Lighting Upgrades – Getting Started (4 Quick & Easy Suggestions)
Lighting upgrades and retrofits can be straightforward and easy projects that show an immediate improvement. Small changes to fixtures can drive down your electric bill. If you are planning a lighting project in the near future or if you simply want to learn more about energy efficient lighting, you should check out these four suggestions:
- Low Bay and High Bay LED Replacements
- Vaporproof LED Ceiling Mount
- LED T5/T8 Ballast Compatible Retrofit Solutions
- Lighting Controls for your Smart Phone or Tablet
These are all easy ways to drive down energy costs. We’ll take a quick look into each suggestion and offer some implementation guidance.
Low Bay and High Bay LED Replacements
Low bay and high bay LED replacement fixtures are quite common in warehouses and industrial space. They are also sometimes found in convention centers, parking garages and other public gathering spaces. Typically, a low bay application is lighting at a height of 15ft and under. Typical high bay lighting is 15 to 20ft, sometimes a bit higher. Picture 1.1 shows a LED low bay fixture from Flextronics.
Many existing low bay and high bay fixtures use old linear fluorescent lamp technology like T5, T8 and T12. Not only are T12 lamps inefficient and ineffective, they are actually legislated as obsolete as of July, 2014. Picture 1.2 shows an old T12 lamp. If you see these, you are using an inefficient lighting device. And it’s not just obsolete T12s. When compared to a modern day linear fluorescent lamp, LED lighting can still save you 50% in energy costs.
Let’s take a quick look at a lighting fixture, SKU # ES3P4MS. Manufacturer is Flextronics. This fixture is a high bay LED replacement option. It uses 86 watts to put out 13,145 lumens (152 LM/w). We don’t want to get into lighting efficiency calculations in this post – but that is quite efficient. A typical T12 fixture has 4 lamps and uses 200 watts to put out 11,000 lumens. You get more light for less energy.
A lot of satisfied customers have called this family of fixtures a “No Brainer”. They continue to specify them on every job because (1) you get easy energy savings and (2) they are a very high quality lamp that tends to be defect free and offer very reliable performance.
There are other versions available in addition to the option pictured here. Some versions offer as high as an industry-leading 176 LM/w (lumens per watt), which is a staggering number for energy efficiency. Many commonly specified fixtures are less than 100 LM/w. A Horizon Solutions Lighting Specialist can help you better understand values like lumens per watt and they mean to your energy bill.
Vaporproof LED Ceiling Mount
Vaporproof lighting fixtures are used both indoors and outdoors, commonly seen in moist environments up through extreme temperature and humidity conditions. You might have them in stairwells. These fixtures used to be primarily incandescent styles, with 150 and 200 watt maximums as the industry standards. Picture 2.1 shows and old “Jelly Jar” style incandescent vaporproof lamp.
In recent years, this type of fixture has also migrated to cost-saving LED technology. The fixtures will look quite similar, fixture # VXLED-26DG is pictured, 2.2. Manufacturer is RAB. Vaporproof LED offer a range as low as 13 watts, a 26W option is pictured. What does that mean? Keep the amounts of run time (hours) exactly the same: going from a fixture that uses 150 watts to a fixture that uses 13 watts will save you 200 KWH per fixture, per year.
If you use dozens of these fixtures, and if you know your company’s cost of energy, you can quickly calculate what an upgrade of these fixtures might save your company in energy costs each month or each year. If you would like assistance, you can always contact a Horizon Solutions Lighting Specialist to help with preliminary energy calculations.
LED T5/T8 Ballast Compatible Retrofit Solutions
Earlier we referenced high bay fixtures that use T5 or T8 or linear fluorescent lamps. What if you don’t want to swap out the whole fixture? There are options for a LED device that can simply “drop in” to existing T5/T8 fixtures. This simple solution is available for lamps with lengths of 2, 3 and 4ft and can be installed in less than 5 minutes.
SubstiTUBE® from Sylvania refers to one such option. Picture 3.1. There are also retrofit kits designed for use with instant start and select programmed rapid start (parallel wiring) electronic T8 ballasts. The ULTRA HE LED T8 retrofit kit replaces T8 and T12 lamps and ballasts, and offers an attractive lumens per watt (LM/w) efficiency ratio. Many of these easy to implement solutions can save you 50% or more on energy costs. Each lamp and each fixture will make a small difference! If you need help understanding your current fixtures, what ballasts they use, or if a Substitube option would work you should contact a Horizon Solutions Lighting Specialist.
Lighting Controls for your Smart Phone or Tablet
In addition to the quick and easy fixture suggested listed above, you could also consider using smart controls. All of the fixtures we have listed can be considered smart fixtures, meaning you can install controls to dictate how and when the lighting is turned on. These controls are almost infinite in scope. Typical programming will consider daytime versus night, as well as considering day of the year and season. Smart fixtures can also benefit from occupancy sensors and photo sensors, turning lighting off in an unoccupied room based on the amount of time is has been unoccupied.
All of those types of controls are relatively well known in the world of lighting and energy efficiency. One new trend is a move towards having additional lighting control in your smart phone or tablet. The combination of smart controls installed on each fixture AND the additional manual control with a smart phone can lead to some really valuable functionality:
- Real time user configurability and changes
- Override options for out of the ordinary events
- Continuous improvement of existing time-based, daylight-based and sensor-based settings
To learn more about lighting controls for your smart phone or tablet, this short video (2 minutes) gives a fantastic overview.
This post reviewed (1) low bay and high bay LED replacements, (2) vaporproof LED ceiling mount options, (3) alternatives for LED T5/T8 ballast compatible retrofits, and (4) lighting controls for your smart phone or tablet. These are all easy ways to drive down energy costs.
We hope you found these suggestions helpful and realistic to implement. If you have additional ideas or if you have questions about implementation, please let us know in the comments.