We've written a decent bit about when upgrading to LED is the best moment. With clear viewpoints from all sides of the spectrum, it seems that this is one of the most charged issues about lighting today.
Any pragmatists look at long-life fluorescent costs, both in terms of performance and low cost of materials, and propose a conservative approach to LED retrofitting. Heavy proponents of LED point to the mercury in linear fluorescents, LEED points, and the energy savings and can’t imagine operating without LED.
Then what's the best commercial office approach?
Our mission is to help our customers prosper, which with different needs will look different. We first strive to consider the priorities of our clients when assessing lighting items and the proper combination. Here are a few things to take into consideration:
- Is energy conservation the main objective?
Energy prices account for around 85 percent of conventional lighting's total expense, so it is common for our customers to be a priority priority for increased energy efficiency. Lighting is a natural pick when it comes to improving energy costs because the measurements and outcomes are reasonably straightforward. When you switch to more powerful lighting, you can reap the financial advantage of the drop in wattage.
By transitioning from linear fluorescent to linear Lead, how much can you save? Generally, the wattage reductions when retrofitting from fluorescent to LED are 50-70+ percent. The question is how soon is the investment going to pay off? To see how the numbers for your building stack up, you can use our lighting retrofit calculator.
- Is reducing your operating budget your main goal?
Another big aspect to remember when assessing LEDs is the operational budget. The truth is that when it comes to your operating budget, linear fluorescents are always a good choice. The cost of fluorescent materials is not bad, and they hold a long-life mark. The lifetime will range from 20,000 hours to more than 80,000 hours (if you have the right form of ballast, longer than LEDs). As a result, if you burn them 18 hours a day you might achieve three to ten years of life from an ordinary linear fluorescent.
And how do LEDs stack up when it comes to the allocation for operations? This depends.
Is the cost of electricity a function of the running budget? If so, with the energy savings you catch, you will be able to finance a retrofit. That said, you might need to expect a slower transition to LED if your operating budget only involves labour and materials.
- Is ease of maintenance your primary objective?
Let's face it. A pain to adjust is certain light bulbs. What are those fancy, imported marble tiles over high ceilings? Or maybe the cove lighting you ought to be a contortionist to reach? If you are working with regular linear fluorescents of 20,000 or 30,000 hours, if you switch to LED, you will have a longer life and less bulb shifts.
If you are running a tight budget (see No. 2 above in the areas that are hardest to adjust, you can need an ultra-long-life linear fluorescent or just retrofitting to LED. If you need to borrow special equipment, you can still be able to explain the expense of the Lead simply by the high cost of changing bulbs.
- Is your main aim to improve your building's aesthetic appeal?
The light efficiency and the potential to place light just where you need it is a big advantage for LEDs as progress around LEDs has continued. This would appear to be more important to distributors or restaurants, but light quality also leads to a better-looking lobby for the building and it is easier for staff and residents to see their jobs.
The high colour efficiency of LED lighting can be a way to bring greater value to your tenants and workers when it comes to linear applications. This isn’t a common primary goal, but it’s worth considering.
- Is your primary goal sustainability or social responsibility?
This is not a primary aim that is general, but it's worth considering.
- Is sustainability or social justice the main objective?
Driven lighting offers valuable environmental advantages. LEDs are mercury-free and do not require recycling like fluorescent products, in addition to the energy efficiency benefits explained above. Through adding LED lighting, many of our customers are still very interested in earning LEED points for their office construction. For you, if sustainability is a target, LEDs should be a top consideration.
You will begin to prioritise what is most important to you when you consider these issues. The list above may appear to be heavily pro-LED, but that's not always the case. Two functional examples are given here:
The No. 1 scenario:
I am the chief engineer of a 50-story office complex in the city's high-rent area. Our tenants are searching for high-end office space and respect sustainability and efficiency. My property manager is involved in long-term effectiveness and our property is distinct from those. If the payback is within two years, he is ready to make an investment. Currently, a couple times he suggested LED lighting to me, asking whether we should try it.
Recommendation of ours:
Because of the value of sustainability and the interest in quality, LEDs would possibly be a top concern. Additional advantages, such as light efficiency, can also help discern the land. Seeing linear LEDs with a sub-two-year payback is not unusual, but you'll certainly want to get a retrofit.
No. 2 scenario:
I am the Chief Engineer in charge of many assets, and my time is shared between them. We run a few office buildings of three to eight floors. Time still seems to be limited, as I run between plumbing, HVAC, and several other demands for my employees. It's simply a nuisance when burned-out light bulbs come to our attention especially when they're a pain to change. I see our electricity prices, but I'm not responsible for them directly, and our materials operating budget is really tight. I've heard of LEDs, but I can't picture having to pay the budget for a retrofit.
Should you go for the office lighting with LED tubes?
LEDs may not be the best match for you right now, frankly. The comparatively low cost of ultra-long-life linear fluorescent may be something to help with the pressure points you face, knowing that to get the maximum advantage, you may need to replace your ballast. Through buying a few bulbs per month or fifth, you may even be able to progressively work LEDs into your house. In the hard-to-maintain areas, you'll certainly want to consider lighting improvements first.
If you can see, there is simply no one-size-fits-all solution to LED illumination retrofitting. In the face of complexity and charged views in the industry, listen to the voice of reason. When you consider your choices, we're here to help.