Do you want to save your company thousands of dollars in parts, man hours and electricity? If you change your lighting to LED you can do all these things and see an improvement instantly. You will no longer have to buy multiple products to do the same one job, Your maintenance workers will have more time to address other more pressing issues then a bad light. As well as the LED bulb last more then twice as long as your standard light bulb and best of all is consumes 2/3s less electricity then a regular bulb while still putting out the same light.


All across the world there is a universal need for electricity. Since 70 percent of electricity is consumed in our residential and commercial buildings, an energy-efficient built environment is crucial (Shultz 63). Electricity is a fundamental necessity to our daily lives, and the big electrical companies know this so they can charge us anything they want for their services. There’s no getting around the fact that we need electricity for light, however there is a solution that can solve so many of our daily lighting problems and the answer are LEDs (light emitting diodes). You’ve probably only heard about LEDs in the last year or so but they’ve been around for over 60 years. Yet due to insufficient technologies the diodes cost to make where way too high (Sayigh 172) Now however with modern technology I’ll explain the advantages of LED lighting and how it’s creating a cleaner environment, a safer option for our house and work place and most of all how they are cutting those high electricity bills in half.

LED's up close.

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. The lifespan of an LED surpasses the short life of an incandescent bulb by thousands of hours (Walerczyk 19). Look around you right now, if you look closely you’ll spot LED’s everywhere from your alarm clock to the remote control. They are on practically every “EXIT” sign and they tell you when your appliances are turned on. When put close to each other they can form images on a jumbo television screen or illuminate a traffic light. But the main advantage is efficiency. In conventional bulbs the light-production process involves generating a lot of heat (the filament must be warmed). This is completely wasted energy, unless you’re using the lamp as a heater, because a huge portion of the available electricity isn’t going toward producing visible light. LEDs generate very little heat, relatively speaking. A much higher percentage of the electrical power is going directly to generating light, which cuts down on the electricity demands considerably.

led street lights

Drive around your city at night you’ll be amazed when you realize how many different shape and size light fixtures there are, then look at the different colors the lights put out, they’re usually a white light or an ugly orange glow. The orange glow is from a High Pressure Sodium bulb. It also needs a large bulky ballast, capacitor, and igniter to fire up the filament and create that lovely puke orange luminescence. Metal Halides and Mercury Vapor bulbs put out a white light which is better then the orange sodium glow but these bulbs are very expensive and are harmful if broken and exposed to humans, yes mercury is in the bulbs, and lets not forget about the heavy block ballast, capacitor and starter that are all cramped into each one of these light fixtures and if one of the four things go bad guess what? No light.

Now take an existing light fixture with a High Pressure Sodium bulb, ballast, capacitor, and igniter and replace it with an LED bulb. You know what you’d get? A light that can put off a pure white glow that will never fade or flicker. A light that will cut out all the extra parts you’d need and in some cases parts that have been discontinued. On top of that this light will last up to 50,000 hours, which is like leaving it on 24 hours a day for the next 6 years whereas a Sodiums lifespan is about 20,000 hours. What about energy cost? Well the LED uses a fraction of the electricity that other lights need while still putting off the same amount of light. Do I need to sale this anymore an LED bulb is the future for retro fitting old lighting fixtures.


I took photos of three light fixtures at my work, there is a Mercury Vapor, High Pressure Sodium, and a fixture that I retro fitted to LED. Look at the first picture which is Mercury Vapor, notice the whitish glow but it’s not a pure white or even a clean bright glow. Then look at the center High Pressure Sodium. See how it puts off a dirty orange light that to me looks cheap and unpleasant. Now look at the third photo of the bright and clean glow of the LED. If you don’t think it matters what color it looks like as long as there’s light, then maybe you’ll change you mind once you see how the light fixture is wired inside.

So look at the first picture again, this is the Mercury Vapor which don’t forget is full of a toxic gas which is used to ignite the filament and produce light. See the ballast and ignitor crammed into that small fixture? Now look at the High Pressure Sodium in the center, you need a ballast, capacitor and ignitor to produce it’s lovely orange luminescence. Alright now look at the LED, do you notice anything missing? Yes no need for extra parts just hook your hot and neutral wires up to the socket base and you’re done. No need to ever replace another ballast again. But here’s the best part; LEDs put off very little heat while the other lights and their parts get super hot which overtime can cause a fire or electrical hazard.

As an electrician I know first hand how difficult and repetitive replacing a High Pressure Sodium, or Metal Halide ballast is.  For one it’s not safe to cram all that metal and wires into a small compact light fixture. Then think of the thousand of fixture you have to work on and you can quickly feel overwhelmed.  But with an LED you get to rip all the guts out of the old lighting fixture and hook up your load wires together and your neutral wires together and BAM!!! Your done. Then in 50,000 hours just unscrew the bulb and put another one in,


Work Sited

Shultz, George Pratt. Game Changers : Energy on the Move. Stanford, Calif : Hoover Institution Press. 2014

Sayigh, Ali. Sustainability, Energy and Architecture : Case Studies in Realizing Green Buildings. First edition. Oxford, UK : Academic Press. 2014

Walerczyk, Stan. Lighting and Controls : Transitioning to the Future. Lilburn, Georgia : Fairmont Press. 2014

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