LED is an exciting technology, but completely changing the lighting in your building over to LED may not always be practical nor the best choice today. We still get a lot of questions from customers asking where in their buildings the best places to convert to LED are.
Oftentimes, the switch to energy efficient lighting takes place over a few phases. One section of the building is changed first. Then, when the energy savings from kicks in, more money is allocated for similar projects.
We know it can be difficult to prioritize where you should install LED lighting first, so we put together a list of eight places in a typical building that are ripe for retrofitting, quickly paying for itself and making ongoing maintenance easier:
- THE MAIN LOBBY
Beyond the aesthetic value of having a well-lit main lobby, this area of your building often has the highest ceilings, and it’s lit more often than other areas –– commonly 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
That combination of high ceilings and long burn time makes the lobby a great place to change over to LED. Changing out bulbs in such a place can be extremely labor intensive, requiring your maintenance crew to fetch a taller ladder to climb while obstructing a high traffic area of the building.
If stairs aren’t well lit, you could be facing building code issues and worse, a hazard to your employees and customers. Therefore, stairwell fixtures need to be burning bulbs 24/7, eating up a ton of energy and requiring frequent replacement.
Have you ever set up a ladder on a staircase? It’s not the easiest thing to do. Have you ever tried to shimmy past a ladder on a staircase? That’s not easy either.
Switching to LED as the source of lighting your stairwells can save you a ton of labor and a ton on energy costs almost right away. On top of the LED savings, many new stairwell fixtures also include occupancy controls, saving you even more in the long run.
- ANY APPLICATION USING MR16 LAMPS
MR16s tend to be used in applications which require great directional control or brilliant highlights. They are often used as accent lighting sources in museums, art galleries, landscaping design applications, lobbies, and retail stores. They are also often located in track, recessed, and pendant fixtures.
MR16s can be difficult to access. They also carry a high wattage, high intensity beam, making them prone to considerable heat output and low energy efficiency levels. If you consider all of those facts, looking into LED replacements for MR16s is almost a no-brainer.
- PARKING GARAGES
Like stairwells, parking garages must always be lit. And because they’re often built with thick concrete walls or located underground, even daylight hours in a parking garage can be lacking for natural light, requiring even more from the lighting solution.
Parking garages, naturally, meet a key theme here –– high burn time. And because they’re highly trafficked, replacing a bulb in a parking garage can be not only tedious, but unsafe and obstructive. The less you have to do that, the better.
A switch to LED in a parking garage can not only result in a significant reduction of energy costs, but can also save you money on labor and materials instantly. Many of our customers also find that they get much better lighting from LEDs in their parking garages, making their customers and tenants feel safer.
- OUTDOOR PARKING LOT LIGHTING
Like in parking garages, parking lot lighting applications can be incredibly difficult to access. Lifts are required, coordination can be tricky, and energy costs can be high, seeing as the lights need to be burning all night –– something that’s especially expensive in the winter months.
A long-life lighting solution like LED makes a lot of sense on high-standing poles in parking lots and could win nearly instant payback. Parking lot lighting is another place where the even illumination of LEDs truly shine.
- WAREHOUSE LIGHTING
Like parking garages, warehouses often lack natural light, yet require visibility across a wide-ranging space. Burnt-out bulbs can cause great inconvenience to workers who are searching for specific products. Replacing a lamp in such a setting can slow production, obstructing key areas of the space. And that doesn’t even take into account the difficulty of accessing such an application, which is most often on a high ceiling.
For these reasons, more and more warehouses are making the switch to LED, not only reducing energy costs on the high-burn-time lamps, but aiding productivity at the same time. Some warehouses are also taking advantage of additional savings from built-in controls that come with some LED fixtures.
- EXTERIOR LIGHTING
Whether your building is a high rise or a house, your exterior lighting is probably burning for long hours at your business. It illuminates the parking lot overnight, the front entrance for early bird employees, and, perhaps, various landscaping pieces at your company.
From wall packs to floodlights to shoebox fixtures, these lights are often metal halide or high-pressure sodium, requiring a great deal of energy to go along with the long burn time. Weather conditions and difficult-to-access placement can make maintenance and replacement an ordeal for businesses.
So a lot of companies have switched to LED as one-and-done exterior lighting solution. And the same results that are found in the seven other places listed above apply here.
- ANY APPLICATION REQUIRING HIGH BURN TIME
A common denominator in the examples above is high burn time, or lighting which needs to be on constantly.
Like lobbies and stairwells, wherever you require lighting to be on for 12 or more hours a day, LED is a more than worthwhile consideration. In these applications, LEDs not only give you substantial energy savings, but they also make your life easier with less maintenance.
What is the theme in picking the right place to try out LED lighting? Make sure you look for areas with long burn times or areas where replacing burned-out fixtures is particularly difficult.