Avoid these 3 common pitfalls

How cost-effective are your lights?

Quality information is vital before a lighting upgrade is commissioned, so that you avoid common pitfalls

Replacing inefficient lights or those that are at the end of their lifecycle is an effective energy-saving initiative.

However, there are risks involved in a lighting upgrade and extensive information needs to be collected and assessed by a lighting engineer if the most energy-efficient solution is to be found. Other factors that need to be taken into account are the actual lighting performance – ensuring OH&S standards are met, for example.

Three common pitfalls to avoid:

1. Mass failure of LEDs

LEDs are popular but can be poor quality - resulting in mass failures within in 6 to 12 months. Avoid this by ensuring you:
* Only buy high quality grade LED lights from a reputable supplier, and,
* Have watertight warranties and guarantees in place that will cover the full cost of
  replacing faulty or non-performing lights.

Why does the quality of LED lights vary so much?

One answer relates to the way LED chips are manufactured. Because they are grown in batches, by complex wafer producing equipment, LEDs from the same batch can vary significantly in their qualities such as colour, flux (brightness) and forward voltage. Therefore LEDs need to go through a testing and selection process called “binning”, where each LED chip is selected for a particular range of wavelengths to ensure consistency of colour, and for a particular range of flux to ensure consistency of brightness. Forward voltages are restricted to a certain range to ensure that the applied voltage will not destroy the LED when the LEDs are connected.

Therefore the quality of LEDs depend on the parameters selected during the binning process itself and also on how well the binning process is applied in practice. (For more information on the binning process, see: www.lighting.philips.com/pwc_li/main/connect/Lighting_University/internet-courses/LEDs/led-lamps6.html).

What this means is that trialling LED lights before you buy will not ensure quality, as unscrupulous suppliers can provide high quality LEDs for your trial, but lower grade quality when you place your order for 200 lights. The outer casings and fittings will be the same, but the LED chip inside can be a different quality.

2. Poor lighting coverage
LEDs can have a very narrow light beam. If you’re standing directly under them, their light levels are fine, but if you have rows of LEDs in your warehouse, you’ll find you have dark areas between each row (the so-called ‘zebra effect’). Ensure you specify light types that have a wider light beam to avoid this problem.

3. High lumen depreciation
Often induction lights, for example, can display high lumen depreciation. This means the lux levels match Australian standards when the lights are installed but can be, say, 30% less than required standards in 12 months due to rapidly-depreciating light levels. To avoid this, obtain advice from a reputable lighting engineer to ensure you receive independent advice on suitable light types.

The Answer - A Designed Lighting Solution

Out Performers offers a complete lighting upgrade service which includes analysing detailed data before we make a recommendation on the type, size and quantity of lights required, through to a turn-key solution with an Energy Savings Guarantee.

These are typically the questions we need to answer for you before proposing a complete lighting solution:

  • How much does it cost to maintain your lights each year?
  • What is the ten year lifecycle cost of your lighting?
  • What payback would you expect from implementing a major lighting upgrade?
  • To what extent can you benefit from lighting controls?
  • Do your lights meet the recommendation of AS/NZS 1680 in all areas?
  • What is your current lighting power density (LPD) in each area?
  • How closely does your current LPD match best practice?
  • What is your current Light Efficacy (how well a light source produces visible light) in each area?
  • Are you making the most of daylight harvesting?
  • How can you get a bankable 5 year guarantee on your lighting upgrade?

  

In our experience, there is no simple solution so our advice is don't guess. 

Get a designed solution to take the risk out the equation.

Call Dale Stedman on 02 8094 1742 for an obligation-free discussion on your lighting options.