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Five Tips for Selecting LED Lighting Systems

LED lighting retrofits can offer businesses two key benefits: some fixtures can deliver up to an 85 percent energy savings and the life span of LEDs average about 50,000 hours, reports Retrofit Magazine. But before making a decision on a retrofit, businesses first have to evaluate their current lighting layout and future requirements.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) says seven percent of all energy consumed in the U.S. is for lighting, which is why the Obama Administration is setting energy conservation standards for certain types of fluorescent lamps and incandescent reflector lamps, and is investing $346 million in energy-efficient building technologies.

Before businesses make the investment to upgrade their lighting, they need to consider several factors including the condition and voltage of the facility’s existing wiring and circuitry because certain LED fixtures may not be compatible with the voltage rating, and control preferences such as for dimming and/or motion control, according to the article.

Other issues include downtime for the installation, how much energy savings the company expects from the retrofit, manufacturers’ warranties, who will install the new lighting systems and whether it’s necessary to take before and after light-level and energy readings.

Businesses also need to call their local utility companies to check on rebates for energy-efficient lighting and/or tax deductions or credits.

Here are five tips for selecting LED systems and vendors based on Retrofit’s article.

— Understand the fixture manufacturer’s claims including the performance of the products, up-front equipment costs, ongoing energy and maintenance costs and after-sale support.

— Evaluate the quality of the LEDs by comparing the light output and efficiency to your benchmarking tests.

— Evaluate the performance of the LED lighting fixture with your benchmarking data and the manufacturer’s photometric reports.

— Verify the manufacturer’s claims for light and energy performance.

— Review the installation requirements for LED lighting fixtures and ensure that your new fixtures are compliant to the National Electric Code requirements for installation of light fixtures.

Click here for five tips to cut energy costs by 10-40%.

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4 thoughts on “Five Tips for Selecting LED Lighting Systems

  1. If it is not UL Listed chances are your insurance will not cover problems stemming from failures. Check for and then verify UL Listings . . . there is alot of crap LED’s out there and some excellent one’s and the more hoops they have jumped through the more likely they are here to stay.

  2. Chris is 100% correct. Some of the manufactures will claim UL Classification. For any commercial retrofit project, make sure to verify this claim, with UL. Phrases in marketing material saying: “In accordabce with UL standards” or eluding to the LED light having UL Classification is simply not enough. Just because the ‘Chip’ or ‘Driver’ is UL approved, does not result in the LED light being a UL Listed or Classified product.The entire and finished LED product must be tested and approved by Underwriters Laboratory prior to any claims can be made.

    Also, to make sure the lights can live up to the requirements of the job, i.e. can it provide enough lighting for the area you are retrofitting, ask for and review the .ies files, where the photometrics values will be listed.

    Any reputable lighting manufacturer will have LM-79 and LM-80 testing completed and available to their customers.

  3. Underwriters Laboratories – would that be another name for over priced testing facility that brings nothing to making porducts “safer”? I agree with the first commentator that there are poor LEDs on the market – but “UL certification” brings nothing to the “quality” equation.

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