Ecolight Solutions was recently invited to talk at the Sustainable Hospitality Forum about LED lighting and to demonstrate how upgrading old lighting technologies can result in CO² and electricity reduction.

LED lights have many advantages and are gradually replacing traditional lighting technologies such as incandescent and halogen globes, fluorescent lights and even some high intensity discharge (HID lights) – sodium, mercury and metal halide lights.

In recent years, the evolution of LED lights has been phenomenal. The improvement in light output by LEDs is unmatched by any other lighting technology during such a short time frame. LED technology is expected to continue to advance.

The innovation in LEDs is spurred by the need to become more energy efficient, which is closely linked to reducing greenhouse emissions.

While there is still a place for CFL globes – those that replaced incandescent globes when the government decided to phase them out – most people found them inadequate as a replacement for the old light globes, especially in their homes.

LED lighting has many advantages over incandescent and CFL lighting, including:

  • more light for less power consumption – 10W LED is equal to 50W halogen
  • long life – LEDs can last for a minimum of 35,000 hours compared to a few thousand hours
  • virtually maintenance free – they last for between 5-10 years
  • switch on is immediate – no warm-up time
  • better light quality with even distribution and a greater variety of colour temperatures
  • reduced heat – halogens for instance lose up to 90% of their energy as heat
  • less risk of fire particularly with halogen down-lights that can be running at 300ºC
  • mercury free with all parts clean and recyclable at the end of its life
  • conforms to ‘old style’ lighting when it comes to light fittings (e.g. fancy light globes).
Additionally, as uptake of LEDs increases, the cost of purchasing them is becoming less.

The home market has been dominated by halogen down-lights for so long that most homes have an average of 20 of them, but it could be as many as 100 down-lights. This results in high wattage, as well as high cost. There are easy savings to be made from getting rid of the 50 Watt halogens.

For example a commercial property that operates for around 12 hours a day has 66 lights to replace. The current lighting electricity running cost in a year is $3,828.83 with a potential electricity running cost of $765.77. Savings expected will be$3,063.06 with estimated maintenance savings of $330. The cost of each light fitting with labour is $50 with the total cost of the investment $3,300.

Research from Beyond Zero Emissions shows that if all existing lighting was switched over to LED lighting, about an 80% reduction in lighting energy used would occur. These savings are around 15 terawatt hours of electricity savings per year, or 20 million tonnes of CO² reduction. This would mean a coal-fired power station could be shut down.

Through completing a number of projects involving upgrading old lighting to LEDs, Ecolight Solutions have found people are more satisfied with LED lighting when it comes to lighting levels, appearance, quality of light fittings and globes.