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If you’ve heard the hooplah about energy-efficient “light bulbs,” does a lighting system retrofit even make sense? If you’re making the decision for your facility, how do you get the bean counters to spend money on new ballasts, wiring, shades, and all the other elements of a retrofit when a presto chango of the bulb saves energy?
First of all, the savings from simply changing the lamp aren’t that great. In fact, a simple lamp change can cost you energy. For example, replacing dimmer-controlled incandescent conference room lamps with CFLs is likely to result in more energy use. And the lighting itself is terrible.
A proper lighting system upgrade requires a fairly modest investment of capital. Dollar for dollar, it’s likely to save more energy than other energy-saving measures, such as upgrading the windows. And the big return on investment occurs quickly.
It’s not just that you use fewer kWH to produce the same number of lumens. It’s that a more efficient lighting system produces less heat, thus reducing your cooling load. For a cooling-intensive facility such as a data center, this is a crucial advantage. For other facilities, it can make a difference in relation to peak-loading charges from the utility.
Another advantage is based on the fact that lights (except incandescent) are non-linear loads. A dramatic reduction in the facility’s non-linear load will improve overall power quality. The lighting project may also qualify for a utility rebate; check with your local utility about this.
Source: Mark Lamendola | Mindconnection