According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), commercial buildings – largely comprised of office, retail, educational, healthcare, and hospitality facilities – account for nearly 20% of the energy consumed in the U.S., with over half of that energy specifically used for heating and lighting.
In ACEEE’s December 2016 white paper, “Pathway to Cutting Energy Use and Carbon Emissions in Half,” the ACEEE identified the process of “substantially improving the efficiency of existing factories, homes, commercial buildings, transmission and distribution systems, and power plants,” as a key means of achieving nationwide energy reduction goals of 50% by 2050.
Among other methods, commercial building upgrades involving energy-efficient lighting technologies like LEDs are a popular and viable way to contribute to these national energy reduction objectives.
Why LED Lights are More Efficient Than Incandescent Bulbs
Compared to incandescent and halogen light bulbs, LEDs can provide tremendous energy savings. For facilities that use traditional incandescent bulbs, LED lighting is more efficient than either incandescent bulbs or fluorescent bulbs and the reason why comes down to how they generate light.
Incandescent bulbs create light by heating a filament inside the bulb; the electricity makes the filament white-hot, producing the light that you see. Most of the energy is used to create the heat in an incandescent bulb is wasted.
Fluorescent bulbs use an electric current to excite mercury vapor inside the tube, which creates short-wave ultraviolet lights that causes the phosphor coating inside the tube to glow. Because fluorescent light bulbs don’t use heat to create light, they are far more energy efficient than regular incandescent bulbs but there is still wasted energy.
LED (light-emitting diodes) are the most energy efficient option of the three. LED are semiconductors and as electrons pass through them, it turns into light. More of the energy used in an LED is converted to light, and less is radiated as heat, making them the most efficient option.
LED lighting also offers a longer lifespan than other bulbs and contain no mercury, making them an all-around more environmentally friendly option.
You can read more about the 2016 ACEEE whitepaper, Pathway to Cutting Energy Use and Carbon Emissions in Half here.
Interested in seeing how these new products would work in your facility? Contact Litetronics for our free 60-day trial offer.