The U.S. Department of Energy is a good source of factual information on energy consuming products and practices. They recently added a series of publications on the application of LEDs that are worth reading. LEDS are often touted for energy efficiency and long life but in practice other designfactors must be considered. The article highlights some unique attributes of LEDs:
• Directional light emission – you can direct light only where needed improving overall efficiency
• Size – the LED option is often much smaller than a conventional light source
• Breakage Resistance – since the LED is a solid chip of material it is not subject to damage from vibration or normal breakage
• Cold Temperatures – LED have improved performance in cold temperatures
• Instant On – no warm up required
• Rapid Cycling Capability – frequent switching does not reduce LED lifetime
• Controllability – electronic controls can change light levels and colour
• No IR or UV emissions
For a copy of the full article call your Nexstar representative .
Energy uncertainty has been identified by the U.S. Department of Energy as one of the greatest threats facing the world! The recent release of ISO 50001 can assist in the implementation of an Energy Management System for your organization and turn global uncertainty into your competitive advantage. One of the first steps in achieving this standard is to set up a monitoring and measuring system for all energy components. Energy monitoring systems used to be expensive, difficult to install and generated data that was hard to utilize… but not anymore. We have recently been using a very simple single phase or three phase monitoring system that is perfect for tracking electrical energy use. The system connects to any electrical panel or circuit using split core current transformers that can be installed without shutting down the power. The meter is read continuously and sends the data wirelessly to your current internet connection. The data is available in near real-time on any computer, tablet or smart phone located anywhere there is internet access. The online data is available in long term storage for later analysis.
Nexstar Lighting typically installs one or more of the metering devices prior to start of a project. This will allow the base line to be established and the energy saving reduction verified. The system can be incrementally expanded at any time if you wish to monitor additional panels or circuits. Multiple meters can be grouped as required; for example, it can be used to provide information on energy use within different departments.
For more information contact your local Nexstar representative.
LightFair was a showcase for several highbay fixtures but the focus was on the LED fixtures. Many manufacturers were demonstrating their designs but this is still very much an evolving industry. LEDs are now commonly accepted in the low wattage applications but design considerations are still presenting barriers to higher powered applications. One approach being used by several companies is to offer a modular design using an array of LED fixtures in whatever quantity is required for the application. This seems to be an effective approach to managing the heat dissipation issue.
It seems there are two main issues that are limiting acceptance of high powered LED fixtures:
- Many of the manufacturers are not following standardized testing leading to confusion and frustration in the market. Basic information such as how long will the l lamps last, what is the light output, what deprecation factor with time can be expected is often not available in a consistent format. This makes it very difficult to compare competing LED products or to compare them to other suitable products.
- The overriding barrier seems to be product cost. Current high bay LED products on the market can be ten times the cost of a conventional energy efficient high bay solution. The difference in energy savings is not nearly sufficient to justify the risk associated with using a new technology.
With the number of people working on these issues I’m confident they will be solved but I suspect it will be several years before LED High Bays are commonly used.
We recently attended the annual LightFair in Las Vegas as we do every year to see the new products. This year was definitely the year that LEDs have begun to find a wide range of commercial applications. The products are still expensive but they have come down a lot from only a few years ago. The U.S. Department of Energy is a strong supporter of LED development and they are projecting that costs will continue to decrease and product quality will continue to increase. It is clearly only a matter of time before we find widespread use of LED lamps and fixtures in the commercial/industrial marketplace.
One of the interesting features of LED technology is that it will allow designers to change the way we think of a light fixture. For example many manufacturers were displaying new troffer designs for office applications. These typically fit with a 2×4 T-bar ceiling grid. Many of the new designs are very attractive but still follow the same thinking as in previous years. One creative supplier changed this by making the T-bar the actual light fixture! LED strips can be designed into almost any shape. New LED designs will certainly change our way of thinking about a light fixture.
Natural Resource Canada has provided an update on the ongoing project to ban the T12 lamp. The regulation is currently in the proposal phase and is open for comments. The regulation will harmonize Canadian regulations with the level of the US DOE’s Final Rule published June 26, 2009, as well as the levels set in the newly published CSA standard C819.
Once this proposed regulation is pre-published in the Canada Gazette Part 1, it will again be open for a 75 day comment period and may again be subject to modification before final publication in the Canada Gazette. Effective dates for the enforcement of the regulation will not be any earlier than six months after official publication in the Canada Gazette, although some retailers may decide to remove the products from their shelves earlier than this.
Prepublication of this regulation is expected later this year but there is as yet no firm date. We are expecting another update later this summer.
Overall it is clear that the T12 ban is imminent and there is no better time to replace all existing T12s with newer more efficient technology. Give your Nexstar representative a call for more information and to help you make the right choice.
Have you considered induction lighting for exterior applications?
If you haven’t considered induction lighting for exterior lighting applications it may be time. Induction is a fluorescent lighting technology that can provide a useful operating life of up to 100,000 hours. This makes it an excellent option for applications where maintenance costs can be significant or a major nuisance.
Induction lamps don’t require electrodes and this is the reason for their long life. The lamp itself doesn’t fail like other conventional lamps but will continue to lose light output over its lifetime. As a result end-of-life is typically defined as the point where the light output is no longer adequate for the application. This is usually about 70% of the initial output.
For applications such as plant lighting the depreciation becomes a design consideration to ensure adequate light levels are maintained over the lamp life. For exterior applications light level requirements are normally not as critical. Many wall packs and pole light applications can tolerate quite a variance in light output. The capital cost may be a little higher than for conventional fixtures but the long life and the very good energy efficiency can easily justify the switch.
Yes. If you’re still using T12 fluorescent lighting in your business now is a great time to make the change to an energy-efficient alternative. Here is the reason: the provision of the Federal Minimum Energy Standard mandated the manufacturing of T12 fluorescent bulbs to be phased out in 2012. This means you would have a hard time finding replacement fluorescent bulbs after that.
An equally compelling reason to make the move is savings! T12’s cost far more to operate than T8 or T5 lamps with electronic ballasts. Plus… incentives available through the Ontario Power Authority’s Save-on-Energy program provide generous financial support to encourage businesses to make the switch.
Will these incentives still be available after the ban? Good question – by why take the chance. Once your incentive has bee approved you have up to 12-months to have your project installed. We believe the time to act is now.
Many small businesses have already switched to energy-efficient lighting but there are still plenty of holdouts. Some business owners don’t like the look of twisty compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs), or they find LEDs and CFLs light too glaringly bright. Higher upfront costs of new lighting technologies scare away others. However, it’s worth taking a new look at energy-efficient lighting, if you haven’t already.
Here’s a look at the potential cost savings of making the switch:
Say you have one 60-watt incandescent light bulb that stays on for 60 hours per week and thus uses 3,600 watts per week. That’s 187,200 watts per year, or 1,872 kilowatts. If you pay 10-cents per kilowatt hour for electricity, that bulb costs you roughly $19 per year. Multiply that across 10 incandescent bulbs, and you’re looking at an annual lighting electricity cost of about $190.
Replacing those 10 bulbs with 14-watt CFLs might cost $20. But you would pay only about $44 in electricity each year – a $136 annual electricity savings. (The standard price of LEDs is still quite a bit higher – perhaps $20 per bulb – but that is expected to drop substantially in coming years.)
Research has shown that CFLs are up to four times more efficient than incandescent bulbs. A consumer can replace a 100 watt incandescent bulb with a 22 watt CFL for the same amount of light as CFLs use 50 – 80% less energy.
These types of savings really add up, and support the rationale to ban inefficient bulbs throughout the world. For example, in Zimbabwe the Energy and Power Development minister Elton Mangoma last week said the tender for the distribution of five million CFLs will be conducted in the next two weeks. Mangoma said the development would result in the country saving between 200 and 300MW of power.
Yes! In fact, a Department of Energy (DOE) report released on January 24th, 2012 shows that the adoption of energy-efficient lighting products in the United States has increased over the last decade. Looking at the broad trends, the study shows that in 2010, lighting used approximately 700 terawatt-hours (TWh), or nearly 19% of the electricity produced in the United States. Of the total energy used for lighting, the commercial sector consumed nearly half, or 349 TWh, primarily with fluorescent lighting products. While nearly 6 billion light bulbs are installed in the residential sector compared to approximately 2 billion lamps in the commercial buildings sector, the mostly incandescent residential lamps were not used nearly as much per day, on average, as lights in the commercial sector were used. Also, the average system efficacy (a measure of the amount of light provided per watt of power consumed) of installed lighting increased from 45 lumens per watt in 2001 to 58 lumens per watt in 2010, due mainly to a move from incandescent to compact fluorescent lamps in the residential sector, and from T12 to more-efficient T8 and T5 fluorescent lamps in the commercial and industrial sectors.