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LED Lighting – Economic Benefits
LED Lighting – Economic Benefits

Why is Lighting So Important?

Sufficient and appropriate lighting in the workplace or at one’s workstation is important for a variety of reasons. Proper lighting not only helps one see better while working, but it can also help prevent health issues, improve productivity and creates an overall better working environment. A study conducted by the American Society of Interior Designers indicated that approximately 68 percent of those who work in an office environment had concerns about lighting in their work area.

The challenge is providing adequate ergonomic lighting at an economical price. As LED technology is improving at breakneck speed, it is quickly becoming the go to solution for lighting. According to the U.S. Department of Energy and manufacturers and researchers in the lighting community, solid state lighting (LED technology) is here to stay. Companies such as Phillips, Toshiba and Panasonic are developing LEDs, and are consistently achieving improvements in performance. These firms believe LEDs and organic lightemitting diodes will replace incandescent, halogen and fluorescent sources in just about every application in ten years or less.

How are LEDs Different from Incandescent Bulbs or CFLs?

LED light bulbs use only 2 10 watts of electricity which is 1/3 to 1/30 th of incandescent or compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs). Unlike incandescent bulbs and CFLs, which emit light in all directions, LED bulbs are directional. They drive their light in one direction, or ‘cones’ of varying width depending on the bulb design. This directional light works especially well for task lighting. Directional lighting is also efficient in that it doesn’t waste light (energy) on areas which do not require illumination.

What are the Benefits of LEDs?

Long Lasting LED bulbs last up to 10 times longer than compact fluorescents.

Durable Since LEDs do not have a filament, they are not damaged under circumstances which regular incandescent bulbs would be broken. Because they are solid, LED bulbs hold up well to jarring and bumping.

Cool These bulbs do not cause heat build up; LEDs produce 3.4 btu’s/hour, compared to 85 for incandescent bulbs.

Energy saving – LEDs use a fraction of the wattage of incandescent bulbs. Since LEDs have an extremely long life span, costs for maintenance and replacements are kept at a minimum.

Return on Investment – The combination of these features drive quick return on investments (ROI). As of Q2 2009, paybacks were between 1.5 and 4 years. Taking into account increasing electricity rates, decreasing LED prices, and the cost of maintenance, LED lighting is expected to cross the desired one year ROI some time within 2010.

Mercury free No mercury is used in the production of LEDs. Toxic mercury is used to produce CFLs and can be a problem if the bulbs are not recycled correctly. There is a potential for the dangerous leakage of mercury vapor in the workplace.

Achieving LEED Credits

With growing requirements for energy efficiency and the 2,000 percent explosion in USGBC membership, expertise in lighting systems and how they impact LEED® CI certification has become a competitive focus. There are several categories where task lighting can help achieve points. They include:

Indoor Environmental Quality – Providing task lighting for 90 percent of employees may earn a point for controllability of systems.

Energy and Atmosphere Energy use of both ambient and task lighting must be calculated to meet LEED requirements for carrying percentages below ASHRAE 90.1 2004 standards (under California’s strict Title 24 Energy Efficiency Standards, the maximum is one watt per square foot). Points are being achieved by removing overhead fixtures in existing buildings and adding low energy task lighting.

Innovation and Design Process – By including task lighting as part of a comprehensive ergonomics program that includes appropriate training for employees can help a project earn an additional LEED point.

ESI Ergonomic Solutions’ LED Under Cabinet Lights Incorporating Leading Technology

ESI Ergonomic Solutions has chosen to incorporate the latest technology in the development of under cabinet lighting.

A new high CRI (Color Rendering Index) 85 LED has been chosen. This LED just became available early January, 2010

and offers the best balance between light efficiency and CRI level.

A touchsensitive on/off switch instead of a dimmer has also been incorporated. This decision was due to concerns for

energy efficiency. A dimmer circuit complicates the LED driver circuit and thus, consumes more power. The touch sensitive on/off switch also eliminates the need for a mechanical switch that could eventually break down. The touch sensitive switch not only offers a better experience to the user, but also makes the switch more reliable.

Also of importance was the design of the optics (shape of the bulb). The new optics design that was chosen increases transmission rate of the light from the LEDs and therefore achieves higher overall luminaire efficiency (measured in overall light output/overall power consumption). This is critical for meeting the strict California Title 20 energy requirements.

In an effort to decrease the minimal heat produced by the light, a finned heat sink has been incorporated to provide a

larger surface area for heat dissipation. This design creates a unique element while providing even greater levels of heat management.

The rotating barrel provides the ability to direct the light where it is needed instead
The rotating barrel provides the ability to direct the light where it is needed instead of wasting energy illuminating
unused space.
With ROIs approaching one year, the world will see large scale conversion of fluorescent lighting to LED solutions in
the next few years.