One of our lighting suppliers answers your questions about LED low energy lighting
More and more of you are asking us about how low energy lighting can not only help notch up your green credentials, but also save you a significant amount of money. So we’ve taken the liberty to call on one of our lighting suppliers, Energys, to answer some of those burning questions.
Q) LEDs are more expensive than regular lighting – why should I invest?
A) LEDs might have a higher initial cost but they consume far less energy (up to 70% saving) so save you money in the long run. They also have a much longer life expectancy than traditional fluorescent or incandescent lighting, lasting up to 10 times longer, reducing replacement and maintenance costs.
Q) How long does it normally take for me to see return on my investment for LEDs?
A) It’s typically much quicker than you may think; less than three years is the norm.
Lighting upgrades tend to be popular as the return on investment is relatively fast and the upfront costs tend to be lower than other energy efficient technologies. As an example, organisations often find they can get staff on board more easily with a lighting project than with many other energy efficiency projects, as good quality lighting positively affects the majority of employees.
Q) Prices of LEDs vary considerably – are the cheaper ones just as good, or do you get what you pay for?
A) The vast range of LEDs on the market makes product selection difficult and can lead to a temptation to buy cheaper lamps.
LEDs should give low glare, a colour that promotes a comfortable working environment, even light distribution and low flicker. Higher quality lamps tend to have these characteristics, more so than some of the cheaper lamps on the market. Higher quality LEDs should also offer a life expectancy of at least 50,000 hours of light, which should be backed up with a manufacturer’s warranty to ensure there is a remedy if things go wrong.
Interesting factor to note: The Lighting Industry Association (Europe’s biggest lighting trade association) has introduced a code of conduct for all members which is enforced via market surveillance and spot checks on all member’s products. What this means in practice is that all LIA members must be able to demonstrate that their products fully comply with all relevant regulations and that all claims made about product performance and characteristics must be proven. If you want to have confidence in the manufacturers claims, consider sourcing from LIA member companies – in that way you can be confident all the claims are valid.
Q) Do LEDs cause more glare than traditional lamps?
A) Poorer quality lamps can cause glare, so it’s worthwhile investing in higher quality LEDs. Colour options should be considered to give a softer light where appropriate and there are guidelines available which show the recommended average lux levels for different types of working space:
- Corridors and toilets – 100 lux average
- Stairs and escalators – 200 lux average
- Plant rooms, store rooms, break rooms, entrance halls – 200 lux average
- Classrooms, workshops, offices (mainly screen-based work) – 300 lux average
- Conference rooms, adult education classrooms (mainly paper-based work) 500 lux average
If you’re interested in low energy lighting for your organisation, speak to us as we have a framework that caters for the design, supply, fitting and maintenance of internal lighting systems, outside building mounted lighting and emergency lighting systems.