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Now that LED lighting technology has really come into its own, it’s added another option to the possibilities of what kind of lighting you can install in any given building. There are many things to consider when it comes to LED lighting, such as finding the best manufacturer for your project needs, who you should buy from, what product is the “best” for your project, what color is right for your project, is saving energy your top priority, do you need fixtures that are controllable, what are your warranty requirements, and how do you find rebates for your project? Luckily, here are some answers to many of the questions you might have about how to purchase and install LED lighting for your next project.
What is the right LED technology for my project?
Define your project
Understanding what you want to accomplish by installing LED lighting is crucial to making the best decisions. What color do you need? Do you want to save energy? Do you need your lights to be controllable? Do you need a long warranty? Do you need a rebate? Being able to choose products based on these desired characteristics will help narrow down the field.
With rapidly increasing LED technology comes a scramble for manufacturers to make their name in the field. Doing your research and pinpointing the most respected and trusted manufacturers will go a long way in helping you purchase quality lights.
Using manufacturers that you can rely on will help lessen the risk of long lead times, returns, poor quality product, and extravagant pricing.
How do I avoid project delays when buying LED lighting?
Although LED lighting offers a multitude of incredible benefits, there are challenges that come with new technologies. Whether it’s design compatibility, custom fixtures, retrofitting, or numerous other issues, you can ensure a better schedule through various channels:
Work with a national distributor
National lighting distributors have the industry expertise to help streamline the needs of your project. Whether you need recommendations, advice on how to approach a product, or help with an order, leveraging the resources and buying power of a national distributor can work to your advantage. This can be especially helpful when lead times and pricing on products are getting in the way of your project’s progress.
Consult lighting experts and project managers ahead of time to make sure the products you are relying on will be there when you need them. Verifying lead times and shipments will guarantee that the installation process goes as smoothly as possible.
How do I choose the best lighting for a room?
For many projects, getting the mood of your lighting right will go a long way. The needs of your various projects might be wildly different, requiring creative lighting solutions.
Concentrate on color
Getting the color of your lighting just right will go a long way in setting the mood of a space. Consulting a lighting expert should be a top priority for each project.
Although each project is different here are a few examples of using the proper color for certain applications; use warm lights for spaces that are for relaxing, like break rooms and waiting rooms, and cooler lights for high-energy workplaces, like warehouses and gymnasiums.
Importance of Energy Savings
Choosing the correct LED lighting can be based on many things, but energy savings should always be at the top of your list when choosing the right LED technology. Lighting is measured in lumens per watt (efficacy), which basically means it is measured in light output compared to how much energy the LED uses.
When determining your lighting needs choosing a fixture with a high efficacy is very important. Choosing an LED with a high efficacy with maximize your return on investment and save you the most energy on your project.
Controlling your LED’s
LED lighting comes in all shapes and sizes so choosing the right fixture or technology is very important. When it comes to LED’s you should always choose one that can be controlled.
LED lighting is the future, but the future of LED lighting is controlling your LED lighting. Your project may not call for controls, but in the future you may be required to install controls like a dimmer, occupancy sensor, daylight harvester, etc.
If you choose an LED product that is not controllable you may end up replacing your new fixtures before they need to be replaced. Consult your lighting expert to confirm your products are not only controllable, but ready for the future of controls and LED lighting.
LED lighting warranties
Warranties can be a very confusing and convoluted topic. The standard warranty throughout the industry is 5 years, anything less than that should not be considered a quality product. Some manufacturers promise long warranties up to 10 years.
When it comes to a warranty and finding a quality warranty that is “bumper to bumper”, you have to do your homework. Reputable manufacturers will always have the best warranty, because they have done their research, received the proper certifications, and gone through the proper testing, so providing you with a quality warranty should not be a problem for them.
Your lighting expert/consultant should know and understand all warranties on any and all products they are selling you.
Most utility companies should provide their customers with a rebate. If they do not talk to your lighting expert to see if there are any tax incentives. Rebates help fund many projects and should always be taken advantage of when it comes to installing LED lighting.
Your lighting expert should understand how all rebates in their jurisdiction work, and how to maximize your return on investment.