Time for a lighting upgrade? You may be torn between LED and induction fixtures. Both offer low maintenance needs, are compatible with a variety of applications, and can secure energy savings. Familiarize yourself with the basics of these technologies to uncover which one will
bring your project to light.
Understand the Essentials
Pioneered by Nikola Tesla, induction lighting has been around for over 100 years –
plenty of time to earn its “set it and forget it” reputation, says Mark Havira, senior lighting consultant at Efficient Lighting Consultants. Induction lamps rely on ballasts and
sealed gas-filled bulbs. Unlike the Edison-style incandescents, induction lamps don’t
require a fragile electrode burning inside the bulb to produce light, which allows life
expectancy to reach 60,000 hours for retrofit kits or up to 100,000 for the latest manu-facturer-provided systems.
“In terms of years, 24/7 use means about 8,700 hours a year,” Havira notes. “In many
cases it will be 20 years before you change a lamp on an induction fixture given the right
opportunity and environment.”
LED technology is a solid state lighting system, meaning that light is created from
electrons moving around within the semiconductor, a piece of solid matter inside the
LED. They tend to be more expensive than induction systems, though this is no longer
true in all cases, Havira notes: “You have to look at the different wattages on a case-by-
case basis and make a determination from there.”
Declining component costs and continuing development are helping to drive down LED
prices, Havira continues. The cost of induction systems is unlikely to budge much in either
direction because the leaps in innovation have already occurred with induction – there’s not
much else to improve on, whereas LED fixtures are still making notable strides.
Most innovation in LED products now focuses on optimizing the entire system rather
than individual diodes and other components, adds Gary Trott, vice president of product
strategy for Cree. This change has contributed to the decline in cost.
WHICH SOLUTION IS RIGHT FOR YOUR FACILITY?
WESTCOR LAND TITLE INSURANCE
COMPANY tackled lighting quality during
a recent remodeling project, as employees
frequently complained about inconsistent
lighting and an irritating buzzing sound.
The company installed over 100 LED downlights and more than 200 troffers to light
the 20,000-square-foot office, eliminating
the noise from the fluorescent fixtures and
clearing up the inconsistency problem. The
new fixtures delivered a Color Rendering
Index (CRI) rating of more than 90, ensuring
LED vs. INDUCTION