(60 fixtures X $80 per ballast kit = $4800 for ballast kit)
So the combined cost of the lamps and ballast kits equal:
($1020 for lamps + $4800 for ballast kits = $5,820.00 every 3-3 1/2 yrs)
The fluorescent T5 fixture will last almost 9 years at this usage.
How many times do you have to re-lamp 400WMH before re-lamp of T5?
You will go through lamps and ballasts 3 times before I need to think about touching the T5 fixture.
(9 years before maintenance fluorescent T5 / 3 years before maintenance of 400 watt metal halide = 3 times, you will have to maintain the 400 watt metal halide 3 times)
($5,820 materials X 3 years = $17,460.00 in materials)
What about labor and equipment?
I purposely did not include labor, this is just materials. Business owners usually have someone to do the maintenance. There is a cost to that. We did the calculations separate, so you could make the choice.
Some places have there own lifts and electricians, others hire it out.
For our example, I will use a very conservative cost for labor, $4,000.
We need to figure a lift for 1 week, $675
($4000 labor cost + $675 lift rental = $4865 for labor and equipment)
Assuming you want to maintain your lighting levels, you will have to do this 3 times with the 400 watt metal halide vs the fluorescent t5.
($4865 x 3 times you will need to maintain the fixtures= $14,025 labor/equipment)
Lots of numbers, how do we put it together?
Well it took us awhile to get here, let's add up all the numbers to see how much it will cost you to maintain the 400 watt metal halide vs the fluorescent t5:
($17,460 in materials + $14,025 labor/equipment = $31,485 to maintain 60 fixtures over a 9 year period)
Cost to maintain each fixture
So if you maintain your 400 watt metal halide correctly, over a 9-10 year period, operating the lights at 4,015 hours per year here is what it will cost you per fixture:
($17,460 materials / 60 fixtures = $291 in materials to maintain the lights)
or materials and labor;
($31,485 materials,labor/equipment / 60 fixtures = $524.75 each to maintain 60 400 watt metal halide)
Remember, $524.75 is the cost to MAINTAIN the fixture; this has nothing to do with the initial cost (if you are installing them new) or the cost of electricity to power these things.
There Is A Real Cost To Lighting Maintenance
The numbers above are not exact, but the you get the idea. There is a cost of maintaining 400 watt metal halides. Few businesses actually take the time to figure it out.
Most businesses don't change the lamps when they need to, but if you are comparing the light output between the 2 fixtures, you have to factor in the change out every 3 years.
Look Deeper, There Is A Reason Why 400 Watt Metal Halide Is Cheaper
Calculate all of the costs when making a lighting decision for your business.
Architects, Engineers and Designers are STILL specifying the 400 watt metal halide fixture, so you need all the facts before you make the decision.
Afterall, you will be the one paying for maintaining the fixtures, not the Architect, Engineers or Designers.
There's a better solution
Contact us today and let us show you how you can cut maintenance, cut energy costs, and put more money into your business instead of giving it to the power company or to learn more about energy efficiency, download our Free E-book. We cover all the benefits owners can achieve with energy efficiency. Get your copy now.
How much do you think it costs to maintain your lighting?
Who maintains your lighting for your business?
Hovey Electric provides energy efficicient lighting consulting, design, layout, construction,project management services and trains business owners how to do their own commercial energy audit.
This article was written by Dave VanTol and edited by Jimmy Hovey, MBA.