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  • Benefits Of LED Lighting

    Longer Lasting

    Companies taking a long view of their progress instead of focusing primarily on their next quarterly report can achieve greater cost savings when they adopt state-of-the-art technology like LED lights.

    One of the chief benefits of installing LED lights at your premises is how strong and long lasting they are as compared to conventional incandescent and fluorescent lights. LEDs are sturdier and usually have no glass components.

    What’s more, they are less sensitive to extreme temperatures, making them ideal for installation in commercial buildings. This makes them safer to use in a variety of business facilities, as well as being longer-lasting than their more fragile counterparts.

    The useful life of an LED can be more easily described in terms of how many operating hours it provides until it reaches the point of giving off 70% of the initial light output, at which point replacement is recommended, according to the Department of Energy. With that in mind, you should know that quality LEDs (white light used as a baseline) are designed to be useful for 50,000 hours or more. Compare that to the 1,000 hours you typically can get from incandescent bulbs, 8,000 to 10,000 hours for compact fluorescent bulbs and up to 30,000 hours you can get from the most efficient linear fluorescent lights.

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    Effectively, this means you will no longer need to worry about replacing burned out bulbs after making the switch to LEDs, freeing up staff to focus on more pressing concerns than light bulb changes. It’s also worth noting that the drivers used with LED lights last longer than conventional lighting ballasts, which further cuts down on your maintenance and replacement costs.

    Lower Maintenance Costs

    When it comes to evaluating the costs of lighting in your organization, ongoing maintenance costs is an expense not to be overlooked.

    The lighting fixtures in your commercial or industrial facility represent fixed costs in terms of maintenance, repairs, and replacement requirements. Anything you can do to reduce the amount of maintenance on something as crucial as lighting will do wonders for your company’s bottom line.

    Employees who have been tasked for routine light bulb inspection and maintenance can be redeployed to other, more pressing concerns once you install energy-efficient LED lights.

    Since LEDs last so much longer than standard fixtures, not having to replace them naturally leads to lower maintenance and labor costs (on top of the energy cost savings, more on that later). For many businesses, this is reason enough for making the switch to LEDs. Of course, you will also benefit because you’ll have bragging rights about how you are more energy efficient than ever in your next marketing campaign.

    Lighting choices are especially important in operations where the fixtures are hard to reach or might require operational downtime during replacement. You don’t need to bring out big ladders or worry about the safety concerns that arise whenever working at great heights. Furthermore, your maintenance program will no longer have to include provisions for safely disposing of and recycling burned out incandescent and fluorescent bulbs.

    Lower Energy Cost

    Many owners and facility managers decide to transition from old-fashioned incandescent lights and fluorescent bulbs after they go over their recent utility bills. Shocked at the discovery of how much they are spending every month, stakeholders in these organizations look for ways they can immediately curb costs. LED lighting is appealing because of the profound cost savings that can be achieved after installation.

    The annual savings realized through LED adoption in the United States are on the order of 143 BTU nationwide, which is equivalent to a reduction of approximately $1.4 billion, according to the Department of Energy, based on the latest available statistics. If all commercial and industrial applications switched to LEDs overnight, the savings would rise to 4,896 BTU, which is equivalent to $49 billion, noted the DOE.

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    At the level of individual companies, the amount you can save will vary based on several factors, including number of fixtures, hours of usage, and the level of lighting needed. Generally speaking, though, an average 50,000 square foot commercial building spends about $45,000 a year on energy costs related to lighting each year. Imagine cutting that by up to 80%. What would that do to your bottom line?

    Interested in learning exactly how much your building or property could be saving with a conversion to LED fixtures? Sign up for a professional lighting assessment from XtraLight today and we’ll provide a savings summary customized to your facility at no cost.

    Environmentally Friendly

    Your organization is likely already taking some steps to “go green” and do more to conserve natural resources. For example, you avoid printing documents when digital files will suffice, and you recycle whenever possible. Businesses can lower their carbon footprint further when they make the switch from traditional incandescent bulbs or fluorescent lights (including compact fluorescents) to LEDs.

    When you use incandescent bulbs, a great deal of waste heat is generated along with the light. This means running the air conditioning longer and more often than if you used cooler LEDs that give off no heat, focusing energy into making visible light.

    Since you are using less electricity with LEDs, you are putting less of a burden on your local power utility. Consequently, less pollution is generated (such as from a coal or gas-powered plant).

    Even the supply chain for lighting must be taken into account when you are examining environmental benefits. LED lights are smaller and weigh less than conventional bulbs, so you can ship more of them by boat, rail and truck. The more businesses that adopt LED lights, the less gas will be burned in transporting them from manufacturers’ factories and warehouses.

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    Conventional bulbs must be handled with care when you are done using them, to avoid putting more toxic materials, such as mercury from fluorescent bulbs, into the nation’s landfills and garbage dumps.

    Reducing your organization’s carbon footprint will do more than just save you on rising utility costs. It’s also good for branding and marketing, since you can promote the fact that you have recently transitioned to energy-efficient LEDs. This helps bring in more customers who have concerns about the environment, as well as when recruiting new employees who want to make a difference in the world by going green.

    Eliminate Dark Spots

    In manufacturing facilities, warehouses, and other commercial and industrial environments, proper lighting is essential for the safety of workers, vendors, employees, and other people visiting the premises. You must provide sufficient coverage of the entire facility, which can cost a great deal when trying to get by with fluorescent or incandescent fixtures.

    With LED lights, you can achieve much tighter control over where the lights are positioned and what they are aimed at. This leads to less wasted light and better overall coverage. For organizations with a mandate to eliminate “dark spots,” installing LEDs is a crucial step toward modernizing facilities.

    Consider an automotive dealership. A great deal of expensive inventory stays in the parking lot. Dark spots in parking lot lighting can encourage criminals bent on vandalism and theft. Adding energy-efficient LED lights to eliminate dark spots therefore provides you with greater security.

    For even greater efficiency, you can augment your commercial LED lighting setup with dimmer switches so your workers will only use the level of light needed for a given application while still getting proper coverage.

    To maximize efficiency, installing motion sensors will provide even more benefits, since the coverage you require is typically dependent on the presence of people in a given area. So after a meeting in the conference room or when the assembly line has shut down for the day, sensors will detect that no one has moved in a while, indicating it is time to shut down the LEDs in that area of the building automatically.

    Create Safer Environments

    Safety is a top priority at your organization and it’s your responsibility to ensure that there is proper lighting to help keep everyone safe. This is where switching over to LED lighting can really make a difference.

    The more complete light coverage you can achieve with LED lighting means you will have fewer “dark spots”, which is essential for overall safety as well as deterring crime.

    * Parking Lots

    When employees must work late at night or early in the morning before sunrise, it’s essential that you protect them with full lighting coverage in the parking lot. Even if you have security guards to provide escorts to and from vehicles during the night, it’s better to have proper illumination in the form of LED fixtures.

    * Parking Garages

    Parking garages, due to their closed structure and relative isolation from a company’s main building, are another place where you will want to install bright, energy-efficient LED lights that last up to 50,000 hours before needing to be replaced.

    Consider the fact that more than 10 percent of property crimes take place in parking lots or parking garages, according to the latest figures available from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics.

    * Area Lighting at Schools and Office Buildings

    Whether you manage an office or a school, safety is of paramount importance for each teacher, student, and parent. You’ll want to provide area lighting in out-of-the-way locations and LED lights are a superior option because they provide more complete coverage than standard lighting options.

    The fact that they last longer means you won’t need to devote custodial staff time to replacing them as often as you used to. There will also no longer be the problem of dark areas that go unnoticed by staffers for days on end.

    As you can see, LED lights not only reduce energy costs because they generate no waste heat (like incandescent bulbs), they can also improve safety at your premises. From parking lots to general area illumination in schools, office buildings, and other locations open to workers or the general public, LED lights are a great tool in your arsenal for discouraging criminal activity.

    Tax Benefits

    Savvy business owners are always on the lookout for ways that they can reduce their operating costs. This includes having your accounting department consider the tax benefits and implications of installing solid state, LED lights at your facility to replace outdated and energy-inefficient incandescent bulbs and fluorescent fixtures.

    Tax credits are routinely available to companies that devote resources toward greater energy efficiency. Credits are beneficial because they lower the amount of taxes you must pay, compared to a deduction, which only reduces the amount of taxable income, noted the U.S. Small Business Administration’s page on Federal Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency.

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    The Energy Policy Act of 2005 includes a provision that lets taxpayers who lease or own a commercial building to obtain tax deductions if they install energy-efficient lighting systems, according to the SBA. Bear in mind that in order for you to apply for these benefits on your taxes, you must have a professional verify that any installed equipment meets the requirements for energy efficiency.

    In addition to federal tax benefits for LED users, commercial establishments may enjoy tax benefits at the state level too. Check with officials in your state to get the latest details.

    No two companies are going to have the same exact financial situation, which is why it is important for you to consult with your finance professionals to evaluate the tax-saving aspects of implementing LED lights at your business.

    No Up-front Costs for Large Projects

    Creating a work environment that requires less energy for lighting to get the same job done as when using incandescent lights is the dream of many modern business owners who have concerns about preserving the natural environment as well as controlling utility costs. For them, light emitting diode or LED lights are the preferred option. This is because LEDs generate no waste heat and last for 50,000 hours or more.

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    If you are preparing to deploy LED lighting in your business, you may have been on the fence because of concerns about initial costs. However, you should know that PACE financing can help. PACE stands for Property Assessed Clean Energy and is a nationwide initiative designed to give organizations access to energy saving technology at affordable rates.

    With large enough projects, you can begin with zero up-front costs through PACE financing. PACE is a voluntary program and participants can receive 100% of the hard and soft costs of a project. Financing terms are available for as many as 20 years. What’s more, you can combine PACE cost savings with federal, local and utility incentive programs for using LED lights.

    How Does PACE Work?

    When you obtain LED system financing for your company through PACE, you repay it as if it was an assessment on your normal property tax bill. This fee is handled in the same manner as other benefits to the public, such as when cities finance sewers and sidewalks.

    According to PACE Nation, the national nonprofit group that advocates for PACE financing, PACE financing remains attached to the property and can be transferred to the next buyer if the original owner had not yet finished paying for the installed LED technology. Property owners and managers can also arrange to split payments among tenants.

    PACE financing lets you begin taking advantage of the energy-saving benefits of LED lighting immediately, enabling you to put your resources to work more effectively in your business.

    No Delays When Turning On

    Don’t you hate how it sometimes takes a moment or two for the lights to turn on at your company? This is especially the case with fluorescent lights, but you may see some flickering when you activate incandescent lights as well.

    Time is money, so any delays that you can eliminate when it comes to using equipment in your organization can be quite beneficial.

    There’s also a psychological aspect to lights that fail to turn on immediately. Having to wait for a flickering ceiling light to fully turn on in your office can hamper enthusiasm for the work ahead.

    It can also be harmful to your brand, if the very infrastructure around you is of such poor quality that even something as basic as lighting is of substandard quality. Delayed activation of lighting is annoying for your guests as well as long-time employees. Standing on the shop floor while workers prepare for their shift while lights sputter around them can result in decreased morale.

    With LEDs, there is no delay in turning on the lights, enabling you to flip a switch for instant illumination. It signifies that your company is robust and has the cash flow to afford modern, low-energy light fixtures.

    Controllability & Connectivity

    The days of people having to wander around office buildings to shut off unused lights are coming to an end, now that more equipment is becoming networked and interconnected over vast distances.

    The Internet of Things or IoT is enabling people to connect a wide array of items via the web. You may have a smart thermostat in your home or workplace that connects to the Internet via Wi-Fi, for example, that lets you check on the temperature while you’re out, as well as make adjustments to the thermostat without having to set foot in the building. This is particularly useful technology to have in remote areas where many processes are already automated, such as in factories that are distant from your headquarters.

    Connectable LED lights are uniquely suited for advanced control systems as well as improved connectivity in commercial and industrial buildings, including those that operate semi-automatically with just a bare staff.

    Because they are digital devices, you can apply exquisite control to LEDs, such as dimming lights by precise amounts, according to other environmental factors, such as the time of day or the number of people working in a building at a given hour.

    According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solid State Lighting Forecast Report, between the year 2015 and 2035, a cumulative energy savings of 62 quads (62 quadrillion BTUs) will be possible if the DOE’s goals for connected lighting and efficient LEDs are realized.

    Computer-connected and controlled LED lights enable you to run your workplace more efficiently, with the added bonus of saving a great deal of electricity, saving money and lowering your organization’s carbon footprint.

    Flexible Design

    The lighting needs in your organization may not necessarily be the same as in other companies, even if you are in the same industry. If your operations have been hampered because you have been forced to get by with old-fashioned, incandescent bulbs, it’s a sign that you could benefit from a technological change.

    Your company might need lighting equipment that is smaller, more flexible for installation or otherwise more compatible with other devices. For example, the illuminated signage that you use for marketing and branding may be too archaic to continue service in your organization.

    Having to task employees with replacing conventional lights that constantly burn out is a drain on your human resources. A customized LED-illuminated sign could be just what you need to improve outreach efforts. An LED sign is programmable and uses much less energy than conventional bulbs.

    Flexible strip lighting built with LEDs allows you to configure a precise lighting pattern in a uniquely shaped room in your facility. This may be for workflow reasons or simply as a different aesthetic choice.

    It’s best to consult with LED lighting professionals, like XtraLight, so you can determine the best approach for your upcoming customized lighting project. You’ll be glad to work with knowledgeable experts who can help you with LED color selection, customized sizing and shapes as well as bespoke applications for your company. You’ll also learn that the flexible, multi-purpose design that is possible with LEDs leads to a myriad of applications and uses.

    Adjustable Color Temperatures for Various Applications

    When you work in a dynamic environment and need the ability to adjust color temperature at will, it’s difficult to get good results if you are relying on fluorescent bulbs or incandescent fixtures.

    With LEDs that have adjustable color temperatures, you can find just the right appearance for your application, quickly and easily.

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    For example, to improve employee efficiency, you could set up LED lights that simulate the cycling colors from sunrise to sunset indoors to reinforce circadian rhythms. Such a setup is often referred to as biodynamic lighting. Cooler colors are used to simulate the morning sun with adjustable LED lights, which you then shift to warmer temperatures as evening approaches.

    Color temperature in the 4000K range is often used in locations such as parking lots, factories and warehouses, while stores typically prefer 3000k to 3200K for showcasing items in a retail setting.

    For product demonstrations, being able to adjust the color temperature during your presentation can make items more appealing to the audience. You can use a full color tunable LED or a tunable white LED source to achieve different levels of intensity and hue.

    Whatever your adjustable color temperature needs may be, you can rest assured that a consultation with LED lighting professionals is just a quick phone call away.

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