LED it for the Long Term

By Andrew J. Pisani

Over the last year, we’ve seen LED lighting go mainstream. Manufacturers have introduced a full spectrum of color options, and the quality of light now lives up to their longevity.

For building owners and managers, the task of a LED retrofit may seem daunting, but it’s now a question of when, not if. With the color concerns solved, the focus generally shifts to costs.

LED’s are extremely efficient – they burn less electricity and last a long time. They are also relatively expensive compared to standard lights, and therefore there’s a cost – benefit equation to consider. There are three general scenarios, and each has its own numbers.

Incandescent to LED. This will yield immediate energy savings as the LED’s use a fraction of the energy of incandescent lights. Within a year’s time, the savings in electricity will offset the cost of the LED lighting. Projects that qualify for Con Ed funding may see this shrink to a handful of months.

Fluorescent to LED Tubes. A retro-fit of fluorescent to LED lighting will also yield immediate energy savings. While not as drastic as incandescents, the LED will pay for itself with energy savings within two years. Should the project qualify for Con Ed funding, the break even would be around a year.

Fluorescent to LED Fixtures. Some buildings undergoing a retrofit will take the opportunity to upgrade aesthetics and replace all tubes with LED Fixtures. As with the previous cases, the energy savings will add up quickly. The cost side will be higher, and the break even for this scenario would likely run three years.

LED installations yield immediate results that go right to the bottom line. The best first step is always getting the facts on your specific scenario, and for this we recommend speaking with our friends at Green Partners. George Crawford can help you navigate through any questions.