Shining a Light on LED Technology

Remember 2013? Back then, we counseled our lighting retrofit clients and worked closely with utilities nationwide to find that exact “right time” for them to make the jump to LED lighting technology. Fast forward three years and we’re well past that crucial point where LED’s price and performance converged. Today, a variety of affordable, quality LED lighting products are accessible for those looking to improve their energy and bottom line savings.

Here at Energy Management Collaborative (EMC), we take a best-in-class approach. While it could be easy and may be appropriate to pick one brand for an entire LED lighting retrofit project, diversifying manufacturers can save your companies thousands of dollars while maximizing the long term value of lighting retrofits. Here are four reasons why:

1. New lights won’t require replacements for a long while. LED solutions available today will perform consistently for over 10 years, so ordering replacements are not something that should be a concern for years to come. As a result, having one lighting vendor or three isn’t going to make much of a difference.

2. You want optimal quality and performance. At EMC, our vendor neutral approach to lighting technology keeps us familiar with dozens of vendors. While they often sell the same type of products, a manufacturer may have an excellent option for the one fixture while simply having an “okay” offering for the other.

Using one vendor doesn’t provide the superior quality and performance that choosing the top performing product option does—regardless of who offers it.

3. You want the best pricing. Why pay more when comparable or even superior options are out there? You might like the feelings of safety and stability that come from sticking with those Tier 1 manufacturers—those “big fish” manufacturers that have been around—and will continue to be around—to honor the 10 year warranties they offer.

However, there are a number of “Tier 2” vendors out there—those manufacturers who provide superior products at great prices—that are oftentimes overlooked.

4. You want to qualify for incentives opportunities. By working with utilities incentive and rebate programs, you can speed up your project ROI or may be able to expand the scope of your lighting retrofit.

The standard “prescriptive” programs utilities offer are usually based on certain approved products that are either found on the DesignLights Consortium (DLC) Qualified Products List or possess an EnergyStar rating.

The decision to stick with one lighting vendor could mean walking away from significant incentive or rebate values if the vendor’s product is not included on these lists and in the utility’s program. Remaining vendor neutral compliant helps you leverage high-value program elements.

Lighting retrofits are a lot of work and can distract you from the important work you do to run your business. The good news is that lighting experts, like EMC, can manage the process for you. EMC made vendor neutrality a priority by developing and maintaining strong relationships with lighting manufacturers at all levels. It’s important to work with a lighting retrofit expert that possesses the expertise and knowledge to help you select the best products from the right vendors, maximize incentive value for each, successfully install them into each facility and maintain the documents needed for warranty claims.

At EMC, we know that a one-size-fits-all approach is not effective, and have proven results that a best-in-class lighting solution can deliver 50% savings on project cost with an additional 20% in annual energy savings.

Tony Johnson is technology manager for Energy Management Collaborative (EMC), a provider of state-of-the-art lighting conversion systems and solutions for a broad range of industrial, commercial and retail customers in North and South America. In this role he combines his background in lighting & controls design and solid state light fixture design with his expertise in energy savings to evaluate emerging technologies for EMC customers. He holds a bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering from the University of Kansas.

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