How Does LED Lighting Impact Building Heat Gain and Power Quality?

Posted by Jimmy Hovey on Thu, Mar 21, 2013 @ 11:03 AM

Are There Other Important Factors When Considering LED Lighting?

Yes, there is actually.  Although the most common question we get when considering an upgrade is the question about savings.  But while savings is an easy quantifiable calculation, there is often other factors that support the annual savings in tangible as well as non-tangible ways.  

While we will still talk a little about how to save electricity by lowering our monthly bill, this article is intended to point out some of the other reasons you should be considering a energy efficient LED lighting system.  

Did You Know.....

Traditional lighting technologies consume over 18% of the electricity generated in the US.  5% of the 18% actually goes to remove the wasted heat energy that is generated by traditional lighting systems.  

Breaking down the 18% total consumption even further, close to 71% of all the lighting energy consumed goes to Commercial structures.  The awareness of how this total amount of lighting energy consumed is becoming more evident, but we still have a long way to go.  

Business Owners, Managers, Engineers, Architects and Building Planners are still skeptical that with a properly designed energy efficient lighting system can achieve savings of 50% to 70% reductions in lighting energy consumption.  This can be achieved with today's LED lighting technologies.  

While some would think the only way you could possibly do reduce that amount of consumption would be to reduce the amount of light and quality of light.  

But in fact, those reductions are very possible WITH a increase in the amount of light and a increase in quality of light.  But this is only possible with a properly designed LED lighting plan.   

Lighting Should Be First On Your List Because....

As we mentioned above, traditional lighting has been a significant expense to commercial buildings for years.  Lighting is the largest cost component of a commercial building's electricity bill and a very large portion of the total energy use. 

When considering how to save electricity for your business, a lighting upgrade should come early in the process.  The reason for this is that a properly designed LED lighting system can impact heating and cooling loads as well as power quality.  

While cost savings can be immediately identifiable, if you don't consider the technical aspects of an improved lighting system, you may miss out on the potential savings related to other specifications of related building systems.  

Don't Get Burnt With Heat to reduce heat gain with led lighting systems

Traditional lighting systems produce large amounts of radiated heat as well as light.  Traditional lighting is typically the largest source of waste heat, often referred to as "heat gain" inside Commercial Buildings.  

While the heat from these systems maybe welcomed in the cold Winter months when heating is at a premium, it becomes counter productive in the months that require cooling.  The impact of heat gain can obviously have different impacts based on the climate that you live in.  

While LED lighting systems still produce heat, a properly designed LED lighting system adds less heat to a space per unit of light output versus traditional lighting systems.  

Based on that fact, a LED lighting system can potentially reduce a buildings cooling load requirements.  While the existing system may provide years of service, it too will have to be replaced in time.  

When the replacement occurs, smaller, less expensive cooling equipment can be utilized as the heat gain from a LED lighting system is much less than traditional lighting systems. Lower cooling load = smaller equipment which = BIG Savings! 

You can also see an article that I wrote another article about heat gain by going to How Can Energy Efficient Lighting Reduce Cooling Loads By 40%?

What You Can't See That Costs You Big Time...Power Quality

Most people never consider the impact that power quality can have on your electric bill.  Lighting can have a significant impact on the power quality of a buildings electrical distribution system.  

Why should you care about Power Quality?  

Poor power quality should be evaluated because it; 

  • wastes energy
  • reduces the buildings electrical capacity
  • can be harmful to equipment 
  • can be disruptive to the entire electrical distribution system
  • costs more each month

Upgrading old traditional lighting with LED lighting will "clean up" your overall building power quality.  This can have a major impact on the buildings entire electrical distribution system which in turn can positively affect the amount of your power bill each month.

By upgrading with highly efficient, high power factor lighting equipment, such as LED, you can potentially free up valuable electrical capacity.  This factor alone may go well beyond just the annual savings from the electrical system itself.  Increasing the power quality can have a residual effect on the cost of operating motors or other electrical equipment.  

I wrote another article specifically about this topic called  How To Clean Up Your "Dirty" Power With Energy Efficient Lighting, check it out.  

Want To Learn More About Energy Efficient Lighting? 

If you want to learn more about how energy efficient lighting can impact your business, please download a FREE copy of our eBook, The Business Owners Guide To Energy Efficient Lighting. You can get it now by clicking on the book cover below....


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