What energy savings can I realistically expect from Low Energy Designs LED lights?

I think the best way to REALISTICALLY provide details of these savings, is from the feedback and case studies from our customers who have implemented the lights over the past 3 years. Electricity Savings: Indoor Warehouse applications: Customers are recording between 70 – 82% saving on their existing energy bills. Office Lighting: Whilst dramatically improving light levels in the office we have been able to save between 36 – 54% without incorporating the savings from dimming or natural daylight harvesting, or reducing the power required by cooling systems. Outdoor Area/Security lighting: Customers have seen between 64 – 78% savings on their energy bills. Additional savings are made by customers not having to purchase IR or expensive CCTV systems as the lights provided allow for excellent facial and definition recognition. Freezer Warehouse/Cold Stores and Large Aquariums Customers are seeing between 76 – 84% saving on energy, this excludes the savings they are seeing from far less heat being generated by the lights, which ultimately decreases the power consumption that needs to be produced by compressors for freezers, chillers or air conditioning. Street Lighting / Street Sign Lighting This varies depending on the roadway size and application or the Sign lights. Typically for Street lights we have been providing savings between 48 – 74%. For street Sign Lighting we have reduced the power from 22watts to 4watts, a saving of 82%.

What maintenance / service savings can I realistically expect from Low Energy Designs LED lights?

Not all may apply to every customer but it gives you an idea as to what may apply and what you could save, based on the feedback from our customers:-
  • Lamp replacement – 91% saving (from 12 – 24 month replacement to 12 – 22 years)
  • Ballast replacement – 100% (not required)
  • Cost of replacing fixture  - between £30 - £90 per year
  • Man hours to replace fixture depending where it is located and access - £20 - £60
  • Cost of hiring scissor lift or cherry picker to replace the fittings
  • Cost of maintenance and safety checks of the scissor life or cherry picker if owned by customer.
  • All costs associated with staff having to order and organise the replacements (includes: % of costs associated/ allocated with running a company for the various employees time.)
Realistically it varies between customers, however it is deemed that each fitting, depending on size and location will cost between £40 - £90 per year allocated for maintenance or servicing.

What is the realistic return of investment (ROI)

This again depends on the customers application and light usage.  However based on our customer including Blue Chip companies the ROI typically runs between 8 – 18 months.

I can’t afford it but know I need to do it, what are my options?

  • We offer a complete fully leased funded solution. This can include the complete design, supply, installation and after care all based upon getting the monthly repayment lower than your what it currently costs your company to run the lights. This means there is an immediate cost saving without any capital outlay.
  • Carry out smaller sections/rooms or aisles at a time as any change of lighting will dramatically reduce your energy consumption.
  • We prefer to work with you, we would potentially look at pricing to complete the whole installation so you benefit from any quantity discounts, but as you obtain funds you would order lights to complete a section at a time.

The other option is to use T5 CFL lights instead, why shouldn’t I use these instead of LED?

It takes more energy to product a T5 CFL tube than the savings it makes in it’s operational life. T5 CFL straight tubes use between 3 – 5mg of Mercury. T5 tubes, a standard T5 tubes uses 28W, saving 50% of the power consumption compared to a T8. T5 tubes cannot directly replace a T8 or a T12 tube because they are a different length and have different electrical characteristics. To use energy efficient T5 tubes you must either replace the whole fitting (very expensive) or utilise a conversion unit (cost effective). You can expect to replace the T5 CFL tube between 6 – 10 times before having to replace any LED.  If you take into account the following :- Fluorescent tube disadvantages: • Fluorescent tubes have a life span of just 10,000 - 12,000 hours – so replacement and maintenance costs are high. • High energy costs - an inductive kick from the ballast provides a high voltage pulse to start the lamp and if the lamp is frequently switched on and off, then the energy saving of fluorescent tubes and CFL’s is compromised. • Tubes flicker and take time to start - if frequently switched on and off the tubes will age rapidly. • High defect rate - due to glass breakage and leakage problems 5-10% of new tubes are defective. • Mercury is poisonous - if a fluorescent tube or CFL breaks the whole building and its A/C ducts may need to be cleaned. • Inefficient - only some of the energy is transformed into useable light, the rest is heat, UV and an unnatural light spectrum. • Unpopular - the light pulses with the mains frequency (50/60Hz), especially when many tubes are connected to only one power line, so the light feels uncomfortable and tubes buzz or hum. • Brightness, lifetime and efficiency are all reduced in cold environments.

We are still unsure about using LED’s, why aren’t the big boys doing it?

Whether we like it or not, LED’s are fast becoming the light bulb of the future for many reasons. Philips, Thorn, Sylvannia are all concentrating on using LED’s for the future.  - Philips Lighting France will light an office building in Paris using LED fixtures to achieve both functional and decorative lighting.
You only have to look at this to understand where LED’s are going in the future and NOW.  http://www.ledsmagazine.com/news

We are looking around at various options?

OK, if you go with perhaps a cheaper option from an initial cost point of view, you will find that you will need to change to LED’s in a couple of years as LED products  will make up about 90% or more of the lighting market in the future.  By this time your ROI would have been paid off and you would have been saving over 75%. If you are comparing our product with someone else’s then you need to ask the companies/suppliers the same questions to ensure you are absolutely getting 100% of what you expect and not find that you have to replace the product in 6 months time. If comparing with induction lighting, our LED lights provide a much higher light output, although you the initial cost may be cheaper we have found from providing solutions and lighting designs that customers will require far more induction lights to the LED light, therefore the difference in cost works out to virtually the same, however our lights will save about 60% savings in energy to the same scheme using induction lighting.

The initial cost of LED lights seems to be higher than traditional lights?

LED technology can be more expensive depending on the application.  For example sealed lights for food production areas can be far more expensive than LED lights due to the nature of the application and stipulations set by the Food Produce Industry. The Carbon Trust Interest Free Loan Scheme may be an option, many of our clients that use this scheme have found that their monthly repayments are lower than what they were previously paying for electricity so they are experiencing an immediate cost saving, but without having to financially find the initial funds to install the lights.

I’ve had my fingers burnt with LED products assuming I’ve purchased a quality product from overseas only to find it fails and the Company won’t fix or replace even though they have offered a long-term warranty?

Our products are all designed, tested and assembled in the UK ensuring we keep our carbon footprint to a minimum whilst helping to keep jobs in the UK. All of our lights are independently tested by the British Lighting Association for IP, CE and other tests such as UMSUG codes. All of or LED fixtures are Tj (temperature junction) tested to provide actual data as to our life of the LED and how well we have packaged.

How do we know that your LED’s are better than the competitors?

We aren’t tied to anyone manufacturer of LED's so we can afford to test various products from different manufacturers to ensure we are getting the best product for our products. We developed technology that protects the LED’s ensuring no matter what the indoor or outdoor ambient temperature is, we can ensure that the LED life always remains within its optimum operating parameters.  The alternative for all other suppliers of LED lights is they cannot offer this and have to put in caveats because they cannot control the heat on the LED which is increased with ambient temperatures. LED’s are fine but it’s all the other components around the LED, Capacitors, Inductors, PCB boards, Drivers etc..  these components need to be of a high quality with multiple LED drivers otherwise the circuit will fail but the LED’s remain. We ensure all of our components are of the highest quality and are stringently tested by 3rd Party test houses. We are also aware of other potential issues with changing from the traditional lighting to LED. We have components within the system we provide to alleviate these problems, otherwise within a couple of years the clients will see many failed power supplies on the lights.

We are moving site within 2-3 years and don’t want to make the outlay if we are moving!

Return of Investment of payback is generally between 8 – 18months.  Therefore the lights would have paid for themselves and would have saved you up to 84% before you leave.  Alternatively because the lights are so easy to install there is no reason perhaps for not taking them with you to the next site,  you would then be making that saving from day one in your new premises, rather than having to then look at reducing your energy and CO2 levels all over again.

Are the Big lighting companies advising that the LED’s aren’t quite there yet?

The complete opposite, take the Building and Lighting fair in Frankfurt (largest show in the world which is only run every 2 years) at this show the main focus for every lighting company in the world was LED. You only need to go to Philips, Zumtobel, Thorn, Sylvannia, GE etc.. to see the emphasis on LED.

Payback period is not quick enough?

Depends on the amount of time they have their lights on generally and hours of operation.  Generally all of our customers have stated that their ROI is less than 18 months.  Electricity is only going to increase in price therefore this will bring the ROI down further.  Some companies can take into account savings from cooling systems, compressors for running chillers or freezer warehouses etc..

Can you do a lighting scheme for us?

Yes we offer a free of charge lighting design and business case service for you.  In addition to this, if you require, we can help you complete the Carbon Trust Funding documentation.

Am I affected by the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Directive?

The CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme is mandatory for all UK businesses using more than 6,000 MWh through half-hourly meters annually (this equates to approximately £500,000 in annual energy bills), starting in April 2010. It will affect around 5,000 businesses and will cost on average £38,000 per year - these projected expenses include the cost of staff and their appropriate training for the CRC reporting procedure. If your business has an hour-hourly meter but consumes less than 6,000MWh per year, your business will not be compelled to be involved in the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, but you will need to disclose some information to the CRC administrator.  A list of the half-hourly meters that your business uses and your annual energy usage from them should it exceed 3,000MWh per year. If your business is a subsidiary of a larger organisation but qualifies for the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme in it's own right, for the purposes of the CRC scheme your business can disaggregate itself from your parent group/organisational body and participate independently

Who profits from the CRC energy efficient scheme?

The money collected by the UK Government from the scheme is recycled directly back to the participants at the end of each Compliance year: the entire scheme from the Government's perspective is revenue-neutral. The revenue is repaid to the companies involved in proportion to their relative emissions in the first year of the scheme - for example, if a company was responsible for 2% of all emissions in the scheme in the first year, that company would receive 2% of the funds raised each year of the CRC cycle. Fixed-rate allocation purchases are exempt from VAT, as are safety valve purchases over the introductory phase. Trading in CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme allowances on the carbon market, however, will be taxed by the government. This baseline figure is then modified by a bonus or penalty depending on where in the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme league tables the company resides. The bonus/penalty rates for the top- and bottom-placed participants has been set for the first five years to be:
Phase Year Bonus/Penalty Rate
Introductory Phase 1 +/- 10%
Introductory Phase 2 +/- 20%
First Capped Phase 3 +/- 30%
First Capped Phase 4 +/- 40%
First Capped Phase 5 +/- 50%

If you say they last 77,000 hours, why aren’t they guaranteed to last the time of the LED 77,000 hours as we are unsure of spending that much money on something that isn’t proven.

The power supplies are only provided to us on a 3 year warranty, this is why we give a 3 year warranty on the power supply and can provide a 5 year limited warranty.  However the MTBF (mean time between failures) for our selected power supplies is over 200k hours.   The data for the LED life is empirical based on actual testing.  Many companies cannot even provide this actual data as they are only quoting the life of the LED quoted by the LED manufacturer before the supplier packages it onto the boards or into the light, these nowadays are so often commonly found to be poorly packaged as well as using low quality quality cheap components that aren't checked this by detail testing which results in the lights failing way before there time.  The data of supplied by the LED manufacturer of 50 or 100k hours at X temperature is invalid. We do actually honour our warranty, we have been told by so many companies that they have had major problems with cheap LED products being imported into the UK only to find that the warranty is not being honoured when they fail even when they are offering 10 year warranty’s.