LED light technology and Businesses: The Dawning of a Bright New Era

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Today’s businesses face growing demands to improve their productivity, work environment and environmental impact even as they must reduce their operating costs. Fortunately, light emitting diodes (LEDs) can help businesses achieve all of these goals. Due to their numerous advantages over traditional incandescent and compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) lighting, LEDs are an excellent choice for any business seeking to replace their lighting systems. 

Invented over 50 years ago by researchers working at General Electric, LED light technology has made steady gains in the market, displacing traditional incandescent and CFL lights in applications ranging from home lighting to municipal street lighting. In fact, the modern emphasis on environmental responsibility, coupled with the LED’s natural advantages over its competitors, make it certain that LED lights will dominate the lighting market in the 21st century.

The Advantages of LED Systems

LED technology has a wide range of advantages when compared to other lighting types. In addition, LED fabrication technology has advanced drastically in recent years, dramatically reducing the cost of LED lighting systems. In fact, the following advantages make LED lighting ideal for most businesses, whether they are preparing to retrofit already existing buildings or move into newly built properties. 

Lower Power Consumption

LED technology’s most immediate advantage is the fact that LED lights require far less energy than competing types of lighting. For example, incandescent lights waste a great deal of energy in producing infrared radiation, which is invisible to the human eye and thus useless for the purposes of lighting. LED lights emit almost all their energy in the form of visible light, drastically reducing the amount of energy they must consume. In fact, LED lights generally consume as little as 10 percent of the energy consumed by equivalent incandescent lights. Even supposedly energy efficient CFL systems consume approximately twice as much energy as equivalent LED systems. 

In addition to reducing the company’s monthly utility bill, LED lights also reduce the strain on the local power infrastructure. In fact, this factor alone makes LED lights more attractive than alternative systems, due to the ability of LEDs to reduce the company’s environmental footprint without sacrificing the ability to provide workers and clients with superior lighting.

Improved Employee Working Conditions

LED lighting systems can be tailored to produce the type of light most useful for any given purpose, whether it is office illumination or high quality lighting for labs or clean rooms. For example, LED lights do not flicker like incandescent and CFL lights, resulting in less eyestrain among workers using LED lighting. This reduces instances of lighting related fatigue, headaches, nausea and dizziness when compared to individuals working under non-LED lighting sources.

Reduced Heat Pollution

Both incandescent and fluorescent lighting units produce a large amount of waste heat when compared to LED light technology. Not only does this result in higher utility bills due to wasted energy, it can also drastically increase the temperature of the building. This increased temperature can have a negative effect on worker comfort and productivity. Additionally, the need for excessive air conditioning use will further increase the company’s power usage. 

However, LED systems produce a negligible amount of waste heat, ensuring that the business will not suffer from increased heat due to lighting use. This is especially useful for companies that operate in areas where high heat conditions are common, as LED lights will reduce the need to make extensive use of air conditioning systems.

Durability

Both CFL and incandescent lights are extremely delicate, as they incorporate breakable glass components. In many cases, a jolt or accidental impact will destroy the light, requiring its replacement, and potentially leaving dangerous shards of glass around the work site. Not only does this lead to potentially hazardous working conditions, but it can also increase the company’s operating costs as broken lighting fixtures will have to be regularly replaced.

In comparison, LED light technology is extremely durable and can easily survive most minor impacts or falls. In fact, LED lights are far less likely to break than any of the alternative lighting systems, reducing maintenance related costs. Finally, because LEDs do not make use of glass or hazardous materials, they pose no threat to workers or customers even if they are damaged.

The Lifespan of LED Lights

Finally, LED light technology is very long lived. In fact, the longest-lived LED lights on the market can last up to 50,000 hours, compared to 1,200 hours for traditional incandescent lighting systems. In fact, a large business with hundreds or thousands of lights might have to replace several incandescent or fluorescent lights every day, resulting in drastically increased maintenance costs when compared to a business that uses dependable and long-lived LED light technology

LED Lights and Hazardous Materials

Finally, LED lights do not incorporate hazardous materials. This makes them far easier to dispose of than CFL systems that make use of hazardous materials such as mercury. This can be especially important due to the increasingly restrictive federal, state and local laws concerning the disposal of hazardous waste. Furthermore, in case of an accident, ranging from damage to the lighting fixtures to a catastrophic emergency such as a building fire, using LED lights will protect workers and emergency personnel alike from potential exposure to hazardous materials that could be released from broken CFL systems. 

Ultimately, LED light technology is superior in every way to its competitors. Its reduced power requirements, superior illumination, and longevity combine to offer businesses an option that can lower its short and long-term operating costs without compromising on the quality of the work environment. In fact, it is likely that LED light technology will completely displace other types of lighting systems in the near future.
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Nick Barnett

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