More than any other large properties, hotels and resorts can take advantage of the great benefits offered by LED lighting because these facilities have a fixed operating cost for heating/cooling and lighting in all their common areas. While the facility may not always be operating at full occupancy, all the lighting in their lobbies, hallways and other common areas are operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This makes these areas the best place to start either a retrofit or new installation project, as the Return on Investment (ROI) offers the quickest payback.
An LED lamp or fixture will last 50,000 hours – that’s more than five years operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week before it requires changing. On the other hand, an incandescent lamp may only run from to 2,000 hours, which is less than two months operating 24 /7. This means the incandescent lamps would need to be changed at least 24 times in the same five years as the LEDs. It’s not difficult to see why the LED alternatives offer a very good ROI.
As nearly all hotels have felt the effects of the economic slowdown, it’s become common practice for them to look into ways they can reduce their operating costs. By looking at these costs they need to become more efficient with their use of power and lighting, but many turn to the least costly fix in the short-term, which is shedding staff. In doing so, they’ve ended up with less maintenance staff to cover the everyday tasks, which include lamp changing. As the areas we are looking at are normally high ceilings or have high customer traffic, it makes the task of lamp replacement difficult. The task requires special lifts or towers, or may not be achievable until early morning hours when traffic is at a minimum. But staff or mainly contractors are on a higher hourly rate, which adds to the cost of lamp replacement but makes the ROI for LED even better.
What about fluorescent? Although they are more efficient than incandescent, they still are 50 percent less efficient than LED and the lamp life is five times less than LED. The other negative is they contain harmful mercury so must be disposed of properly and collected by a licensed company that – you guessed it – charge for their services. Though fluorescent lamps are more affordable and do last a decent amount of time, they have high color temperature, low Color Rendering Index (CRI), are only dimmable with expensive dimming ballasts, have limited lamp types and no spot light or MR16s – which are widely used and have LED alternates.
LED lighting is now a very attractive solution: Most products are dimmable using the systems already in place. They have a good range of color temperatures and high CRIs – which relates to how well colors are seen under the light used. To be able to see the real colors in fabrics and floor coverings, not to mention food and skin tones, a higher CRI is more desirable.
Lastly, with many government incentives available now is the best time to look at changing your lighting to a better quality, longer lasting and more energy-efficient system. And you may even qualify for a rebate, which makes the ROI all the better!
About the Author:
Gavin Cooper, Vice President and Partner at LED Source, is known as the “MacGyver of LED lighting” throughout the industry. A true Expert in LED Lighting, Gavin is responsible for the LED product lines and continues to find new groundbreaking technologies that keep LED Source® ahead of the wave. Through his varied background in lighting manufacturing in Europe, Gavin has helped to pioneer changes in LED lighting here in North America.