LED LIGHTING INDUSTRY INSIGHT
by Paul Martin, Operations Director
The LED Lighting Industry has changed dramatically since Verde LED was established in 2009. Back then, commercial LED lights were a relatively new concept in Ireland, and expensive. A lot of time was spent educating and explaining to people the benefits and cost savings of LED. Nowadays most people are very aware of LED lighting, their benefits and energy efficiency. Companies feel an obligation not only to reduce costs but to participate in CO2 emission savings where they can.
Initially finance was an obstacle and the lights themselves were expensive. In the bleak economic climate, people and companies didn’t necessarily have the funds to switch over to LED lights, despite the energy savings and reduced bills that would have followed. We have found that in the last few years the finance barrier has eased up and projects have become less of a “hard sell”. Project paybacks are now, more often than not, 2-3 years, instead of the 4-5+ years when we established the company. Increasingly, more companies are financing projects, or sharing the savings from the energy bills with little or no upfront outlay.
With the price of LED lights reducing dramatically over the past decade, we are noticing a shift towards replacing the entire light fixture, as opposed to retrofitting existing fittings. This is great to see as it ensures a more uniform finished product. More often than not, it actually takes less units to achieve the desired lighting requirements. In Verde LED, we back up our recommendations with detailed lighting designs which helps the customer calculate and visualize an optimized environment.
The SEAI has been a seismic driver in the lighting industry through offering incentives such as energy credits and SEAI tailored schemes, such as the Lighting Pilot Scheme/ 2018 SME Scheme and Better Energy Community (BEC) Schemes. These schemes have helped reduce the initial outlay for clients and have sped up the project conversion rate in the industry. The SEAI have also developed a Triple E register, which is a list of the best in class energy efficient products. All Verde LED Products are listed on the Triple E register! All products on this list must have met a minimum set of stringent efficiency, quality illustrating criteria and best in class technology. This system has taken the guess work out of buying quality lights, providing perspective purchasers with the assurance that you are purchasing a product of high efficiency and quality.
Switching old fluorescent bulbs out for LED’s is a great step towards reducing a company’s overall energy consumption as well as their costs. The Investment payback (which depends on the operating hours, investment costs and price per k/watt) is getting better and shorter, especially when the company chooses products from the SEAI Triple E Register. Fluorescent lights have to be changed quite regularly. Nowadays a lot of the LED lights offer a 5-year warranty or 50,000 + operating hours products as standard, and that alone from a maintenance point of view is a seismic saving. The lights are lasting longer, at a lower wattage than before, helping to reduce energy bills, and less physical man hours involved in changing bulbs etc.
It’s a win-win situation all round!