Today, Ontario homeowners, schools, factories, warehouses, retail outlets and more can benefit from the most substantial breakthrough in lighting technology since the development of the light bulb itself. But while just about everyone has heard of LED lights by now and plenty of business owners are familiar with the concept of an LED retrofit people still have questions about the technology and the retrofit process.
A Short Q and A on the LED Retrofit
Below we’re going to address the 5 most common questions we encounter with regards to the retrofit process and the technology involved.
1. What’s So Special About LED Lights?
Today’s LED (Light Emitting Diode) bulbs are the end product of decades of R&D. They use only 10% of the energy an incandescent bulb uses and there is no filament to burn out. Instead light is generated by passing electrons over a minute semiconductor. This is one reason for the extraordinary longevity of the average LED bulb. In fact, if you install LED bulbs in your office the day your child is born it’s entirely possible those same bulbs will still be burning bright the day your child is accepted into college.
2. Is it True LED Bulbs are Really Expensive?
There’s no doubt that LED bulbs are currently more expensive than standard bulbs but there’s a good reason for that. As we mentioned, this technology has been in development for decades. Which means substantial amounts of money have gone into R&D on LED bulbs. Companies need to recoup those development costs. But as with computers and smartphones prices have already come down substantially and should continue to do so as the technology becomes more widely adopted.
3. How is Brightness Measured with LED Bulbs?
LED bulbs don’t use wattage to gage their brightness. Instead they use lumens. Lumens are a more accurate gage of a bulb’s brightness and most light bulb manufacturers have begun to indicate lumens on their packages, regardless of the type of bulb enclosed. In the most general of terms a 60 watt bulb emits approximately 800 lumens and a 48 inch fluorescent about 2,800 lumens. When you talk to the LED retrofit company you’ll hear them refer to lumens so don’t be surprised.
4. Why Does My Facility Look So Bright After the Retrofit?
When people see the difference in brightness after an LED retrofit most assume “stronger” bulbs were installed. In fact the difference can be attributed to the quality of the light emitted by the LED. Incandescents and fluorescents release 360 degrees of light, which dilutes the amount that reaches the intended destination. LEDs by contrast focus their light more directly onto the target which gives the impression of the bulb being brighter even though total lumens are the same.
5. How Much Can I Actually Save?
Your exact savings would be impossible to calculate here because it depends on things like the size and nature of your facility. That said, LEDs typically use about 75% of the energy consumed by today’s high efficiency compact fluorescents, 25% of the energy of used by halogen lights and only 10% of the energy used by incandescents. So how much you save will also depend on what types of bulbs you’re replacing during the LED retrofit.
It’s difficult to overstate just how much of a leap forward LED technology is compared to what it’s replacing. Maybe the only fair historical comparison is the difference between the horse and buggy and the automobile; with the horse and buggy being incandescents and the automobile being LEDs. Isn’t it time your Ontario business got out of the carriage and into the car?