Saving Money on Lighting Maintenance in Your Manufacturing Facility

There’s always pressure to reduce costs in manufacturing, not just on the production line, but anywhere you can.  LED’s lighting controls are an answer because they reduce energy use.  But can they reduce your costs in other ways?

In fact, they can.  LED’s not only save energy, with a little strategizing they can also help you slash your maintenance budget.

Choose LED’s and other new technologies over traditional lamp

Part of your maintenance budget is periodic lamp/bulb and or ballast replacement.  When you replace fluorescent or HID lamps with the newer LED technology, you will have far fewer lamp changes.

For example, a typical 400-watt metal halide lamp has a life expectancy of about 15,000 hrs.  When the Metal Halide lamp is first installed, it is almost at full light/ lumen output. Through the course of time, and at about 50% of the Metal Halide’s rated life, the lamp typically loses about 50% of its lumen output. The HID’s counterpart, an LED only loses about 10% of its lumen output after 30,000 hrs.  

Fluorescents do better than HID’s when it comes to lumen output retention but still not nearly as good as LEDs. Fluorescents only lose about 30% of their lumen levels up until reaching about 20,000 hours and then they start to rapidly lose lumen output.

LED’s typically cut your energy consumption in half or better due to newer technology which has greatly increased LED lumen output.  You can count on a 50% reduction in energy when replacing HID’s and linear fluorescent lamps. The energy savings is much more dramatic when replacing incandescent or halogen lamps.

Choose LED fixtures where appropriate

You may decide to install a new LED fixture in place of your current lighting fixtures. It can be as simple and disconnecting the old and replacing the new. This of course depends on when current fixtures were installed.  

If a facility runs two shifts a day averaging 100 hours a week with all lamps burning, it will take an estimated 10 years before you would even need to consider changing out your fixtures.  By then, you would typically have met your ROI by end of year 3 or 4 depending on the system.

Energy efficient changes can free up capital to invest in machinery, technology, additional labor, etc. and you can still put money away for your next lighting investment.  Technology is changing rapidly, and I can see another 50% in lighting energy savings in the next 5 to 10 years or sooner!

LED’s love the cold and typically perform well where there is vibration

LED’s light quickly, even in cold environments.

Vibration can also be an issue in manufacturing. That is where LED fixtures come in. This can be a significant problem in factory environments or other places where there is a whole lot of shaking going on during the workday. LED fixtures are somewhat vibration resistant. Unlike conventional lamps that use filaments to generate light, LEDs produce light using a robust semiconductor. The vibration will rarely cause LEDs to fail, but it will speed up the lumen degradation rate. In situations where there is a lot of vibration, an LED fixture is recommended.

Don’t forget outdoor lighting

If you have had to pay an electrician with a bucket truck to change lamps and ballast in your parking lot, you know how steep the costs for that sort of work can be. With LED’s, you can greatly lengthen the time between lighting changes, so be sure to include the parking lot and security lighting in your plans.

Consider Lighting Controls

When you use a light for longer than it is needed, you not only pay more in electricity costs, you move the day closer when the lamp or fixture will need to be changed out. With the right lighting controls, you can make sure that lighting use is optimized, stretching out the maintenance life cycle.

The right lighting controls can increase safety, too. For example, something as simple as a motion detector can ensure there’s always enough light in a loading/unloading area as well as in your parking lots. And, a well-lit area can reduce accidents.

All thing considered

Good lighting can increase production as well as employee morale, not to mention safety. This fact has been proven over and over.

Spend your investment wisely. LED lighting can range in cost from inexpensive to a bit more costly. The investment should be weighted by a good side by side comparison.

Is the lighting manufacturer a new company or one that has been in business for several years? In other words, be wary when the warranty of the product is longer than the years the manufacturer has been in business.

Payback and ROI are very important too when choosing a product.  However, having to replace the less expensive LED fixtures that came with great incentives and fail quickly, can be costly.

In lite (no pun intended) of our economic situation where Nuclear Plants are closing across our country and there are possible changes in legislation, an unsurety in the future cost of energy, it is wise to save where you can.

Installing LED lighting and lighting controls are truly great investments. Get good advice from a long tenured, community minded company when considering options.