When it comes to energy efficiency management, a building's lighting solution is one of the biggest consideration facility managers have to take into account. With FacilitiesNet reporting that only around 1 percent of buildings use any sort of lighting control, any solution to help manage the energy output of a lighting system would surely be a welcome one.
A fairly recent technology has arisen that may prove to significantly reduce the energy consumption of a facility's lighting system. This is LED lighting, and it's shedding some light on new strategies to approach energy efficiency.
FM Link outlined some of the benefits, both energy-related and aesthetic, of a uniform LED lighting system, such as the one offered by General Electric. On the surface, such a system is very maintenance friendly, as a recessed sconce can be placed directly into most existing drop ceilings and can be cleaned easily. On a purely aesthetic level, LED lights have the capability to provide monochrome or multicolored light, offering a versatile solution for a variety of situations. Additionally, LED lights are far more resilient than their incandescent or even florescent counterparts, with a FacilitiesNet reported average lifespan of around 100,000 hours per diode.
When LED lights do need to be replaced, they can be disposed of much more easily and more safely than previous lighting solutions. As light from an LED is electric in its source, there is no harmful gas or mercury that could otherwise pose environmental hazards.
Of course, the main draw of LED lights is the potential for increased energy savings and, ultimately, reduced energy expenditures. As Today's Facility Manager reported, energy efficiency is the driving motivation behind lighting decisions for 51 percent of FMs surveyed, and LED lighting offers the most effective solution in that regard. Many competitive LED lighting systems can provide equivalent or even superior lighting to more traditional installations while requiring a fraction of the energy to run.
LEDs are more energy efficient, but their increased longevity also means that they need to be replaced less frequently than conventional lighting. Thus, a properly installed system actually boasts the capacity for double the savings, both directly on energy costs, but also helping FMs save on general maintenance costs.