evolution-of-lightingWhy, in a world as technologically advanced as ours, would supplying low-cost energy to all be a problem? That is a question for wiser people than me to answer. I’m sure getting down to the truth of it all would be quite an adventure. Political correctness and vested interests aside, the fact is that most of us do come together when we learn of a product that positively affects our bottom line.

This proves to be historically true. Back in the late 1800’s the traditional light bulb we have all grown up with—also called the incandescent bulb—replaced kerosene lamps and candles. Incandescent light was far safer, inexpensive and more reliable. Use of these bulbs spread like proverbial wildfire. New factories arose during the industrial revolution and these lights were used to create extended working hours so more could be produced.

We have been using these bulbs for more than a century now. Let’s see how they stack up today.

  • The traditional incandescent light bulb is very energy inefficient compared to new lighting innovations
  • Incandescent bulbs convert only about 20% – 30% of the energy they use into light
  • A great deal of the remaining energy is converted into heat
  • A great deal of waste is created as the bulb only lasts about 1,000 hours and is non-recyclable

Fluorescent Lights

Starting in the 1950s, the fluorescent light began replacing the traditional incandescent bulb in certain applications like retail spaces and office buildings. The fluorescent light is more energy efficient, producing the same amount of light as traditional bulbs with 50% less energy. And fluorescent bulbs last about ten times longer, thus reducing the amount of waste created.

flourescent-tube

However, fluorescent bulbs use mercury gas, which is now considered a hazardous material and the disposal of these bulbs has recently become a serious environmental concern. Additionally, fluorescent lights convert only about 60% of the energy they use into light. Most of the rest of the energy is converted into heat.

HID (High Intensity Discharge) Lights

There was also the high intensity discharge or HID light. These were used in certain settings like parking lots, exterior security lighting, auditoriums or gymnasiums—places where a larger amount of light is needed than the traditional or fluorescent lights can provide.

The HID light was relatively inexpensive and very reliable. However, it is also very energy inefficient, creates hazardous waste and is non-recyclable.

LED Lights

led-wordsThe Light Emitting Diode or LED light was actually invented in the 1930’s. It has a material, called a diode, which emits light when a small amount of electricity flows through it. The high cost of LED lights prevented its widespread use for a very long time. They were first used in the displays of calculators starting in the 1970’s. As the cost of electricity dramatically increased in the late 2000’s, more energy efficient lighting solutions were sought and LED seemed to offer the very best solution:

  • LED lights are very energy efficient–these lights last 3-5 times longer than fluorescent lights and 25 times longer than traditional incandescent lights
  • LEDs convert about 80% of the energy consumed into light and they run very cool
  • LEDs have no hazardous materials and are completely recyclable

The most important benefit that LED lighting offers is that it literally uses less energy than any other type of lighting while producing the same amount of light.

money-and-ratesThis is what is meant by energy efficiency. This high energy efficiency creates a substantial savings in electric utility costs.

As compared to traditional lights, LED offers unbelievable savings. Replacing a traditional bulb using 100 watts with its LED equivalent represents a 90% reduction in energy use, while producing the same amount of light.

When compared to fluorescent lights, LED also offers substantial utility savings.

Upgrading from the standard fluorescent tube light, the LED equivalent represents a 45% reduction in energy use.

When compared to HID lights, LED offers astounding savings. Upgrading from the standard exterior HID light, the LED equivalent offers a 70% reduction in energy use.

An important key benefit of LED lighting is in the reduction of maintenance costs.

LED lights create a substantial maintenance savings due to their much longer life than the lights they replace.  This creates a substantial cost avoided in replacement lights when upgrading to LED.

changing-a-bulbThis also leads to another key benefit of LED lighting—the elimination of certain maintenance labor costs.

Since LED lights last so much longer than the lights they replace, installation labor costs to replace bulbs and associated electronic equipment can be avoided, which can add up to a substantial savings over the life of an LED bulb.

Another huge key benefit of LED lighting is the fact that these bulbs do not represent any potential hazardous waste.

The disposal of fluorescent and HID bulbs is fast becoming regulated as hazardous waste. There are already hazardous waste disposal locations designated for the voluntary safe disposal of bulbs and associated electronic equipment and this is soon expected to become mandatory.

LED lighting offers a key benefit of convenience created by its very long life.

Upgrading to LED creates a scenario where in many situations the replacement of the LED bulbs would not be required for over a decade and nearly two decades in other situations, making for a long term, worry and maintenance free lighting solution.

And finally, another key benefit LED lighting offers is a better quality of light and better product performance.

Both fluorescent and HID bulbs degrade rather quickly. This is noted by fluorescent or HID bulbs changing to a lighter color, flicking on and off at random or developing a black spot at one end as they near the end of their lifespan. LED lights maintain their color much better, never flicker by design and can’t develop a black spot at one end as they near the end of their life. LED lights also produce a better light spectrum that is closer to natural light. This is how LED offers a much better quality of light.

As far as I’m concerned, these benefits are tremendous and most definitely affect one’s bottom line. In this day of rising prices and looming financial disasters it’s refreshing to find a product that can revitalize our economy on some level—just like the incandescent bulb did when it replaced kerosene. The use of LED has become a passion for us here at CES and we have found it to be a true win-win opportunity.

If you would like to have a free consultation on LED lighting for your business, please feel free to contact Jeannine at jhall@cesstaff.com. Or call us at 844-277-0043.