Insights

Energy Savings of LED Lighting vs Traditional Legacy Lighting Fixtures

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Decorative Commercial Outdoor Lighting fixtures has been extremely successful over the past few years. According to market research by Goldman Sachs, LED lighting technology went from having only 1% of the lighting market in 2010 to around 28% in 2015, and is expected to hold a market share of over 95% by 2025. In most cases, the main incentive for upgrading to LED lighting is achieving energy savings. The total reduction in electric power consumption depends on the type of lighting currently being used, but there are cases where the savings achieved go over 80% vs traditional legacy lighting.

Comparing LED Bulbs with Incandescent and Fluorescent Bulbs

Upgrading legacy (incandescent and fluorescent) bulbs is a very simple energy conservation measure for both homes and businesses, and it offers the advantage of not requiring specialized labor.


When replacing legacy bulbs, LED lighting offers savings of over 80 percent and a service life that is 25 times longer. For example, a 100-watt electric bulb rated for 1,000 hours of use can be replaced with a 15-watt LED equivalent that lasts for 25,000 hours or more.


When replacing fluorescent bulbs, LED products can yield savings of over 30 percent. There is a service life increase as well: fluorescent bulbs last 10,000 on average, only 40% of the rated life of most LED bulbs. Some LED bulbs also offer dimming, automation and color adjustment options. For example, the same bulb can be set to provide clear white light at full brightness when a task requires concentration, and then warm white light at partial brightness to create a more relaxing atmosphere for watching television.

Upgrading Fluorescent Tubes to LED Lighting

Fluorescent T8 tubes are among the most common lighting products for indoor commercial settings, offering moderate efficiency and an affordable upfront cost. However, LED tube lighting is now a viable alternative, and qualifies for rebates in many states. There are two main options when replacing commercial fluorescent fixtures with LED bulbs:

Replacing 32-watt fluorescent tubes with LED products that are designed to use the same fixtures. Power consumption varies by manufacturer, but these tubes typically consume between 12 and 18 watts. Some require the fluorescent ballast to be bypassed, others are directly compatible, and there are models with a dedicated external driver.


There are also integrated commercial led light fixtures that completely eliminate the concept of tubes and replace the entire luminaire: they have a specially designed geometry and an array of LEDs. Replacing commercial fluorescent lighting with LED normally yields savings in the range of 30 to 65 percent, but this can be increased with lighting automation and daylighting measures.

Advantages of LED Decorative Commercial Outdoor Lighting Over Industrial HID Fixtures

Industrial settings often use high-bay fixtures with metal halide bulbs. This technology offers a potent lighting output, but is outclassed by LED commercial office lighting fixtures in many ways: MH bulbs normally last for around 10,000 hours, possibly less if they are frequently switched ON and OFF. On the other hand, high-bay industrial LED fixtures may offer a service life of over 100,000 hours. Energy savings of 60% or more are normally achieved. For example, a 450-watt metal halide fixture may be replaced with a 200-watt LED product with an equivalent luminous output.


Of course, it is very important to select LED products that match the application. An energy audit by a qualified field engineer is a great way to detect promising lighting upgrades and other energy conservation measures, especially in large commercial or industrial facilities. Your audit should also include an evaluation of incentive procurement your project might be eligible for.


Scott Van Kerkhove is the CEO of Energywise and writes on issues surrounding energy management, energy efficiency and sustainability.

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