HID fixtures (metal halide, high-pressure sodium) at a one-for-one rate, so
energy savings will be more than 60
The typical upfront cost of an LED
high-bay fixture is at least double the
cost of a traditional HID fixture. However, we are seeing payback trends of
two years or less when the energy and
maintenance savings associated with
LED-based fixtures are factored in—not
to mention all of the state rebates for
LED lighting products shorten that payback period even more—on a product
that should last up to 10 years.
Roque, Pixi Lighting. 1.5- to
2-year Payback. When you factor
in labor and disposal costs and the fact
that fluorescent troffers use ballasts
with useful lifetimes far shorter than
the fluorescent tubes in them, plant
owners can see a payback period between 1.5 and 2 years with LED lighting.
Barna, RAB Lighting. 80 Percent
Energy Savings. Energy consumption can be reduced over existing systems by up to 80 percent; and the payback on investment is typically four
years or less. In some applications, the
payback has been less than one year.
When utility rebates are available
(which they are in many states), the
payback can be instantaneous.
Harris, Lithonia Lighting. Many
Years’ Trouble-free Operation. LED
lighting offers better optical control,
which improves the utilization of light
on tasks. This is a true case of doing
more with less.
The facility operator must understand which LED lumen package and
optical distribution provide the required
horizontal and vertical light for his or
her facility. This can be accomplished
with the help of a lighting professional
using lighting design software or by
conducting a trial installation in the actual space. Also, LED luminaires have
much better lumen maintenance than
traditional sources such as metal halide (HID). Therefore, it is not required
to overlight the area to compensate for
the rapid depreciation of light inherent
in HID light sources.
When properly designed, an LED
high-bay lighting system can save energy, especially when used with occupancy and photocell sensors, and will
provide many years of trouble-free operation in a manufacturing or warehousing facility.
Two-to Five-year Payback. The initial
cost of LED-based lighting fixtures is
significantly higher than for other technologies, but in the right situations,
they’ll pay for themselves in just a few
Those interested in LEDs can use a
lighting calculator to get a rough estimate of what to expect to save at their
facility with any energy-efficient lighting
retrofit. In a 500,000-sq.-ft. manufacturing facility running 80 hours a week,
they could expect a typical energy-efficient lighting retrofit to cost $440,000
to $660,000, and save $95,000 to
$115,000 per year. That means that
without any rebates or incentives, the
project would pay for itself in about five
With LED-based retrofits, that payback period is often a bit longer than
other lighting retrofits, but even so,
LED-based fixtures will pay for themselves in energy savings long before
the fixtures need to be maintained or
replaced if deployed properly.
Many areas offer utility rebates and
incentives, and in the real world where
many of our LED fixtures are placed,
they can pay for themselves with energy
savings in two to five years.
In Light of …
Several concepts emerge clearly. HID is
on its way out. LED is on its way in. LED
is a rapidly advancing technology, and
its cost is predicted to decrease as its