Green Dealer Support

LED; is Now The Time?
September 10, 2012, 11:40 am
Filed under: Going Green | Tags: , , , ,

A couple of years ago, I would not have recommended to anyone use LED bulbs. They were just too expensive and had a limited number of options where they could be used. Times have changed and I believe we have reached the tipping point where it is practical to recommend that LED be on the consideration list. This technology is rapidly changing and the balance between cost and benefits will continue to grow but waiting may no longer be justified.

There are a lot of good reasons to consider LED:

  • Operating cost-They require about 25% of electricity for the same light output.
  • Quality of light-The crisp output can be more acceptable to many and being able to see colors just like being outdoors.
  • Long Lasting-The numbers are huge when compared to anything else on the market. This can be especially nice if the fixture is hard to get to.
  • Cooler bulb surfaces-The heat produced at the bulb is very low especially compared to incandescent.
  • Instant on-Unlike some bulbs that require a long warm-up time they are on when you flick the switch.

Wanting to practice what I preach I recently started trying to find places in my Green Dealer Support office and in my home where installation of LED would work. It is not as simple as it might seem. I went to places like Lowe’s, Menard and Home Depot on a shopping trip to try to figure it out. What I learned is that I had a lot of decision to make.

First, the price scared me to death. I could not imagine paying $30.00 for a single bulb, especially compared to a bulb I would have paid $1.00 for in the past. It just took a long time for me to build all the advantages into my mental ROI formula.

Next, was finding the right bulb for my application; was it dimmable, would it light the work area the way I wanted, is it the right shape, etc.

In the end I spent a lot of time looking over all the material in the bulb aisle and was still a little confused. I did learn a few lessons that worked for me. First, focus on a limited number of areas at one time. Don’t try to change out the entire office or your home all at one time. At my office where I have canned fixtures with 65 watt bulbs above my work area I decided to start here but even then I did not go back to the office and screw in 13 bulbs at one time. Three  right above my desk was all I needed to get an idea as to how it would look. In the end I liked the change and put them all in. It cost what seemed like a lot of money, but I pay the electric bill for my office and I plan on being there a long time.

There are times when I am not 100% sure about these things and like to watch what others are doing. One recent endorsement of LED was a project in Lane Nora FL where a large number of lamps were replaced with LED with a very good payback. A paper written by an industry professional details many of the more technical aspects of LED lighting and how it works in the real world. Another very interesting video on LED can be found by clicking here.

Green Dealer Support’s role with dealers is to help them become as green as possible. LED lighting is one of the areas we will always be encouraging dealers to explore.


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