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Replacing T-5 and T-8 Lighting with LED’s

Posted Mar 17th, 2017

Replacing T-5 and T-8 Lighting with LED’s TERESA MADALENO

Lighting is responsible for a significant percentage of energy used in Industrial and Commercial buildings. A lot of these facilities are still equipped with Florescent T-5 and T-8 lighting technologies. It’s true that not long ago, T-5 and T-8 fixtures were considered great replacements for the energy guzzling T-12 and Metal Halide fixtures; however, the fact remains – that LED’s are on average 50-65% more efficient than Florescent and Metal Halide fixtures.

T-5 and T-8 Florescent bulbs have an average life span of 12,000 – 18,000 hours, and Metal Halide have 8,000 to 14,000 hour life which is okay until you realize that LED bulbs have a 50,000 hour rating for bulbs and LED fixtures have over 100,000 hour’s of MTBF for new fixture replacement. Commercial Lighting providers suggest that there are a lot of misconceptions about LED’s such as, they don’t give off enough light, are too expensive, and they produce too much heat.

LED lighting comes in a variety of intensities across a wide spectrum of light levels that can be described as a much better quality of light output, with dramatically reducing the amount of electricity. The prices of LED’s have come down considerably (over 50% since 2015 ) since they were first introduced to the market. Today they are just slightly more expensive than other types of bulbs and fixtures but due to the efficacy of LED’s the payback of this disruptive technology is under 2 year’s. There are still very attractive rebates that drive down the capital costs of these energy reduction initiatives providing a stronger payback.

LED Journal reports that even though they produce a lot less heat than fluorescent and Metal Halide bulbs, LED’s still produce some heat. The real difference between LED’s and other types of lighting is that LED bulbs do not give off infrared and ultraviolet light waves, which of course is a good thing.

LED’s will eventually replace all Florescent, Incandescent and metal Halide lamps based on the number of hours being used, which will dictate whether it makes financial sense or not. This is where it may be worth it to have a professional lighting or energy expert manage the audit process and rebates to validate the true payback and ROI on an LED lighting retrofit project. Below are points to considered when determining if this energy saving technology is right for your business:

• Long Lasting - 50,000 - 100,000 hour warranty dramatically reduces your maintenance costs
• Rugged – made of solid material, not filament, tube or bulb that can easily break. (No more storage of replacement bulbs)
• Not affected by cold – will light up even in sub-zero weather, no flickering
• Directional - light can be directed wherever you want so no light goes to waste (Dark Sky approved)
• Excellent color spectrum availability – LED’s don’t wash out colors so they are perfect for displays, products etc.
• Control friendly – both color and brightness can be controlled with LED’s (fully dimmable)
• Environment friendly – they don’t contain any mercury, prevent ground water contamination if old bulbs are not disposed of properly.
• Versatile – great for use in applications that are subject to on-off cycling, unlike other types of lighting that when cycled tend to burn out quickly.
• Will achieve full brightness in microseconds. No hot restrike delay which is found in Metal Halide fixtures

The idea of swapping out old lighting for new, more efficient lighting can seem like a big task, not just because you have to get to know what all your options are, but because there is installation time involved. Outsourcing such a retrofit is often the best approach since an energy specialist already understands all the options. They can quickly review for you the break down of the costs and provide you with the best rebates possible and attribute it to your life cycle analysis of energy savings. Those who have gone ahead with lighting retrofits often say the best part is that they no longer have to worry about regular maintenance with LED’s such as constantly replacing bulbs which allows them to do what they do best, run their company.

Contact illumineris to request your Preliminary Engineering Study.