The future of commercial hangar lighting is the use of white energy efficient LED light fixtures in hangar lighting, parking lots, warehouses, stores, street lights, outdoor signs, and offices. LED or light-emitting diodes are tiny electronic devices, extremely energy efficient, that emit far more light per unit of electricity than incandescent lamps, metal halides or even compact fluorescents. Basically, LEDs are just tiny light bulbs that fit easily into an electrical circuit. But unlike ordinary incandescent bulbs, they don’t have a filament that will burn out, and they don’t get especially hot. LEDs are also vibration-resistant, provide directional light output, turn on instantly, and perform well at cold temperatures.
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Advantages of LED Lights
The operational life of LEDs is 100,000 hours. This is 11 years of continuous operation or 22 years of 50% operation. The long operational life of an LED lamp is a stark contrast to the average life of a fluorescent or HID bulb. The virtual 20-year maintenance-free operation compared to the labor-intensive replacement of fluorescent lights and HIDs is no comparison. The long life of LED is a major factor in replacing hangar lights.
Another energy-efficient benefit of installing LED hangar lighting is the immediate cost savings on installation labor. The LED wiring is much simpler wiring, requiring smaller gauge wire due to lower amperage, resulting in less labor to install and maintain. Continuing technology improvements to LEDs have helped make some products a more cost-effective energy-saving option. Appropriate applications for LED products include areas with long operating hours, difficult maintenance requirements, or directional lighting needs. Some examples include replacing recessed can downlights, HID parking garage, aircraft parking ramps, parking lot lighting and replacing old, inefficient hangar lighting systems.
Since the LED high bay lights are also instant-on, additional savings can be gained when the LED high bay lights are connected with an occupancy/motion detection sensor system, providing even more energy savings Commercial and Industrial lighting applications are the market segments in which LEDs are replacing old and energy inefficient HID sources and fluorescent lighting. High up-front costs have limited the advancement of LED in such applications. But warehouse and factory owners are beginning to grasp that LED ceiling lights combined with motion sensors and dimmers are a great alternative. Learning to live with having the lights off or dimmed when space is not occupied is a good thing for the bottom line.
In a warehouse setting, like cold storage warehouses, workers are only sporadically present in specific areas of a warehouse, so such installations can take full advantage of the dimming capabilities of LEDs based on occupancy sensors or networked controls.
Parking-Lot and Street Lighting
LED efficiency is approaching that of high-pressure sodium (HPS) and metal halide (MH) lamps, and LED fixtures can be designed with better light distribution. Business owners have found LEDs acceptable for parking lots, hangar lighting and street lighting, even if light levels are lower. A recent utility company study in Oakland, California, found that LED parking lot luminaires saved 35 percent on energy use while providing a more even light-distribution pattern, longer lifetime, and superior color rendering than HPS luminaires. LED light levels were lower than those provided by the HPS lamps, but they were deemed to be acceptable. Because LED fixtures currently have a greater initial cost, the simple payback period is more than 24 months, although this is expected to decrease as prices come down in the future. For parking lots, the U.S. Department of Energy provides the fact sheet LED Site (Parking Lot) Lighting Technology
LED flood lights offer the same degree of visibility that traditional floodlights do while saving money in long-term energy and replacement costs. They are available in a variety of wattages – all the way from tiny track-light floods, to high-powered outdoor floodlights to high bay hangar lighting. No matter what application you are using floodlights for, making the switch to LED floodlights can be a cost-effective move with added long-term benefits in terms of convenience and environmental friendliness.
Outdoor Signs and Architectural Lighting
Using LEDs for marquee lighting and outdoor commercial signage can result in better visibility, lower maintenance costs, and considerable energy savings. Many businesses have also begun to use LEDs for architectural lighting applications. Traditional architectural lighting may include neon border lights running around the top of a building or colored floodlights used to illuminate building exteriors, facades, landscaping, or signs. Many high-profile businesses, such as the Hard Rock Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas, now use LEDs to provide this sort of exterior nighttime lighting. Even a traditional neon “open” sign can be replaced with a comparable LED unit for a very little additional cost while saving 75 percent or more on energy expenses. And because an LED sign will last two to five times longer than a comparable neon sign, it can be a decade or more before replacement becomes necessary.
Technological advances with LEDs raise hopes for significantly reducing electricity usage in the United States. LED lighting could cut the electricity demand in the country by 1/3, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The estimated savings from that adoption would total $265 billion, including preventing the construction of 40 new power plants.
The dominant hangar lighting technology for hangars and parking areas is HID (high-intensity discharge), typically using MH (metal halide) or HPS (high-pressure sodium) lamps. However, LEDs are beginning to make inroads in a variety of indoor and outdoor applications because of their potential advantages compared to these traditional light sources. In summary, LED lighting systems offer long life, reduced maintenance, high color rendition, reduced operating cost, and lower energy usage.