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The Price Is Light

Electrical Engineering

11/06/2013

Electrical engineers and contractors have a pivotal role to play in terms of educating their customers of the benefits of switching to energy efficient lighting, as there are still many yet to make the change. Here, Mike Barrett, Commercial Director at GE Lighting UK & Nordic looks at why the latest technology is finally making it even easier to install an energy efficient solution.

With lighting accounting for 19% of the world’s annual electricity use and nearly 10% of global CO2 emissions, it’s easy to see why energy efficient lamps are set to contribute significantly to reducing climate change. Furthermore, with the phase out of incandescent lamps continuing, the good news is that the lighting industry has responded well to the demands for more efficient alternatives.

Electrical engineers and contractors now have access to a wide range of products, each suitable for different applications or requirements but all with the underlying benefit of improved efficiency.  It’s an area that continues to evolve, meaning it pays to keep up to date with the latest technologies. However, it’s important to remember that there is no ‘one size fits’ all option and when it comes to specification  - the installation must be fit for purpose.

LEDs are by far the most talked about innovation, the popularity of which has exploded in recent years, reducing energy costs and carbon emissions across a host of sectors. First invented by GE Lighting, LEDs convert electrical impulses into light and were initially viewed as an ideal light source for purely aesthetic reasons. LEDs have now positioned themselves as one of the front-runners in energy efficient lighting technology. Key maintenance and performance qualities mean LEDs truly are the ultimate fit and forget solution and ensure a high efficiency output is maintained throughout a building’s life.

The rise of LED technology has now reached a point where it can compete in commercial office and retail environments with traditional linear fluorescent lighting. Currently there is a cost penalty, but the brave leaders that are taking the plunge into LED technology now - will reap the rewards in future years. A good example of this technology is GE Lighting's Lumination LED Luminaires, which replace traditional T8 and T5 office lighting products. The output matches that of linear fluorescent products, with up to 40% energy savings and the controlled lighting distribution means that, in most cases, fewer fittings need to be used to achieve a similar or improved result.

Another great example of a practical LED solution is the Infusion LED module. The key to this technology is that it is a replaceable module so, as technology improves, you replace only the module and re-use the housing. Furthermore, due to its outstanding performance capabilities they can offer a lifetime of over 50,000 hours, which means the period between having to replace the light source is significantly extended.

Should saving energy be deemed the priority over reducing maintenance cycles, then linear fluorescents such as the GE Watt-Miser™ range are specifically designed to reduce energy costs in existing installations. For large offices and public buildings where lighting is on for long periods of time, these lamps can cut energy costs by up to 10% versus standard linear fluorescent lamps.  The GE Watt-Miser™ lamps have been designed as direct replacements, meaning no new ballast or fitting is required and they are available in T8 and T5 versions.

It's vital that whatever the lamp eventually selected, it has to be fit for purpose. Electrical contactors should question each customer on the lighting requirements first, taking into account where the lighting is being installed, what budget they are working to and what kind of light output is needed. It is then easier to identify the best energy-efficient replacement lamp.

The fact is reducing energy consumption and improving energy efficiency through lighting - really is a straightforward solution. Customers should be informed that by upgrading their lighting system today they will save money and reduce maintenance costs for the long term.

For further information about a complete range of energy efficient lighting visit: www.gelighting.com/eu or call Tel: 0808 156 0221.

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