The world of commercial and municipal lighting is rapidly changing. Today's major lighting consumers require the use of light sources that provide more energy efficiency and cost savings, and help protect the environment. Green lighting trends encompass the reduction of fossil fuel emissions, the reduction of hazardous waste materials in lamps, and the reduction of upward spill light to preserve the earth's night skies. On the forefront of this change are two systems: Induction lamp technology and LED solid state lighting. Both technologies are being selected to replace inefficient HID (high intensity discharge) lighting across a broad range of commercial, industrial and municipal applications. For decades, streets & highways, parking lots, factories, warehouses, parking garages, stadiums, building exteriors, high ceiling interiors and many other areas requiring high light levels have been illuminated with HID fixtures.
Both Induction and LED lighting offer significant advantages over HID. They offer superior energy efficiency that results in immediate and substantial utility cost savings for consumers. Typically, these light sources deliver similar light levels with about 50% less wattage consumed than HID. Secondly, much longer lifespan versus the 10,000 to 24,000 hour life of typical HID lamps provides significant long term savings in relamping labor & material costs. The cleaner, whiter color and high CRI (color rendering index) of Induction and LED provides better quality lighting versus most HID lamp types. Notably, the HID high pressure sodium lamps used in most streetlights, parking garage and warehouse fixtures possess very poor CRI (color rendering index) with an objectionable yellowish cast. Both Induction and LED lights turn on instantly, without the time delay of HID lamps to reach full brightness and re-strike after power interruption. Without fragile electrodes (filaments)to wear out, both Induction and LED provide superior vibration resistance, durability and excellent cold temperature performance.
Induction, however, is far superior to LED for these lighting applications for several key reasons. The 100,000 hour lamp life of Induction is twice that of LED sources at 50,000 hours. Induction maintains 88% of light output over the life of the system, whereas LED output degrades a significant 20% after only 20,000 hours. Because of the LED's light emitting properties, LED fixtures have the inherent disadvantage of producing excessive glare, which can adversely affect visibility for occupants, drivers and pedestrians. Induction lamps produce high quality illumination with high CRI, visibility and visual comfort. Since its commercial introduction in 1990, Induction is established as a proven technology with successful installations in a wide range of HID-type applications.
LED is a semiconductor technology most suitable for instrument panels, signage, automotive, and emergency lighting. High power LEDs continue to evolve and improve, but at present do not provide the best solution as a cost effective alternative in HID lighting applications. Last, but not least, is the fixture price. LED fixtures can cost 3 to 10 times more than equivalent Induction luminaries of similar type and wattage. Currently, we feel that induction offers the best value and fastest return on investment for most of our current applications.
Need help figuring out which solution is best for your facility or upcoming project? Please send us an email and we'd be happy to help you.