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Does your lighting still work for you?

Kevin Stubbs FSLL
July 23, 2018

Have a quick think… Is your business aware it is probably wasting money?

Previously, I’ve discussed how to calculate LED lifecycle and maintenance on new schemes, but… what are you doing with your existing projects, estate & premises?  By continuing to use outdated lighting, does your business know:

How close is it to lights out?

Some legacy spares become impossible to source

  • Lamps (including fluorescent now) are being phased out under increasing Ecodesign Energy-Related Products regulations
  • Control gear i.e. ballasts for fluorescent are also being phased out and prices may be increasing due to a reduction in non-LED demand
  • Outdated technologies such as 1-10V dimming can compromise your system’s performance
  • Control systems may require off-site repair or low volume bespoke circuit boards
  • Plugs and sockets may no longer be available

NB - Wiring may be deteriorating, especially where terminated in the luminaire

How much it spends maintaining lighting?

Control gear and lamp failure rates – these start to fail in small quantities

  • This proportion creeps up dramatically if you leave it beyond the 10% towards the 50% failure point (this is the normal quoted hours run for control gear)

Ballasts 50 – 100, 000 hours = from 5-10 years life with 24/7 use

Fluorescent lamps 20, 000 hours = from 2 years life with 24/7 use

  • Component costs add up, spending good money after bad
  • Everything that needs maintaining needs someone to do it, this can be costly, and call-out fees may be making this worse
  • If you have been spot replacing lamps or gear, your business may not know what has been serviced when, so on top of lamp colour mismatch, you might end up doing some more than once

How much it spends running lighting?

  • The direct and indirect costs from the above
  • Energy costs could easily be cut by 50% using

Good controls, well commissioned, to suit your current application & use efficient LED luminaires, carefully chosen to suit your application

Hidden problems to your business (these might include:)

  • Staff sickness or even costly mistakes can be caused by:

Insufficient light or quality of light (lamp and depreciation)
Glare (poor choice of lamp replacement)
Flicker (elderly lamps/control gear, or incompatible systems)

  • Lighting controls are overridden to on or the lights are stuck on - often because no one knows how to maintain the system or equipment
  • Emergency lighting not maintained, tested, or below current standards
  • Costs and risks usually increase
  • Disruption during unplanned service and maintenance causes direct and indirect costs to your business

NB - Maximum demand costs and high energy tariffs may be avoided by energy efficient lighting systems

On top of that - if you jump (or had jumped) to a short-term LED solution, you could be in a worse situation in as little as 3 years?

  • Some LED luminaires may only have a useful life of 2-3 years
  • Insufficient light - Insufficient maintenance factor allowance (poor application/design) may mean your space is under-lit
  • You may have re-introduced a flicker problem
  • Not measuring up? Some equipment may not have been specified for the right application or might simply not be doing what it should
  • LED or driver failure may mean “whole luminaire replacement” is needed – this means you’ll have to shuffle lights around your building to aesthetically match an obsolete product

Sounds worrying - Where can I get help?

Replacing your lights and/or control system could save all these costs and quickly pay for itself. Llumarlite has a team of lighting experts who would be happy to visit you - to help you assess your assets and risks.

We can help you specify and responsibly choose the right lighting solution for your project, to satisfy your customers and staff, as well as your accountants. Contact us to discuss your current lighting problems and we can explore the best solution for your needs.