Industrial lighting doesn’t sound like a sexy topic, but when you consider the fact that you interact with lighting every time you are inside and that it is a key expense in any warehouse or work environment, paying closer attention to it can save you a lot of money. Buy the wrong industrial light fixtures now, and you’ll face years of high electricity bills, a drab space, as well as expensive maintenance and repair costs. Here are 5 crucial factors to consider when choosing the correct light for your industrial or commercial lighting application.
The efficiency of industrial lighting fixtures can be seen and measured with your monthly electricity bills. With LED lights, the brightness of your light is measured in lumens, and your electrical company charges by the watt. So, when it comes to industrial lighting, “lumens per watt,” is the same thing as, “bang for your buck”. Though not the only factor to consider, an efficient light fixture will pay for itself over time.
Traditional incandescent lamps clock in at 10 and 20 lumens per watt, while high intensity discharge (HID) lamps and fluorescent lamps offer up to 50-75 lumens per watt. Due to continually improving LED technology and how we engineer our light engines, CheapHighBays.com offers industrial light fixtures starting at 140 lumens per watt.
2. Light Color
Talk to just about any office employee about their drab work environment, and fluorescent lighting is almost guaranteed to come up. All the office or warehouse efficiencies in the world do not make up for a space that makes everybody inside it miserable. Thankfully, there is no longer a need to choose between efficiency and color temperature as LED technology has made major strides in both.
Color Rendering Index (CRI) is considered one of the best metrics for characterizing lighting. CRI measures how close a lamp is to natural light by determining how true a color appears underneath that lamp. Color temperature, another important factor, characterizes the color of the light itself. A color temperature of around 2000K is very warm and creates an amber glowing light but when you move up to 6000K, the light will take on a cool blueish hue. Though low Kelvin bulbs will list themselves as “daylight” bulbs, they can often feel like being in a lizard cage or indoor growing facility rather than a productive work space or warehouse.
Most people consider CRI to measure the true quality of a light source, with ratings over 75 considered very good, and view color temperature as a matter of preference. For commercial and industrial spaces, color temperatures between 3000K and 6000K are considered normal and productive.
3. Maintenance Cost
There’s more to consider when buying a light fixture than just the purchase price and the electricity bills. Some lights require frequent bulb changes and other kinds of maintenance. Over the lifetime of a light fixture, these can add up, especially in industrial spaces with high ceilings where lifts are needed to change a bulb.
This is one area where LED fixtures really shine. Fluorescent tubes require ballasts and starters, which are sensitive electrical components that need to be replaced often. Though they can be replaced, these kinds of repairs can cost almost as much as a new fixture. LEDs on the other hand have less “moving parts” and last much longer than their fluorescent counterparts. With over 100,000 hours of operation, LED fixtures are virtually permanent. At that rate, you could flip the light switch on, leave it for the next 10 years, and still have years of use left.
4. Check for Rebates
Though the cost of energy efficient industrial lighting fixtures continues to fall, the initial cost of replacement is often the biggest barrier to entry. In order to solve that problem, 36 states and the federal government currently offer various forms of rebates and tax incentives to defray the initial costs. As a result, consumers can often get efficient lighting at or near the cost of conventional lighting and reap even more savings. Not convinced, ask CheapHighBays to run a Return On Investment (ROI) report for your specific application!
5. Consider retrofitting
While a new lighting system offers a return on investment over time, retrofitting can offer significant savings without all the initial costs. Retrofitting T8 fluorescents with LED replacements offers more than twice the average bulb life while using less than half the energy. CheapHighBays also offers exclusive LED light engine Retrofit Kits. These kits allow you to have all the benefits of a new LED fixture while only paying for the LED light engine.
If you are a DIY kind of person and love the fixtures you are currently using, Retrofit Kits are the option for you! Retrofitting is a great way to increase your efficiency without shelling out for a whole new industrial light fixture.