LED Office Lighting: Save Energy – Save Money

Office lighting can consume anywhere from 20 to 30% of the electricity bill. Until recently, the commonly used light sources in offices were CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) and incandescent or filament lamps. However, owing to concerns of inefficiency and use of rare materials like mercury and tungsten, LED office lighting fixtures are now finding wide acceptance. Compared to CFLs and incandescent lamps, LED lights use less energy to give out equivalent light output. However, high purchase costs often hold buyers back from buying these devices. However we show you why LED office lighting fixtures can help pay back the invested money much faster than you would expect:

LEDs pay back their cost by slashing bills

LED lamps emit more lumens of light per watt of energy consumed. They also do not heat up as much as CFLs and incandescent, which give off 80% and 90% of energy as heat respectively. The extra amount of heat also means the air conditioning systems have to work more and consume more power as well. LEDs also have an operating life above 25,000 hours compared to 8000 hours for CFLs and 3000 hours for filament bulbs. So a single LED would remain in operation while multiple conventional lamps are changed during the same period. As we consider the costs over the entire life of the lamp, LED lamps pay back more both in energy costs and new purchases. They are also sturdier than other lamps and easier to install. The output and colour tone can also be changed on specific models.

How LEDs work

Nick Holonyak Jr. is credited with developing the first visible-spectrum LED while working in GE in 1962. LEDs use semiconductor diodes to produce light using the reverse photoelectric effect- applying an electric current across the diode causes it to give off energy in the form of light. A cluster of LEDs is used to provide the required light in the room. The light from blue,green and red light emitters is combined to create white light. The light given off by LEDs is directional, as compared to other lamps which give off diffused lights. This makes them optimal for downlights and recessed lighting. A diffuser lens can be used to spread the directional light of LEDs for other applications. While early LEDs gave off only cool light tones, warm tone bulbs are also available for sale today. The output and colour tone can also be changed on specific models. Innovative approaches like dimmers, photosensors and daylight harvesting can be coupled with LED lighting (www.wisegeek.org/what-is-led-lighting.htm) system to save even more energy by adjusting the light output of the LED lamps in sync with the amount of ambient light in the room.

LEDs are No Passing Fad

The Department of Energy estimates that about 49 million LEDs were installed in 2012, leading to $675 million in energy savings countrywide. The sales of LED replacement bulbs rocketed by 22% from 2011 to 2012, while prices of a 60 watt equivalent LED bulb fell by about 40%. At this rate of growth, upto 75% of all lighting would be by LEDs by 2027. Such widespread use would lead to savings of $30 billion at today’s rates. The automobile, consumer electronics and portable lighting sectors have also switched to LEDs in a big way.

LEDs are safe for the environment

CFLs use mercury in their production which has been proven to have harmful effects on nervous systems. Incandescent lamps use filaments made of tungsten alloy which is produced by mining the earth. In comparison, LED lamps are produced using conventionally available semiconductor materials and plastics or glass. Their longer life also makes sure landfills don’t brim over with discarded pieces. As LED lights gain widespread acceptance, we could see a total saving of 348 Trillion watt-hours of electricity by 2027. This means we will reduce our dependence on polluting power plants.