LED lighting is popular upgrade for retailers who want to give their stores a fresh look while saving on energy costs.
But LEDs aren’t for everyone – they require a larger up-front investment than other types of lighting, and they may develop problems down the road.
Before you invest in an LED conversion, it pays to understand the pros and cons.
Advantages of LED Lighting
- Energy savings. LEDs don’t use as much power as other types of lighting, and that translates to lower energy bills and reduced environmental impact. LEDs are energy efficient because they don’t produce as much heat as other types of bulbs. An LED bulb uses about 80 percent of its electricity to produce light. In contrast, an incandescent bulb uses 80 percent of its electricity to generate heat and only 20 percent to produce light.
- Good color. Other types of lighting tend to wash out colors, but LEDs do not. That makes LEDs a particularly appealing choice for displays and retail spaces. In addition, LEDs do not change their tint when dimmed.
- Great illumination. Because LEDs pack a lot of power, they can illuminate large areas. And because of the way LEDs produce light, they can efficiently spotlight smaller spaces.
Lower maintenance costs. LEDs do not need to be replaced as often as other types of bulbs.
- Good for off-cycling. Fluorescent lamps burn out more quickly if they are frequently off-cycled, and HID lamps take a long time to restart. LEDs start up quickly with no loss in durability, making them ideal for applications that require frequent off-cycling.
- LEDs do not contain mercury.
- LEDs will fit in any kind of light fixture.
Drawbacks of LED Lighting
- Up-Front Cost. While LEDs lead to energy and maintenance savings in the long run, they have steep up-front costs. LED bulbs are the most expensive type of lighting. In addition, electrical work may be needed to ensure that the LEDs have current that is constant and at the correct voltage.
- Poorly designed LEDs may develop problems over time. They may flicker, change color, grow dim and provide uneven light. However, bulbs with an EnergyStar rating are unlikely to have these issues, and are more likely to provide bright light for a long time without flickering or changing color quality.
- Color changes. LEDs can change color over time. In addition, two different LED bulbs may have different color characteristics.
- Heat. For an LED to perform well, the fixture must be engineered to handle the type of heat generated by the LED. If this is not done properly, the heat will cause the LED chip to deteriorate and eventually fail.
If you decide to switch to LEDs, it’s important to work with a company that has experience with LED conversions. Powerhouse Retail Services has that experience, and we can help you design a project that will maximize the effect of your new lighting and minimize your energy and maintenance costs.