Lighting your workspaces: Rhino Lighting shares tips on how LEDs can help you to cut your energy bill efficiently

AUGUST 15, 2016

Despite a promise by parastatal Eskom of no load-shedding for the foreseeable future, soaring energy prices have forced businesses to continue to cut energy consumption.

The issue has become particularly crucial for companies bearing the ISO 50001 energy management standard certification, which requires an energy-saving plan, which targets a reduction of 10 to 15% per year.

Conducting energy audits and embracing energy-efficient technologies has become the starting point for most industrial and commercial enterprises, with a popular solution being the replacement of conventional lighting with new technology light emitting diodes (LEDs).

Replacing compact fluorescent lighting (CFL) with new-generation LED luminaires, or light fittings, has been shown to result in up to 50% reduction in lighting energy costs, with halogen replacement savings as high as 90%.

As an example, Rhino Lighting’s recent installation of SA-manufactured new technology LED lighting at the popular Newton Park Swimming Pool in Port Elizabeth has resulted in a 50% reduction in the centre’s monthly lighting bill.

For industrial settings, LED lamps have also been proven to have a longer lifespan – an average of 30 000 hours compared to 1 000 hours for incandescent and 8 000 hours for CFL bulbs. Additional benefits such as lower maintenance, improved longevity, mercury-free components and reduced greenhouse gas emissions mitigate any initial higher outlay on LED lighting.

However, consumers should be wary because not all LED lighting options are created equal.

Cheap, foreign imports, especially those from China, have flooded the local market and damaged the reputation of LED. Fortunately, South African manufacturers are rising to the challenge and producing good quality, locally made luminaires. The added benefit of buying locally manufactured lighting is that after-sales support is available, unlike foreign imports.

Aside from quality issues, new generation LEDs make old-school versions look outdated and consumers need to make informed choices when selecting their lighting. Old lighting fixtures are particularly vulnerable to voltage fluctuations as a result of Eskom’s “dirty power” supply but new-generation LEDs feature built-in integrated constant current regulation, or so-called “driverless” technology to manage this.

Most foreign-made options that are currently available in the market have no built-in protection.

Driverless technology is also far more forgiving in terms of exposure to high temperatures. The old chip-on-board drivers cope with temperatures up to 70 degrees Celsius, while the new driverless ones are fit for high operating temperatures up to 140 degrees, which is especially useful in factory environments.

End users, especially those in commercial or factory settings, are encouraged to have their service provider analyse their environment to find the correct solution for the application involved.

Tel: 041 451 3197 or email: [email protected] or visit www.rhinoenergy.co.za/rhino-group