If you are in the design, construction, or facilities management business you are probably getting inundated with questions about LED lighting. If you looked into LED’s a year ago, you were probably disappointed in the options available, light output, cost, etc. Commercial lighting applications utilizing LEDs as a light source have come a long way in a year and the pricing has steadily dropped to a point that it is starting to make economic sense in some applications.
There are now several manufacturers that offer LED versions of their popular pole mounted area luminaires and wall sconces. Average levels of illumination can be produced that are comparable to 175W, 250W and even 400W HID sources with much better max/min and avg/min ratios along with significant energy savings. The directional qualities of the LED light sources enable luminaire manufacturers to provide all of the traditional distribution patterns along with excellent control over glare and light spillage. LED also provides “instant on” and “step dimming” capabilities. Manufacturers are also offering LED lamp replacement modules for their popular models; making upgrades less costly.
LED sources for downlighting were one of the first commercial lighting applications. The luminaires available today are dimmable and produce similar lighting output as 26W, 32W and 42W compact fluorescent lamps while providing energy savings. The pricing for these applications is now comparable to the traditional compact fluorescent luminaires with dimming ballasts. Troffer style luminaires are also now available with LED sources. While still relatively expensive, the cost of an LED troffer with dimming capabilities is approaching the cost of a traditional fluorescent troffer with dimming ballasts.
With an advertised 50,000+ hour life expectancy, reduced energy consumption and steadily declining unit costs, some LED lighting applications may make some economic sense for your facility.