Guest post - Lisa Wetherell
Benefits of LED Lighting for Commercial and Architectural Applications
Author Bio: Lisa Wetherell runs the blog Lighting House - where she writes about her knowledge gained from 10 years of industry experience in the lighting and interior design field. To learn more about how lighting can improve your space, you can follow her blog.
Light in commercial and architectural applications has more than just a functional aspect. If used
right, it can help highlight design and set specific moods that influence the way a person perceives the space.
In a commercial setting, lighting can be used to bring various products or exhibits into focus, increase the desire for purchase, and guide the foot traffic throughout the building. In an office, lighting can increase or decrease productivity, while the lighting we install in our homes is just as important when it comes to design, atmosphere, and safety.
The good news is that more and more specialists in architecture and interior design understand the power of lighting as an architectural element. Furthermore, there are plenty of options when it comes to lighting solutions.
But, in the last few years, LED lights started gaining popularity. Their design, durability, and low-consumption recommend them for a wide array of applications, which is why today we’ll have an in-depth look at their main benefits in both commercial and architectural applications.
Universally Useful & Durable
Because they don’t get hot (like incandescent lights), LED lights can be used in any environment. This means they’ll work in both indoor and outdoor settings, even when it’s cold outside.
Most parking structures and commercial buildings used LED for their outdoor lights in low temperatures without worrying about increased costs or damage. Unlike fluorescent lamps, LED lights don’t register a decrease in the perceived intensity of light when exposed to cold temperatures. In fact, their performance is increased!
Furthermore, because there is no filament or glass bulb, LEDs are quite resistant to vibrations and changes in temperature. As a result, commercial and industrial settings use them almost exclusively.
Low-Cost & Effective Lighting Solutions
Businesses and commercial spaces love using LEDs for their lighting applications because of their low-consumption rate. When compared to other types of lighting, LEDs come strongly in the first place because they are extremely effective in transforming electric energy in visible light, without wasting a lot on heat.
Here is a short comparison with halogen and incandescent lights:
Halogen fixtures waste 80% of energy on heat and only use 20% to create visible light
Incandescent lights waste 90% on heat and use only 10% to generate light
LED lights use 80% of the energy to generate light and only 20% is used to generate heat.
So, when you must leave the lights on all night, in a huge shopping center or a parking lot, you need a cost-saving solution that’s both durable and safe to use. And, knowing that LED lights consume only 212.5 KWh of electricity over 25,000 hours while incandescent lights consume 1,500 kWh on the same amount of time (according to this comparison chart), it’s easy to understand that the former is more cost-effective than the latter.
Since LED lights don’t get hot, they don’t burn out as fast as other fixtures.
The projected lifespan of an LED bulb is 25,000 to 50,000 hours and can burn continuously without getting damaged. CFL and incandescent lights only reach up to 10,000 hours and respectively 1,200 hours.
Given their resilience to all environmental conditions and the long lifespan, LED fixtures are favored in both commercial and industrial applications. It also makes sense to have them installed in hard-to-reach places since you don’t need to replace them often.
Quick note: with newest LED bulbs, producers project a lifespan that can go as high as 25 years, if used in a house under normal conditions.
Good Lighting Quality
Before LEDs became so popular, they had a major flaw. The light beam they managed to create was narrow and focused, so the lighting quality was low. But the arrival of new technologies, allowed producers to use clusters of LEDs to create more visible light.
Even more, the LED clusters were fitted in diffuser lenses to avoid focusing the beam in one direction. As the technology improved, the cost of LED bulbs dropped (and continues to drop), to the point where they are the best solution on the market.
The Green Solution
Both commercial and at-home lighting solutions must consider the carbon footprint they put on the environment.
So, besides being more energy efficient, LED lights are also recyclable (which is a unique characteristic in this niche).
Another aspect that puts LEDs under the spotlight, is their versatility in design. They come in so many shapes and sizes that it’s extremely easy to integrate them in any interior design setting.
For instance, there are several designs that can be used in both commercial and residential areas:
Omnidirectional bulbs - work just like standard incandescent bulbs, spreading the light in all directions;
Dimmable globe bulbs – mostly used in bathrooms or other areas where you need a dimmable light, these can go from 10% to 100% and spread light on a wide area;
Tube lights – used instead of fluorescent tube lights and recommended for high ceilings (they don’t need to be replaced as often);
Track lights – More homeowners prefer using LEDs for their track lights because they don’t increase heat in the room;
Flame tip - Designed to replace the old designs with incandescent lights, these spread the light upwards and to the side, not downwards.
The list could go on since nowadays we even have LED strips that can be cut according to your needs and then installed and wired.
Overall, LED lighting solutions are the most versatile, maintenance-free, and cost-effective on the market. They are durable, require little to no attention, and reliable regardless of environmental conditions.