What are the benefits of switching to LED lighting?

Other than complying with new California State Regulations (see our blog post) we can think of four key reasons to why switching to LED lighting will be beneficial to your home, business, or office.

Have a big neon sign? If you do, we can bet that you are annoyed with how high maintenance that sign can be. One of the most common complaints that we hear is that energy costs keep rising, and bulbs and tubes break or burn out regularly.

We are excited to announce that by switching to LED signage lighting you are able to dramatically reduce costs and maintenance needs.

Here are four main reasons why it’s beneficial for your business to switch to LED lighting.

Energy Efficiency
By installing high quality LED bulbs not only are you saving money on energy, you are also getting a brighter and cleaner light. Did you know that LED bulbs produce 100 lumens per watt, meaning they will produce a great deal of light while using very little power?

A typical LED bulb will last your business an average of 50,000 hours. Assuming you will have your sign on for 8 hours of use per day, that means that your bulb will last you 17 years. The good news is you also wont need to have any maintenance! With LED bulbs, there are no glass parts to break, and no tubes that can burn out and need replacing. It’s very likely that you will incur no service or maintenance costs during the lifetime(17 years) of your LED sign.

In comparison, with fluorescent and neon lights they typically last only 5 years at max and typically need to be replaced more often becasue they are made with thin, easy to break glass

Both neon and fluorescent luminaires are made with fragile glass parts, and fluorescent lights contain an added danger in the form of mercury. Exposure to this highly toxic heavy metal is associated with a wide range of neurological, behavioral, and nervous system disorders. By purchasing and needing to eventually dispose of these bulbs, you are also harming the environment. The mercury from just one household bulb can contaminate 6,000 gallons of water! Neon bulbs are also powered by a transformer with a high voltage output on the secondary wires which increases the potential of fire if secondary wiring fails, especially on building front signage.

LED lights contain no breakable glass parts and no toxic mercury to worry about. Further, they remain cool to the touch even after several hours of use, unlike neon and fluorescent bulbs. LED also run off of low voltage eliminating the potential of fire due to secondary wire failure like that of neon lighting.

Light Quality
LED lighting is widely known for brightness and clarity as well as customization. LEDs are also dim-able (new state regulation) and can be programmed or controlled via remote.

California’s New Title 24 Makes Smart Lighting a Standard

The California Energy Commission recently updated its Title 24 Energy Efficiency Standard altering what’s “up to code” for commercial buildings. The new standards took effect January 1, 2014. There are many changes under this title that will require local businesses to change their lighting usage completely. Some of the requirements include installing photo sensors, occupancy sensors and multi-level lighting controls for both indoors and out. These new requirements are making adaptive lighting the new standard in California. These standards were created to help the state meet its energy and climate goals.

With a requirement to decrease electrical lighting consumption by 80% by 2020 and residential consumption by 100% (with a net goal of zero) by 2020, it makes sense that these requirements seem extreme and costly to business owners. Did you know that lighting currently accounts for nearly 30 percent of California’s electricity use?

The most important change to the 2016 Title 24 standards, in terms of energy savings, is that many more retrofit projects will be required to meet the new-construction standards for lighting than under the 2008 code.

Non-residential lighting changes.
Under the current non-residential building code, photosensor controls are only required in daylit spaces over 2500 square feet, now with the new standard they are requiring that photocontrols are in all interior daylit spaces with at least 120W of installed lighting power. This change in criteria significantly expands the number of spaces required to use photocontrols, affecting virtually every office or commercial space with skylights or windows.

Outdoor lighting in parking garages, lots, and loading and unloading areas are also directly affected with this new code. They are requiring that in all areas install occupancy sensors and controls will be required in aisles and open areas within warehouses as well. The same goes for the book stacks of libraries and non-residential corridors and stairwells. These controls will have to reduce lighting power in these spaces by at least 50 percent during unoccupied periods of time. This particular aspect of the code is supported by numerous demonstrations conducted through California’s SPEED program and UC Davis’s California Lighting Technology Center (CLTC). Case studies of adaptive corridor lighting consistently measure energy savings of 50 percent or more.

Under Title 24 today, buildings can keep approximately 15 percent of their full lighting capacity on overnight and during weekends, for security purposes. But under this new standards, areas of buildings that are not occupied 24/7 will no longer be able to leave the lights on. The only exception to this rule will be for offices that need to be open 24/7. However, they will only allow lighting along designated paths of egress, and at a reduced maximum of just 0.05 W per square foot (versus the 0.3 W per square foot allowed under the 2008 code).

The lighting in parking garages, lots, and loading and unloading areas will also be required to have occupancy controls, with at least one step between 20 and 50 percent of full lighting power. Parking garages will be allowed a maximum of 500W per occupancy sensor. Case studies show that installing adaptive LED lighting in parking garages typically yields energy savings between 40 and 70 percent, depending on occupancy rates, light sources and other variables. When this is applied statewide, the new requirements for adaptive parking and garage lighting promise to yield significant energy savings.

Outdoor Lighting Changes
Motion sensor controls will be required, in addition to photocontrols and scheduling controls, for all outdoor lighting mounted 24 feet above the ground or lower and for any incandescent luminaires over 100 watts. Controls must reduce lighting power to each luminaire by at least 40 percent when the lights are not in use.

Changing the light pollution/trespass language, the new code will do away with the old cutoff system used for classifying outdoor luminaires up to 175W. Instead, luminaires up to 150W will have to comply with the IESNA’s BUG system for assessing backlight, uplight and glare. This brings the code language up to date for those lighting designers and engineers who have already adopted the BUG rating system in their efforts to minimize light trespass, light pollution and glare hazards.

Residential lighting changes
The changes to this aspect of the 2016 rules are not numerous, but they do introduce requirements for high-efficacy sources as well as vacancy sensors and controls in bathrooms, utility rooms and other spaces. The 2016 regulations also call for better skylights and high-performance windows.

In addition to the changes to Title 24, California is currently developing a voluntary quality specification that will apply to LED replacement lamps. The standard is designed to help utility rebate programs and consumers identify which LEDs are capable of delivering good color rendering (90 CRI or above) and incandescent-like light quality (with a CCT of 2700K or 3000K) for a fraction of the energy use.

For more information on how Daylite Maintenance can help your business keep up with California’s New Title 24 through installation and retrofitting, please contact us.

California Cities That Are Saving Money With LED Street Lights

Forced to balance their budgets California Cities are turning to slashing expenses over raising taxes and fees. One of the most common ways these cities are able to create jobs, save energy and money has been by replacing inefficient high-pressure sodium (HPS) or high-intensity discharge street lights with light-emitting diodes, or LEDs. Why are they all turning to LED lighitng? Currently LED’s are the most energy-efficient lights on the market – the light-emitting diode, or LED variety – are up to three times more expensive than their traditional counterparts, yes. However, the up-front costs are worth it in the long run becasue they consume 80 percent less energy than conventional lighting products and virtually eliminate maintenance costs for up to 20 years.

Seattle, will have converted city wide by the end of this summer and has found that the switch to LEDs is already saving taxpayer money, and that falling prices are bringing projects in well under budget – nearly $5 million in the most recent round of installations.

Our new LED street lights are already saving more than $300,000 each year and with the latest round of installations the annual savings is expected to grow to nearly $900,000,” stated Councilmember Bruce Harrell.

Every city on the list below was able to undertake its LED retrofit project with funding provided from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) – yes, the Tea Party- and GOP-maligned stimulus.

Here are 10 California cities that have turned to LED street lights to save money, improve safety, and slash carbon emissions:

1) Brisbane – San Francisco Last year, Brisbane used a low-interest loan to replace 372 HPS street lights with LEDs.

2) Carpinteria – Santa Barbara County city replaced 199 HPS, 138-watt street lights with brighter 29-watt LED fixtures. The project, funded with a $74,177 ARRA grant, will save the city $11,600 on its energy bill, and cut 33 tons of CO2, annually. Carpinteria has replaced over 90% of its traditional street lights with LEDs.

3) Needles – San Bernardino County city replaced 30 HPS lamps with LEDs. The retrofit, funded by a $30,048 ARRA grant, will save Needles $1,892 annually in avoided energy costs and cut CO2 by nearly 11,000 pounds each year.

4) Foster City – The city’s lighting swap-out replaced 260 HPS street lights with LEDs that use half the energy. The retrofit, funded by a $157,426 ARRA grant, will save Foster City taxpayers $17,600 in avoided energy costs, and $1,900 in avoided maintenance, annually.

5) Lemoore– Kings County city replaced 283 HPS street lights with brighter 39-watt LED fixtures. Funded last year by a $136,469 ARRA grant, the project will save the city $6,240 on its energy bill annually. Lemoore has replaced a quarter of its traditional street lights with LEDs.

6) Marysville – Sacramento retrofitted 176 HPS, 95-watt street lights – 15% of the total – with 39-watt LEDs. Funding came from a $69,000 ARRA grant. The project will save taxpayers $4,285 in energy costs annually.

7) Yountville – Napa wine country town, home to the world-famous The French Laundry restaurant, replaced 110 HPS street lights with LED fixtures. The project, completed early in 2011, was funded by a $25,000 ARRA grant and $200,473 low-interest loan. The retrofit will save the city $21,060 annually, and slash CO2 by 44 tons each year.

8) Ceres – Stanislaus County city will use a nearly $1.2 million low-interest loan to convert 2,200 HPS and mercury vapor street lights to LEDs. The project will save Ceres $108,500 on its energy bill annually and slash CO2 by 346 tons each year. Pay back on the loan is 11 years from the energy savings alone.

9) Burlingame – San Francisco Bay waterfront is completing a two-part lighting retrofit. Part one, funded by a $150,010 ARRA grant, replaced HPS street lights with LEDs and upgraded the lighting at the fire station, police department, corporate yard, city garage and library – good for $29,000 in annual energy savings. In part two, Burlingame will use a $458,633 loan to replace 767 HPS street lights with LEDs. With the energy savings alone, $57,500 annually, Burlingame can repay the loan in less than eight years.

10) Kerman – Fresno County will use a $202,000 low-interest loan and a $72,075 ARRA grant to replace all 718 HPS and metal-halide street lights citywide. The retrofit will save Kerman $26,364 annually, which could pay off the loan in less than eight years.

Are you ready to make the switch?

Contact us today to learn more about how switching to LED lighting can save you time, money, and can help make your properties a safer place.

A cheat sheet to the different types of lighting, bulbs, and light bulb bases.

For many years when heading to the store to pick out a light bulb we would choose based off of the number of watts the bulb produced. Today, our lighting choices have expanded, and we are now shopping based off of Lumens (a unit of brightness).

Not sure what makes all these bulbs different from another?

See the infographic below to help you decide what light bulb is right for your home or business and learn about the differences between size, shape, and base.

LED Lighting Health Benefits

Earlier this year at the 2014 Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vega, NV The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) Smart Lighting Engineering Research Center (ERC) demonstrated a prototype personal light measurement system based on Google Glass.This system was built to assist in accurately monitoring the body’s circadian rhythm. Designed for Google Glass, the prototype captures an individual’s light exposure and biometric signals, then sends this information to an Android app.

The Google Glass design is intended to both monitor light exposure and a person’s biometric signals then deliver the results to an Android app that then transmits the data to your home lighting system to adjust your lighting as almost a nutrition supplement. It will also deliver insight on personal health with the ultimate goal being better sleep cycles. Proper cycles result in better mood and productivity.

Human-centric lighting or light-and-health topics have become increasingly significant relative to the evolving solid-state lighting industry as LEDs offer the unique ability to provide tunable spectrum.

Imagine living in Northern Sweden where you are forced to experience prolonged periods without daylight.By going long periods without natural light you then in turn get depressed, grumpy, and become an unproductive mess. Then, along comes a device that measures your personal light intake each day and it automatically tells your home lighting system how much and what sort of light your body needs to function properly. Sounds like science fiction, right? Check out RPI’s Healthy Home Project in Sweden.

According to a report published in part by LightingEurope, the use of human-centric lighting helps improve sleep, increase productivity, accelerate healing and can even prevent some chronic diseases.

LEDs promise to play a central part in this exciting new field of research, and it will be interesting to see where this takes us in 2014 and beyond.

Visit Smart Lighting Engineering Research Center (ERC) at http://smartlighting.rpi.edu/