What is the right approach for an LED upgrade? The answer depends on who you ask. Some people recommend a conservative retrofit, while others will push for a complete upgrade. So, what is the best approach for your commercial space?
To find the answer, you need to ask yourself 5 questions.
5 Questions to Ask Before an LED Conversion
1. Are energy savings the main goal?
It’s estimated 85 percent of traditional light costs are from energy usage. Converting to LED lighting is a straightforward way to reduce energy usage and cost.
You can use an LED conversion calculator to determine your energy savings. On average, most commercial offices see a wattage reduction of 50-70 percent. It is a substantial saving that adds up over time.
In our blog Calculating Your Lighting Only Energy Savings in an LED Retrofit, we provide all of the calculations you need to determine your energy savings from an LED conversion. We walk you through step-by-step, through the calculation process with examples. Start calculating your savings by clicking here!
2. Are you trying to reduce your operating budget?
Linear LEDs have advantages that affect operating costs. The lamps have a longer life span than Fluorescents, typically 20,000 to 80,000 hours. If the lights are constantly turned on, you may save money on replacement lamps. Depending on the number of fixtures, it can be costly replacing all of your fluorescent lights.
Compare your operating budget to energy costs. You do see a significant reduction in energy usage. If you only have the budget for materials and labor, you may need to do a gradual LED conversion.
3. Are you trying to reduce maintenance?
Some light fixtures are installed in awkward places. You almost need to hire a contortionist to change the lamps. You might also need a bucket truck, or lift depending upon the location.
An LED upgrade can reduce maintenance, especially in hard-to-reach fixtures. If you’re using standard 20,000-30,000 hour fluorescents, upgrading to LED will result in fewer lamps needing to be changed.
If you are on a tight budget, you can start the retrofit project by replacing only these lamps.
Just like in our blog on calculating energy savings we have one for calculating maintenance savings in an LED conversion. If you have more questions, you can schedule a call with one of our LED lighting specialists to discuss your project.
4. Are you looking to improve visual appeal?
LED technology continues to advance and improve light quality. Improved lighting can add visual appeal to a commercial space.
Lighting helps to set a tone, and it is important to restaurant and retail spaces. You want customers to relax and feel comfortable in the space. Lighting is also crucial in lobbies. The space looks better, and everyone can easily move around.
Improving a space with the use of LED lighting may not be a primary goal, but it is one to consider. Customers will be happier, along with your employees.
5. Is your goal social responsibility or sustainability?
With an LED lighting conversion you are practicing sustainability and social responsibility. LED lamps use less energy, are mercury-free, and do not require extensive and costly recycling like fluorescent lights.
You also earn LEED points for the building. It indicates your company is socially responsible. It’s something your consumer may look for.
The answers to these five questions seem to point towards LED lights as being the best choice, but every commercial space is different.
Here are two scenarios you may encounter, and a complete LED upgrade may not be what your business needs.
- Large buildings that are looking for long-term energy-efficient solutions or want their property to stand out should consider LED lighting. The improvement in lighting quality ensures your building stands out. You can also take advantage of rebates, along with the energy usage costs.
- Owners and managers of multiple properties with tight operational budgets may not be able to complete an entire LED retrofit. In this case, you may want to only replace hard-to-reach lamps, along with those in the lobby. You’ll have some of the benefits of LED lighting without the expense of converting every fixture.
Is A LED Lighting Conversion Right for You
An LED conversion can save on energy costs and usage, but a complete retrofit isn’t the right choice for everyone. Weigh your options and answer the 5 questions. See what your priorities are, along with the operational budget.
We’re here to help answer any questions and go over your options. We have dedicated LED lighting professionals waiting to answer all of your LED conversion questions, call 610-558-9773 or email [email protected] for assistance, or schedule a call below.