LED VS. TRADITIONAL LIGHTING FIXTURES
The current paradigm of endlessly buying and replacing unreliable lights is wasteful and expensive. The most significant cost, besides safety, is lost productivity. Downtime costs can be calculated in terms of thousands, to tens of thousands of dollars an hour, depending on the operation. No other universal piece of equipment can cost a company so much for proportionately so little as with lighting. Irrespective of companies individual practice around traditional lighting there is a continuum of cost associated with their failure, which doesn’t need to be the case.
One of the most common questions we hear is: how long will your lights last? And unfortunately the most appropriate answer is: it depends. With real-world experience, our lights should last 5+ years in the environment for which they were designed. We say “the environment for which they were designed” because there are many sellers of LED’s whose lights were not originally engineered for Mining, Maritime, Industrial environments, which undersocores the real question that matters? Does the cost of consistently buying and replacing traditional bulbs, ballasts and fixtures, including labor, time and productivity loss, outweigh the cost of the Heavy Duty LED lighting solution?
LED VS. LED - THE CURRENT TREND
Today, with the increasing popularity of LED, many Industrial customers are moving to LED to avoid the common issues associated with Traditional fixtures as outlined above. Here are a couple of common features that need to be better understood:
- "Easy access driver - making for easy driver replacement" In Heavy-Duty application environments a failed unit is a failed unit irrespective of the ease of the driver replacement. If an operator cannot get to the fixture because the machine is still in operation, or it's on a Mast in heavy seas, or its 60' in the air, the value associated in the 'ease of the driver replacement' is lost in the cost of the downtime or maintenance to fix the fixture.
- "Our fixtures put out 120/130 lumen per watt" The biggest competitor to the handful of reputable LED manufacturers in the Heavy-Duty lighting space is the misinformation, embellished specifications and sheer B.S. that exists by most other manufacturers to win customers. That said, Effective or Maintained Lumen is the lumen value that matters! Most, less-reputable manufacturers will use unrealistic lumen per watt values for ease of comparison across different manufacturers specification sheets. Look beyond the initial lumen number to understand if that value is an effective or maintained lumen number.
- "Glare free - No Glare Fixtures" Glare is most commonly contributed by the color of the diode being used in the fixture. The higher the CCT or Kelvin of the fixture, corresponding to the amount of power being driven through the diode, will effectively contribute to the glare a fixture will produce. Glare is mitigated by optic or lens design and further by using a lower CCT or Kelvin diode. Again, glare is mitigated by good optic or lens design, it is not eliminated. If a manufacturer or salesperson suggest their product is glare free understand how that is accomplished.