Switching businesses to LED lighting has its pros and cons, but it’s mostly a bright prospect with measurable ROI.
- Businesses can make this switch for a more sustainable and cost-effective future.
- LED bulbs provide better quality and light intensity.
- This can further help by improving the overall working environment while boosting productivity.
- LED lighting can help your commercial site receive tax incentives while contributing to improved environmental conditions for everyone.
What’s not to like about light-emitting diodes (LEDs)? Well, several things, but we’ll get to them. They’re generally a benefit to businesses that install them; in many cases, they can offer 50,000-plus hours of light. This is much more than other bulbs which, at best, squeeze out 20,000 hours. Longer-lasting bulbs mean saving more money on replacements – plus, you’ll become trendier in the process.
LEDs are also SSL – solid-state lightning – which makes them tougher and able to operate without the usual tubes and filaments that make other bulbs break down. That’s a glowing review; however, we also have to shine a light on the downsides of switching to LED lighting for business.
The counterpoints are fewer than the positives, but they’re something companies should ponder when considering making the switch. Here’s the lowdown on commercial LED lighting benefits to consider.
LEDs are literally the coolest
Past lighting methods weren’t ideal for a commercial site’s thermal profile. LED bulbs are many times stronger than legacy technologies, but one of the LEDs’ main commercial LED lighting benefits is lower heat production
You may think lighting can’t produce that much warmth. You’d be surprised how they can contribute to your company’s power bills. Odds are where you’re working now uses incandescent and fluorescent lighting. These use most of the energy they create to generate heat – they wouldn’t work otherwise – and they emit most of that heat into the room.
Lighting may not be super-hot on its own, but all those hours of heat generation adds to a building’s thermal profile alongside the heat generated by windows, people, computers, and anything else that’s plugged in. LEDs don’t need heat to turn on and stay illuminated, thereby creating a much cooler space. Cooler commercial sites are more cost-effective; they don’t need as much cooling, which saves money.
Happier, healthier, and more productive staff
The hotter a commercial space, the more likely staff will be uncomfortable and at risk of getting sick. Our earlier blog on heat-related illnesses at work discusses how certain employees are more vulnerable than others, namely those who are overweight, older, or have preexisting health conditions.
The power and versatility of LED bulbs can help make businesses comfortable or well lit because LEDs can often be controlled much more accurately to create staff comfort. Ample quality lighting boosts your staff’s mood while reducing eye strain caused by dim rooms.
Eyestrain can cause headaches and shoulder and neck pain, brain fog and loss of concentration. Any of those problems can negatively impact a worker’s productivity. Adding LEDs makes spaces more pleasant and boosts team performance.
Increased environmental sustainability (and tax incentive potential)
LEDs can lead to LEED. We’re not playing a word game: installing LED bulbs can be a significant step toward making your business more energy efficient and compliant with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. In a nutshell, LEED focuses on creating more energy efficient and comfortable buildings that are pleasant and healthy for people, and gentler on the environment.
LEDs can use up to 90% less energy than other bulbs, so switching to LED lighting and achieving LEED compliance can generate tax incentives. Incentives differ between locations; here’s an interactive state map to see how much your business might benefit.
ENERGYSTAR could also have good news if you’ve combined LED lighting installation with other energy improvements. Here’s where to learn more about whether your business can receive tax deductions of up to $0.63 or $1.88 per sq. ft.; those figures have been updated from the previous $0.60 and $1.80 due to changes in Section 179D deductions.
The drawbacks of LED lighting
Switching to LED lighting for business isn’t all great. They’re easier for some commercial sites to install than others, it depends on the building’s electrical framework. Then there’s the initial outlay; LEDs are more expensive than incandescent or fluorescent bulbs, which makes installing them more costly. But, the potentially impressive long-term ROI will likely offset this drawback.
LEDs offer a wide range of lighting intensity. This doesn’t mean you can always get what you’re looking for. LEDs and dimmers can be tricky; your business will require compatible fixtures. If they’re not, you’ll have to pass on fitting LEDs or pay to have new fixtures installed that accommodate them.
Incompatible transformers can cause LEDs to overheat, which shortens their lifespan and contributes to two of the problems you’re trying to solve. Some LEDs also emit a powerful level of blue light, which can strain your eyes when looking at screens for too long. Speaking to electrical professionals should help your business find the right balance.
UES can help you reap commercial LED lighting benefits
Switching your business to LED lighting? We’ve been helping Central Florida companies of all kinds optimize their electrical systems since 1999. Our decades of electrical experience enable us to assess your current commercial lighting setup and recommend which LEDs are best for your premises.
Our expert team can also assess your HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system and see if maintenance, improvement, or replacement could further reduce your energy bills. Just contact us with any lighting questions or for a free quote!