Sustainable LED Light Fixtures – Worth the Investment

Recently, a Green Blogic subscriber contacted us to find out how we can help make his property more attractive to current and future residents with green products. The associate manager of Sustainability, Kelly Thompson, and I had the pleasure of walking the multifamily property to look for efficiencies. I’ll start by saying that it was very attractive to begin with, inside and out, but we were able to identify some great opportunities to help the owner, property manager, and renters save money on utility bills.

This garden-style apartment community’s biggest opportunity to lower utility bills came from the way its walkways, common areas, and outdoor space are lighted. We counted approximately 75 floodlights that each used 100 watt halogen bulbs. These floodlights give off a lot of warm light, but they are huge consumers of electricity.

Over the past two years, LED lights have been becoming better and better. This time last year there were limited LED replacement options, but things have changed. Manufacturers are beginning to build light fixtures with embedded LEDs, meaning the light fixture isn’t a traditional fixture with a removable bulb; rather the LED light source is integrated into the construction of the fixture. This allows for more, better quality, and a wider spread of light than would be available in a traditional fixture with a light socket where an LED retrofit lamp (or any other type of light source) was screwed in.

I encouraged the property to test 17 watt LED fixtures that would mount on existing halogen floodlight mounts. These LED fixtures, however, provide a different quality of light than the halogen fixtures they are replacing. The halogen fixtures provide a very warm yellow color of light, whereas the LEDs provide a cool bluish white light that better emulates daylight. This will be a slight change, but I am convinced that (if they even notice a difference) once residents realize how much better they can see at night with the LEDs, they will quickly forget the warm glow that the halogens used to provide. It’s all a matter of preference.

For the benefits of switching to LED lighting and the savings they would see, read the rest of the blog at Green Blogic.