Don’t Forget the Heat Gain from Outdated Lighting

August 21, 2015 By Linda Hardesty

An article in Furniture World points out a side benefit of LED lighting: it reduces the load on the HVAC system.

The lighting in a furniture showroom or furniture manufacturing facility can really increase heat gain, especially if lit with traditional incandescent bulbs, halogen MR16 lamps, or metal halide fixtures. These light sources can reach an excess of 350 degrees just from the heat of the lamp itself and, of the energy put into light, between 60 and 80 percent is dissipated as non-light, or heat, says the article. Whereas LED lamps top out at 150 degrees and reduce the heat generated from lighting by over 50 percent.

Building owners that retrofit with LEDs will not only reap the energy savings from the bulbs themselves, but will also save on HVAC energy costs. As a stop-gap measure, owners can reduce the heat in showrooms simply by switching off some of the inefficient lights.

If pursuing a full LED retrofit, building owners can search for available rebates and tax incentives in their locales via the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy, which is operated by the NC Clean Energy Technology Center at NC State University and is funded by the US Department of Energy.

Photo of furniture showroom via Shutterstock

3 comments on “Don’t Forget the Heat Gain from Outdated Lighting

  1. HVAC savings may be possible only in HVAC cooling dominant regions of the country. More efficient lamps mean additional heating energy will be expended during the heating season.

    • Most large buildings that are one or two stories tall have a problem keeping cool, even in the wintertime. This is true even in extremely cold climates such as is the case with the Mall of America outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota which uses almost all he even in the dead of winter.

  2. Yes there is a HVAC savings in cooling. However, in most states, the heating hours are more than the cooling hours and the heating loads are adversely affected. The net energy savings could be offset by the heating or could even be additional costs in colder climates.

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