Safety and economics in the design of lighting systems has become a main consideration recently in new and existing facilities. Lighting designers not only factor in the right light source for providing the quality of light needed for safe operation and reliability in a facility, but also the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) or economic impact.
The following are just some of the factors that can create limitations with traditional light sources:
- Lamp efficiency
- Size of lamps and luminaries
- Ambient temperatures
- Lumen depreciation
- Cost of fixtures
- Availability of the proper optics
Lighting designs vary across the globe. With continuous evolution of LED technologies the landscape is rapidly changing, giving rise to the importance of accurate TCO calculations. In North America alone there are 22 billion square feet of building envelopes covered by indoor lighting (commercial office, manufacturers, retailers, etc.).
Advances in LED technology are leading to new lighting systems for both greenfield and brownfield facilities. However, true total cost of ownership projections are sometimes being ignored in favor of a focus on up front capital cost; not on the long-term maintainability, efficiency of light and safety in the work environment.
Energy Service Companies
In a modern construction environment, it’s common to outsource a major portion of large-scale project planning and implementation to an energy service company (ESCO). An ESCO is a commercial business that provides a broad range of comprehensive solutions, including:
- energy infrastructure outsourcing
- designs and implementation of energy-saving projects
- energy conservation
- power generation
- risk management
- energy supply
ESCOs can provide the following services:
- install and maintain energy efficient equipment
- measure, monitor, and verify a project’s energy savings
- develop, design, and arrange for financing to ensure energy-efficient project
- occasionally assume the risk that the project will save the amount of energy projected
Project managers and some ESCOs will choose organizations that are part of the National Association of Lighting Management Companies (www.nalmco.org) for major lighting projects.
Large scale stores
Large scale cold storage facilities
Convention centers and arenas
Streets and roadways
The TCO in a lighting control system can be best understood by reviewing the system’s architecture.
An advanced control system is comprised of three main parts:
• Digital Control Units (DCUs) supporting 500 to 1000 SLCs
• RF-Wireless and GPRS/GSM technology
• Street Light Control (SLC) units
Web-based Management and Control Software are utilized to operate traditional, LED and Solar-based LED lamps. Light fixtures can be used in a broad range of outdoor applications in addition to those listed above. Some of these include area lighting, parking lots and garage lighting, street lamps, highway lighting, and industrial lighting. The following diagram illustrates how a typical system would operate.
Low initial costs
Reduced light pollution
Most are simply “Plug and Play”
Increased lamp life
Maintenance and repair savings
Maintains public safety
No Photo Cell Required
There are many factors to consider when analyzing TCO in lighting environments. Although LED lighting offers the most energy savings, when you consider all factors, such as installation, maintenance and lamp and luminaire cost, the savings of LED product compared to other traditional technologies (i.e. HID) are significant.
Other factors to consider include:
• LED lamps have a significantly longer service life than HID
• LED s instantly provide full brightness while HID lamps take a few seconds to obtain maximum illumination (time is taken to form the plasma)
• LEDs are more rugged than HID lamps since they are covered in solid translucent or transparent plastic, compared to HID lamps, which are less durable and need to be handled carefully.
When calculating TCO, it is important to consider all factors, including installation labor in both new and retrofit, maintenance, electricity, lamp replacement, and disposal costs. The payback time will vary depending on the size of the lighting project, location, the particular fixtures selected, the electricity rate, and other variables. To ensure the correct products are installed, consult a local lighting designer or a member of the National Association of Lighting Management Companies (www.nalmco.org).
It is also important to note that the TCO of retrofit lighting projects needs to be analyzed differently than new projects. The goal of either type of project should be improved lighting for safety and productivity rather than the benefit of financial payback.
Prior to making a purchase decision for a lighting system, buyers should consult a lighting professional, an ESCO, or a member of NALMCO. The entire project can then be analyzed for lighting level, energy efficiency, appropriate color rendering, and safety.
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Topics: LED Lighting, LED TCO, LED