just scratching the surface of what it can do. With just 5 percent of its energy-saving potential met, continued research by government and industry could help unlock even more savings. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recently released a report recommending that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) continues its R&D efforts that address key technological challenges for high-efficiency SSL.
Because a strong focus on LED lighting research will benefit the country in these five compelling ways:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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