7 Things to Consider Before Switching to LED Lighting
LED lighting offers a number of benefits over lighting that was installed only a few years ago. It requires less maintenance, lights better and more evenly, and uses less energy. Many have made the switch for higher efficiency and cost savings and we recommend considering these 7 items before switching to LED lighting.
1. Make Sure You Like the Design Before a Final Decision
Don’t just guess at what you’re getting into. Computer modelling is often the first step in evaluating a new design. Secondly, installing a test fixture may be warranted. Many lighting companies will let you request sample fixtures. There are many LED products available and selecting the wrong option makes for a costly error. You want to do this right the first time.
2. Examine Your Options
When considering options, there are some questions you should ask yourself. What type of work is performed at your facility? Some applications require particular lighting with particular color temperatures and illumination levels. You might be required to follow specific Codes or Standards.
Most fixtures have a variety of models with varying illumination outputs, so think about what your space actually needs. Bear in mind that too much light can be just as debilitating as not enough.
Likewise, color temperature can be an important consideration. Different color temperatures can create different effects. A cool white light will produce a crisper, bluish hue that has a higher perceived brightness that is best for large industrial spaces. Lower colour temperatures create a more relaxed feeling which is best for office environments.
3. Consider Retrofitting when Switching to LED Lighting
Much of the cost of switching over to LED lighting will be the labor involved in installation. Having the ability to mount directly to any existing mounting hooks and wiring systems can save on labor costs. Can the system you’re considering provide a 1-for-1 retrofit for your facility?
If not, you might still be able to make it work with retrofit adapters.
4. Know Your Obstructions
Are there internal obstructions that will inhibit the ideal light spread? Also, what kind of environmental concerns will pose a challenge?
As far as internal obstructions go, are there areas on the ceilings and walls that could inhibit light, or that will prevent fixtures access? You might consider alternate mounting options, to reconcile the issue.
Additionally, what environmental challenges present themselves? Do you plan on lighting hazardous locations? How damp is the environment? What are the temperature ranges of the area you need to light? You need to know that your future lighting system can stand up to the environment that you plan to put them in. Look for rugged lights that meet all certification requirements appropriate to your setting.
5. Understand Fixture Reliability and Lifespan
When evaluating potential new lighting systems, think about how long you plan on keeping your fixtures, as well as future maintenance expense.
The switch to LEDs should reduce maintenance and manpower while increasing lighting uniformity and comfort. When looking for a new lighting system, consider both the total system power consumption and expected luminaire lifespan to evaluate costs and savings.
6. Understand the Power Requirements
What kind of power requirements do your new lights need to meet? What voltages do your current lights work with? Is that power clean, or do you experience power dips and surges? It’s helpful to know these answers as you evaluate your lighting options.
Keep in mind that IEEE standards recommend a minimum of 6 kV of surge protection for outdoor solid-state lighting, with a recommended 10 kV for higher-risk areas.
7. Check for Rebates and Incentives
Finally, one of the most important things to figure out is this: are you located in an area that offers any rebates or energy efficiency incentives? You might offset your costs if you find yourself in a spot that incentivizes efficiency upgrades with rebates and tax credits.