LED Lighting offers much more than energy savings

  • By Josh Morphew
  • 20 Feb, 2017
LED Lighting can provide more that direct energy savings.

At this point most everyone we visit with is well aware of energy saving components of LED lighting. As the costs and efficiency of the bulbs and fixtures themselves continue to improve, the length of time for a facility to recoup the investment in lighting has gotten shorter. Still, the investment level for many facilities is still quite a significant upfront investment.

While there are companies who are willing to step in and finance the lighting retrofit to LED, there are certainly additional costs to be considered any time capital is borrowed. Borrowing money to finance lighting projects simply isn’t an option for all businesses, for those companies which it makes sense, there are no shortage of lighting companies available to provide this funding source.

Many of our Oklahoma clients who have decided to make the investment in high efficiency LED lighting have shared with us how they wished they had done it much sooner. The timing from one business to the next will vary and has to fit in with the overall business plan, but there are other benefits to capture than just the energy savings.

Going beyond direct energy savings

Many of our clients, as well as non-client local business we have visited with, have shared with us other reasons they decided to move forward and invest in changing out their lighting to high efficiency LED.

Rebate programs available for most Oklahoma businesses

Both OG&E and Oklahoma City area businesses, as well as PSO and Tulsa area business, have rebate programs available. Many other utility providers in Oklahoma also have some type of rebate or incentive program for their commercial customers.

Programs we have seen range from actual rebates to situations where some of the project is paid for directly by the utility company. These can be especially helpful to offsetting some of the upfront investment on lighting projects. The type of rebates available to your business from one utility provider to another will vary, we encourage you to check with your provider to see if they have any programs available for you.

 Another feature is that most will allow you to take advantage of their programs for portions of your facility. Some business may only upgrade parts of their facility, typically the areas where the savings will be the greatest. Some businesses we know of chose to upgrade the lighting in their warehouse area and parking lots before addressing the office areas of their buildings.   

If you are in the OG&E or Edmond Electric utility areas, we are familiar with their programs and would be help you determine the associated rebates which could be available to you. If you are in another utility provider’s service area in the state of Oklahoma and would like to upgrade your lighting, we would

Wide flexibility of applications

With each passing year there are more and more lighting options available using LED technology. This trend will likely continue for years to come, it has to be a designer’s dream. Things which in the past would have been very difficult and costly to add lighting to, are now much easier to customize lighting for.

Some options we commonly see used today in commercial projects include:

  • LED Light Sheets – These panels will often have the appearance of an acrylic panel, with LED lighting embedded in the perimeter. These panels can be customized to most any shape, size, thickness, and color, giving them limitless potential for eye catching commercial lighting.
  • LED Linear profiles and strip lights – These lights can be used for a large variety projects. In the past, coves and accent pieces in architecture were very limited on the types of lighting they can use. Today, LED strip lighting or linear lighting solutions allow for most any look or feel the business would like. You can see the effects of these types of lighting in most an urban center over the last 5 years, as the appearance of many existing buildings has been greatly transformed using LED strip lighting.
  • Smart Lighting compatibility – LED lighting tends to work well with a wide variety of control systems. Technology is evolving quickly allowing for lighting system to integrate with a building’s wireless internet, as well as other systems of sensors.

For example, some buildings lighting is integrated with occupancy sensors throughout, and will automatically turn lights out in areas of the building not being used. There are parking lots where sensors are built into the lighting system to monitor the availability of parking spaces.

Less impact on heating and cooling loads for buildings

One often overlooked component of facility lighting is the impact it can have on the heating and cooling loads for the facility. Traditional lighting produces much more heat than LED lighting, which can be a real issue in hotter climates like Oklahoma.

The added efficiency and reduced demand for cooling on building HVAC equipment can reduce the operating and maintenance costs for the facility. LED lighting still produces some heat, but a well -designed LED lighting system will have negligible impacts on the cooling demand for your facility.

Reduced maintenance costs for the facility

If you completely replaced all of the lighting in your facilities with 10-Year LED lighting, you would have zero lighting maintenance in most instances for the next decade. Many of the businesses we have visited with who invested in an LED retrofit have shared this impact on their bottom lines was substantial.

We have even heard of a few businesses who have hesitated to move forward with a retrofit because they have a couple individuals in their employment whose only tasks involve traditional lighting maintenance, such as changing out bulbs and ballasts. We obviously cannot advise anyone on how to handle this, though we have heard of a few businesses being able to repurpose those roles while improving the efficiency of their maintenance operations.

For many business types with internal maintenance, not having to deal with traditional lighting maintenance has allowed them to stay focused on other areas of building maintenance for tenants and owners.

Baxter Commercial Services provides licensed electrical services to businesses across Oklahoma.  Services include lighting design and LED retrofits for interior and exterior application.   Contact Baxter Commercial with any questions about LED lighting and rebate programs available. 

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 Jim’s situation is very common. Many businesses think of backup power as an all-or-nothing scenario. Permanently installed generators are cost prohibitive so they settle for nothing instead.   Today, facility managers and building owners have more choices, providing them with the reassurance of having backup power at a fraction of the cost.

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