The Importance of Designing & Engineering the Right Solution

LED lighting is more an IT project than just a traditional lighting retrofit. Just like implementing any IT solution in your company, you need to plan, design, and engineer the project to ensure you are getting a solution that meets your business needs.

With traditional lighting technology, you use a fixture that has some version of a round lamp. Light emits from the lamp at 360 degrees. Manufacturers use reflectors in fixtures to bounce at least half of the light that is going up, in different directions. The issue with using reflectors is that every time you reflect light, the light source gets weaker. By the time the light hits the ground, it could have lost over 75% of its initial output. That’s why traditional lighting fixtures use so much wattage in order to overcompensate for all of the lost light on the way to the ground.

In LED technology, light comes out of the LED diode at only 180 degrees. In order to direct the light, manufacturers use optics. Optics are small lenses that are put on top of each LED Diode that bend, magnify and direct the light to illuminate the right area. Using optics, light can be directed in an endless number of patterns. For a warehouse aisle that is only 10 feet wide, we can engineer a LED fixture to send light in a rectangle pattern so that more light is thrown down the aisle versus across it.

Most vendors and lighting companies try to sell you LED lights to simply replace your current fixtures. It is important to understand that just because you have 50 fixtures, the most efficient solution is not necessarily to replace them with 50 LED fixtures. As an example, a parking lot may currently be fitted with 4, 400 watt metal halide fixtures on multiple poles to adequately cover the entire lot. By using sophisticated lighting software, we can analyze the different optic configurations of an LED fixture and design a solution that provides increased light for the same coverage using only 2 or 3 LED fixtures while using a fraction of the energy.

Since we are using 60-85% less energy for the same amount of light with a new LED system, there may be opportunities to re-engineer the actual lighting circuits. We can reduce some of the electrical loads off of certain circuits and add loads to others. This creates a more balanced system that reduces overall stress resulting in lower energy costs and longer life. This can only be achieved by having an engineer look at the total electrical infrastructure in relation to the new lighting system to determine the optimal configuration.

Every project should be looked at as an opportunity to redesign and re-engineer the lighting. If someone is just trying to sell you a fixture on a 1 for 1 basis, look elsewhere! You need to work with a company that has the technical knowledge and expertise to do this type of work, like US Lighting Systems. If you are interested in how we could lower your lighting costs, contact info@uslightingsystems.com for more information.

David Etzler, LC

David, LC, LEED GA, is a pioneer in the green industry. David is Lighting Certified (LC), earning the distinction from the National Council on Qualifications for the Lighting Professional (NCQLP). The LC was created as a baseline standard for knowledge covering the entire scope of the vast lighting field. As the President of US Lighting Systems, David manages the firm’s strategy and growth, including strategic partnerships with property management firms and building owners all across the country. David came to US Lighting Systems through SIB Lighting and the acquisition of his company, HOA Energy Advisors, in May 2015. HOA Energy helped commercial properties save money on their energy bills through lighting and lighting control systems. Having retrofit and managed over 75 large projects, HOA Energy had become a leader in the industry. David is active in the Green community and shares his love of the planet with his family and friends.

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SIB Lighting is now US Lighting Systems
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