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Commercial LED Lighting for Warehouses and Factories

So is it worth it? Will you save money with LED lighting for factories and warehouses? Will the lighting improve after you're done? These are all questions we hear every day. Here is some insight we gathered over the past 8 years that might help you make this decision regarding making the switch over to LED Warehouse Light sources.

Will I save money with LED Lighting for Factories and Warehouses?

The short answer is yes, LED Lighting for Warehouse and Factory applications will save you money. But how much really depends on the type of lighting system you currently have, the hours of operation and the cost of your electricity.  If you currently have Metal Halide or High Pressure Sodium, the savings are typically 65% or higher. If you have fluorescent tubes, like T8's, T10s or T12's, then you should see on average a 50-66% savings.

150 LED Watts replacing 400 MH Watts
12 hrs/day 365 days/yr saving 1358 kw/year *
Cost per kw/h
Savings per year
* includes ballast draw

And this is only the start of savings, add reduced maintenance costs of replacing bulbs and ballasts or add smart controls like occupancy sensors and daylight harvesters and savings can go much higher.
How long before I see my lighting system investment get paid off?
That all depends on five factors. Hours of use, cost of electricity, what you convert to, rebate amounts and cost of the new fixtures. Of these three factors, 1, 2 and 3 are the most important. If your lights are only on 4 hours a day or one of the lucky ones who pay under .07 kw/h, then paybacks will typically be longer. However, if you are north of .10 kw/h and have high usage, then paybacks can be relatively short. If you choose a product that is only rated at 100 lumens/watt, then your paybacks will be longer. Select higher efficiency (above 125 lumens/watt) products and paybacks will drop because you need less LED watts. We are still surprised when customers call us and tell us they were quoted from a competitor that pay back would be 3 years or more, and when we do our calculations, we find it to be under 2 years and sometimes under 1 year. There are still those out there that are either charging too much for their product or not selecting the most efficient product available. The fourth factor, rebates, is not always available and certainly not the same across the USA. They are set by your local utility company. The good news is most of our product is rebate eligible, and we know how to work with the utility companies to get the maximum rebates available. Sometimes they are as high as 50% of the cost of the product and installation.  Lastly, the cost of the new equipment divided by the total savings will give you your payback period
Will the light levels improve?
400W HPS              150W LED

Typically, in most cases, yes. Keep in mind, a brand new Metal Halide bulb is very bright. You will also notice on the package of the Metal Halide bulb it talks about initial lumens. The manufacturers who make these products have designed the product so that after the initial lumen brightness wears off (and it doesn't take long), that what is left is what you really need for a safe environment. If what you needed was the initial lumens, you would be replacing bulbs every 6 months. LED is directional light, so we place all the light where it is needed. With conventional MH lights, 30% of the light produced is lost in the fixture itself. There is just as much light going sideways as there is going down, and you need reflectors to gather that light and push it down. More than 1 bounce in the reflector and you can throw that light lumen away. With LED, there is no bouncing or need for reflectors. And more importantly, the quality of light is better with LED. We always say, you need less quantity when you have better quality lumen output. But how can you confirm this before you buy? Easy! We can do a photometric evaluation for you on your space. This will show you the light levels of our product in your environment before you purchase. And we can also sample lights so you can see before you purchase. That way there are no surprises.

How long do Commercial LEDs last?
There are two numbers companies talk about, the life of the LEDs (L70) and the life of the product. L70 is a measurement of the LEDs where they reach a point of 70% of initial lumen output. We were at a trade show recently and one vendor was talking about their product lasting 200,000 hours. Turns out that was the L70 number. That is impressive. However, you also have to take in consideration the life of the LED of the product driver. They are typically less than the products L70. So we asked them how long their drivers were rated for. They said 50,000 hours. So then we asked if it was easy to swap out the drivers in their product. They said no, it wasn't even an option. So after 1/4 of the life of their LED's, you were going to have to buy a new LED product. So a general rule of thumb is to pay attention to the life of the product drivers, not the L70 of the LEDs, and ask if the drivers can be replaced. There should be no reason why you can't get 10-20 years life out of a LED product with maybe one driver replacement. 

What is CRI and is it important to me?

It is, and isn't. By default, LED quality, or CRI, is higher than most all other lighting technologies. It typically is at 70 on a scale of 0-100. Some product can be as high as 95 CRI. Great, but do you really need that

and should pay pay the extra money? If you are a car dealership or a retail store, then you may want a higher CRI. Color representation is really important. However, if you are a factory, a warehouse, or an office building, 70-75 CRI is great, or more appropriately, good enough. You do not need to spend the extra money to get better quality.



Are there rebates available at time of purchase?

Yes, and no. Rebates are controlled by your local utility. So it varies. But this is what we know. For small screw in bulbs, make sure the product is Energy Star Rated. For larger fixtures, make sure the product is DesignLights Consortium Listed. Recently, DLC came out with a newer higher standard, DLC Premium. DLC Premium is a standard where the products are ultra high efficiency. And this matters to you for two reasons. First, the rebate amounts are higher than DLC Standard. And two, you will consume even less energy with a DLC Premium product than a DLC Standard product. We have many DLC Premium Products available to help maximize your savings, shorten your paybacks and help you qualify for the largest rebates available.

Indoor Warehouse and Factory LED Lighting

High Bay Lights / Low Bay Lights: High Bay Lights are found in the many areas of the warehouse or factory. Most high bays are 400W or 1000W. They tend to be either Metal Halide or High Pressure Sodium. Sometimes one may find T5 fixtures that were designed to replace HID High Bays. They can easily be replaced with a High Bay LED Lighting System or retrofitted with a retrofit kit. LED High Bays could save you 75% or more in energy costs over the currently HID lights in your factory or warehouse.

Fluorescent Troffers: Fluorescent troffers are typically found in dropped grid type ceilings, and they typically contains 2 to 4 fluorescent tubes. Most tubes are either T8, T10 or T12. There are two distinct options that are available, replace the fixture or retrofit with tubes. The tube option tends to be more economical approach, converting over to LED is as simple as removing the old fluorescent tube and replacing it with the LED tube.

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