Considering LED Lighting? Here’s What You Should Know
CommercialOct 30, 2018
October 2018 Edition: Considering LED Lighting? Here’s What You Should Know
Lighting is a significant contributor to your electricity usage, even in the middle of the day. Most businesses have interior lights on during operating hours, contributing up to 30% of your energy load during a summer peak. While the most effective way to reduce energy use from lighting is to turn them off, that isn’t your only option.
Light-emitting diode (LED) light bulbs use less electricity and are often brighter than incandescent or fluorescent light bulbs. In fact, these bulbs will reduce your peak load and your annual energy costs. In this edition of Customer Insights, we’ll explore current technology, applications, costs and savings to help you decide if LED lighting is right for your business.
How Efficient is Your Facility?
If you upgraded your business to high efficiency fluorescent lighting, you may think your lighting system is energy efficient. However, for example, you saved 50% by replacing a 400-watt metal halide lamp with a T8 or T5 intensity fluorescent fixture, you can now replace that fluorescent fixture with LED and save another 50% without reducing light levels. What Are the Benefits of Led Compared to High Efficiency Fluorescent?
Significant energy savings. In 2018, businesses that use efficient fluorescent systems are able to reduce their energy consumption by 50% or more by upgrading to the latest generation of LED products.
Longer warranties than traditional products. Five or ten-year warranties are commonly available for most LED products.
Significant maintenance savings. A typical T8 fluorescent tube’s life expectancy is rated for 24,000 hours compared to LED tubes which are rated for 50,000 hours or more.
Easier disposal. Unlike fluorescent lamps, LEDs do not contain mercury, which needs to be recycled.
Since their introduction a decade ago, LED fixtures have made great strides in efficiency and significant reductions in cost. The first LED fixtures used in upgrade projects were replacements for exterior fixtures such as wall packs, floods and area lights. As the market matured, there is now an LED product for every application and all the common applications are cost-effective.
One example of increased efficiency and technology is tubular LED lamps, typically meant to replace T8 lamps. When the first LED tubes came out five years ago, the cost per tube was nearly $100 and the light produced was insufficient. Since then, LED lamps have improved, providing higher light levels than fluorescent lamps with reduced cost less than $10 per tube.
One thing to note about falling LED prices is that although costs are flattening out, recently enacted tariffs will increase prices moving forward. Speak with a trusted lighting contractor if delaying a project should be considered. Retrofit vs. New Fixtures
Using retrofit products is a cost-effective way to capture the benefits of LED technology if the existing fixture is in good shape. The most common retrofit is using LED tubes to replace existing linear fluorescent tubes.
Underwriters Laboratory (UL) has classified tubular LED’s into three categories:
There are distinct advantages and disadvantages to all three of these categories, and you should thoroughly discuss them with your lighting contractor before making a decision.
On the other hand, new fixtures can provide advantages over retrofit options, including updated fixture aesthetics, improved light distribution and longer-rated life of the product. Depending on the extent of your project and budget, new fixtures may be worth the additional cost. Replacing high bay and exterior fixtures is recommended for improved lighting of large areas and new fixtures typically have a significantly lower cost of maintenance. Controls
Incorporating lighting controls into a project can contribute substantially to both savings and cost. Controls can range from simple hard-wired occupancy sensors to a wireless network where each fixture can be controlled from any internet connected device. Utility Incentives
There are a variety of incentive programs available that make the financial side of an LED project more attractive by providing a cash rebate. It’s important to understand all of the various incentive programs and requirements or work with an experienced contractor, such as Lighting Services, that does.
Upgraded, modern lighting creates a positive impact on customers, employees and your business’ bottom line. Look for a reputable lighting contractor who can handle your project from conception through completion. Interested in Learning More?
Is your business considering an LED project? Find out more by contacting: Joe Stoner Business Development Manager
Lighting Services, Inc.
Market Overview – AEP Energy Trading Natural Gas
During the month of September 2018, natural gas and power continued to push higher on above average temperatures and strong liquidations.
Prompt month (October 2018) natural gas at Henry Hub rose $0.091/MMBtu to $3.008/MMBtu, while December 2018 was up $0.058/MMBtu to $3.091/MMBtu.
Further out the curve, Calendar 2019 was the exception being down less than a penny at $2.778/MMBtu, while Calendar 2020 was up $0.015/MMBtu to $2.644/MMBtu.
Power PJM – Ohio
Power was stronger throughout as November 2018 AEP – Dayton Hub advanced $1.70/MWh to $36.35/MWh, December 2018 was up $0.80/MWh to $36.30/MWh.
Beyond that, Calendar 2019 was up $0.85/MWh to $36.95/MWh and 2020 rose $0.89/MWh to $35.35MWh.
PJM ComEd zone September 2018 day-ahead on-peak power climbed $1.46/MWh closing the month at $37.69/MWh.
MISO Illinois.Hub September 2018 day-ahead on-peak power rose $1.25/MWh closing at $37.89/MWh
Any references made to prompt month natural gas will normally be associated with a range starting the first day of the month through the final settlement of the respective prompt month natural gas contract. Other references to forward natural gas prices and all power prices will be based on a range starting the first day of the month through the final day of the month. AEP Energy does not guarantee the accuracy, timeliness, suitability, completeness, freedom from error, or value of any information herein. The information presented is provided “as is”, “as available”, and for informational purposes only, speaks only to events or circumstances on or before the date it is presented, and should not be construed as advice, a recommendation, or a guarantee of future results. AEP Energy disclaims any and all liabilities and warranties related hereto, including any obligation to update or correct the information herein. Summaries and website links included herein (collectively, “Links”) are not under AEP Energy’s control and are provided for reference only and not for commercial purposes. AEP Energy does not endorse or approve of the Links or related information and does not provide any warranty of any kind or nature related thereto. Forward-looking statements contained herein are based on forecasted or outlook information (including assumptions and estimations) but any such statements may be influenced by innumerable factors that could cause actual outcomes and results to be materially different from those anticipated. As such, these statements are subject to risks, uncertainties, fluctuating market conditions, and other factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from expectations and should not be relied upon. Whether or how the customer utilizes any such information is entirely its responsibility (for which it assumes the entire risk).
Energy cost is a considerable part of any organization’s operating budget – and an important one to get right. However, some businesses with abundant electric and natural gas accounts across many regions and utilities find that cost management is challenging and best practices are difficult to implement. For some, effective cost management results in administrative …
Our experience through the last three years has taught us – or reminded us perhaps – that we are living in a world where uncertainty is the norm and a consistent, linear progression of events is not to be counted upon. Thus, the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. In few areas …