In a recent move to reduce costs, Cleveland Clinic in Ohio has changed their entire lighting system to save up to 20% of energy by the year 2020. Now, that may not seem like a lot but consider this – over 250,000 fluorescent light bulbs were replaced so if you can imagine the cost before – this will make a huge difference.
This strategy was introduced in 2015 and will take a year and a half to finish. Remember the savings we were talking about? They're over $2 million each year! Whether you have a large facility like Cleveland Clinic or a small facility, replacing your lighting improves your energy efficiency a great deal.
There is a handy tool on the Cree website that allows you to calculate potential savings. For instance, for an area that has an average utility cost of 0.1189 $/kwHR, by switching just 21 bulbs that stay on 24 hours a day, your savings come up to a little over $740 annually. Now imagine that your facility has 1000 bulbs and you can see that the math adds up to a major savings in your power costs.
Your initial investment is going to be about double what you're used to paying for regular bulbs – there's no way around that unless you can find a really good deal. According to CNET,
“Home Depot's 800 lumen Philips LED bulb is priced at just under $40 and consumes 12 watts. A 40-watt equivalent from Lighting Sciences Group, which consumes less than 8 watts, costs just under $18.”
However, let's do some math. At 100 bulbs you will pay around $1800 for regular bulbs. The LED bulbs will be an investment of $4000. Now with the annual savings, you're looking at around $3399 and some change. At that rate, you are already ahead by around $2200. Sure, it's going to take a year to see the savings and in some cases, it may take longer. However, you will see a decrease in the power used and once you break even, now you're on the way to actually saving money each month.
Preventative maintenance comes into play here if you do not want to replace everything at once. Schedule 10 each day or each week even, especially if you do not have the budget to do it in one fell swoop.