LED lighting has a number of advantages in general when compared to conventional lighting. While LEDs provide improved energy and maintenance efficiencies as well as a better quality light, there are a few things they do for warehouses and large, open facilities in particular that most people don’t necessarily realize. Much of this has to do with the technological differences between LED lights and conventional lighting. Read the links below for a specific, issue-by-issue comparison of LEDs versus typical warehouse lights like fluorescents and metal halides (a type of HID bulb). Otherwise, focus on the big three items below where some key LED features help them to achieve large advantages when it comes to large warehouse lighting and lighting for sports complexes.
Warehouses typically use one of two lights: linear fluorescent lamps or metal halide lamps. While fluorescents and metal halides were an improvement over incandescent bulbs they still present issues like disposal hazards, shorter lifespan, and less efficient light when it comes to a direct comparison with LEDs. That’s the stuff everyone knows about. Here are three items that aren’t typically discussed that make a big difference when it comes to the overall efficiency of your lighting system:
1. LEDs Eliminate Warm-Up Times: Metal Halide lamps in particular are notorious for long warmup times (15-20 minutes is typical to get to full power). This is why you see large sports stadiums turn on the lights well before the sun’s light is completely gone. The stadium has to operate the lights for 20-25 minutes before they ever really need them to illuminate the stadium. That means they’re burning energy before they’re ever required. Oh and by the way, metal halides are less efficient at lower power so they’re burning more energy per unit of light output (lumen) as they warm-up to full power. As a consequence, many major stadiums are switching to LEDs. For a list of some LED early adopters in the sports world read here.
LED High Bay Lighting Retrofit For Iceline Hockey Rink
2. The Ability To Dim Lighting: LEDs require LED-specific hardware in order to dim. Fortunately this hardware is readily available, easy to install, and adds significant value to the overall lighting solution. LEDs actually get more efficient when they are run at less than full power (different than metal halide bulbs). In addition, the lifespan of the bulb increases when the device is run at less than full power. This allows facility managers to save even more money by managing lighting in an intelligent manner. Those facilities that install LEDs as part of a comprehensive “smart lighting” solution will incorporate the high efficiency LED lights in conjunction with sensors (like timers or motion devices) that adapt to ambient conditions and traffic patterns or the particular facility. This is called “adaptive lighting” and it’s a major way to generate savings at your facility.
3. LEDs Are Capable Of Frequent Switching: The inability to turn lights off when not in use without causing issues if the lights need to be turned back on is a major problem for lights such as metal halides. Once you turn a metal halide off it takes 15-20 minutes to get it back on. That means the lights often need to be run for longer periods of time than they otherwise would. If there is a 30-45 minutes lull in the action the lights will generally be left on because it would be too much of a hassle to turn them off and risk issues when you needed them again. LEDs can be turned off instantaneously and turned back on instantaneously with no degradation to the light output or the device itself. That means energy and device lifespan are not wasted/compromised when the lights are not needed by running them unnecessarily.
All in all LEDs provide a much improved solution for large facilities looking to keep their energy and maintenance costs under control. Most organizations can save money today by making the switch. We can help! Contact Stouch Lighting for a comprehensive review of your current lighting solution and a plan of action to retrofit your facilities with a better solution.