LED knowhow on the up amongst electrical contractors

LED energy savingElectrical contractors are doing their homework on light-emitting diodes (LEDs), especially since they are now commanding an increasingly greater say on the technology used in individual projects. As well as earning energy efficiency credits, LEDs can save up to 60 percent in energy costs if installed appropriately.

The increasing importance of LEDs

Electrical contractors are brushing up on their knowledge of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in order to offer lighting solutions combining both aesthetics and energy efficiency, according to an industry publication.

According to a special supplement published in Electrical Contractor Magazine, as more and more lighting projects take a design-build structure, contractors are placed in a position of influence in advocating the use of LEDs. Electrical Contractor publisher John Maisel said:

“Our latest lighting studies show that 40 percent of our readers’ lighting projects are design/build. The more we educate them on the technology and opportunities in the multibillion dollar LED market that’s growing by 30 percent per year, the greater value they bring to their customers.”

The supplement says between 60 and 80 percent of electrical contractors now influence or specify which lighting brands to use on individual projects, often advising a mix a traditional lighting and LEDs. According to the report, LEDs can help meet green requirements, such as garnering Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design credits, in addition to other industry standards and codes.

Up to 60 percent of savings

The report cites two examples highlighting the potential value LED solutions can bring to electrical contractors. One such instance is JMS Electric Inc., a contractor specializing in hotel projects. On one of the firms projects, for the Wit hotel in 2008, the use of LEDs reduced the monthly energy load cost by 60 percent compared to the original projection.  JMS Senior Design and Estimating Project Manager Jack Nelson said the extent of the savings were unexpected:

“We hadn’t anticipated how much the branch load really dropped using LED. If we knew of this efficiency beforehand, the construction budget could have been reduced in terms of distribution and service-equipment sizing.”

According to Nelson, between 2006 and 2008 LED technology came on in leaps and bounds with reduced costs, better white light balance properties and enhanced applications.

The report also mentions Decker Electric Co.’s nine-month design-assist project for the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. According to Decker executive vice president Keith Burrows, LEDs contributed to an exceedingly complex project, that comprised 70 types of custom lighting fixtures:

“There wasn’t one straight wall. Every one was slanted, and the lighting had to match the design.”

The report says in order to adhere to energy efficient building certification, LED should be used in conjunction with concepts such as luminaires with well-designed optics, implementing lighting control technologies, replacing lamps, fixtures and ballasts, appropriate controls, bi-level switching, occupancy sensors, dimming ballasts and daylight harvesting.

Bookmark and Share

About admin