Because illuminated exit signs shine 24/7 and are required by law in commercial facilities, they are one of the first areas that a company should consider for a lighting retrofit.
Exit signs using LEDs can save up to 90 percent in energy costs, according to BigNews.
Older exit signs require frequent maintenance because the incandescent bulbs burn out more often than LEDs. Some older bulbs require replacement up to four times a year, according to the article.
The return on investment for switching to LEDs is typically about nine months.
Another study found that older exit sign models can consume over 350 kilowatt-hours (kWh) and cost $28 each annually to operate, while Energy Star labeled LED exit signs use only 44 kWh of electricity, and cost less than $4 annually to operate, according to a study by SolutionsforRemodeling.com.
As an example of a recent retrofit, Misericordia University is using federal stimulus funds to replace 42 incandescent exit signs with LED fixutres, according to the Times Leader. The exit sign retrofit is part of a larger lighting retrofit at the Pennsylvania-based university, which received more than $170,000 in stimulus funds for the project.