When it comes to highbay lighting, metal halide is a thing of the past. Way to costly to run and maintain. Today, most people rely on T5 highbay's to fill that lighting application. It's inexpensive for the initial purchase, and is very cheap to maintain and run.
Now enter the LED highbay. Just a few years ago LED technology could not produce a reliable LED configuration to compete with T5 or 400 watt Metal Halide output. Those days are gone!
Lithonia has a new PROTEON LED highbay offering that boasts some very impressive numbers when it comes to lumen output.
A typical 400 watt highbay produces 20,000 lumens with a brand new lamp. However, that number quickly decreases due to the poor life of metal halide. so lets assume the lamp is running at 70% output(most places I have been are far wore than that). That takes us down to 14,000 lumens, all while consuming 456W of electricity.
The LED fixture produces 18,000 Lumens while consuming a paltry 213W....thats a 54% reduction in operating costs!!! Not to mention that the LED fixture maintains 92% of it's output at 60,000 hrs. and has a rated life of 100,000 hrs!
By the way, you can also do motion sensors on LED. Cutting costs even more!
LED Highbay Pros and Cons
I'm not going to sugar coat it, the initial investment into LED is more expensive than T5 fluorescent. Is the cost worth it?
If your looking to replace 10-15 metal halide highbays, than no,LED does not make sense.
If however, you have fixtures that are very hard to get too or you have fixtures over high demand equipment that can not be shut down to change a lamp....than LED is a great solution due to it's very long life expectancy.
T5 and LED Cost, the Nitty Gritty
A typical T5 4 lamp consumes roughly 232 watts and costs in the $160 dollar range(lamps included). So at 100 fixtures thats 232,000 watts and a $16,000 total fixture cost.
This particular LED is 213 watts and costs roughly $650. Thats 138,450 watts and $65,000 per100 fixtures. Your probably thinking "holy cow thats a big difference". Well lets look at other factors.
The LED has 100,000 hours of life at a minimum. T5 lamps have a life of around 36,000 hrs. To have an electrical contractor come in and re lamp your fixtures 3 times and add in at least one ballast change your looking at easily an additional $25,000 in maintenance costs. Factor in the energy savings the LED fixture has over the T5 fixture and your numbers are very close.
$16,000(fixt. cost) + $25,000(maintenance cost of T5 over 100,000 hr.) + $19,000(energy savings using LED over 100,000 hrs.) = $60,000.
The numbers are pretty much a wash. Go LED and have worry free lighting for the next 100,000 hrs, or go T5 and set aside a budget to do maintenance for the next 100,000 hrs.
In an area that is costly for a company to shut down to do maintenance LED makes a whole lot of sense. Don't get me wrong....I still love T5 fluorescent. It's just a matter of whats the right fixture for the job and what's most important to the customer.
Hovey Electric looks for the best lighting applications to satisfy the needs of our clients. Each facility is a little different than the last.
Typcially we need to see the inside of your facility first hand to determine what type of lighting you have now and to measure the lighting levels.