Bright Ideas Lighting Co.

My photo Boise lighting maintenance and energy efficient lighting upgrades

Sunday, January 30, 2011

LED T8 light tubes

We at Bright Ideas Lighting Co recently did a commercial lighting upgrade at a building in downtown Boise, Idaho.  The job qualified for rebates from Idaho Power and was run through the custom efficiency program at Idaho Power, which pays rebates of 12 cents per kilowatt hour saved.

This project was the first time that we have used the new T8 LED lighting tubes.  We have been skeptical of these in the past, based on their price and relatively minor improvements over high efficiency T8 fluorescent lights.  However, in this situation the lights in question were over 45 feet in the air and the only way to get to the lights was by building an expensive scaffolding.   The T8 light tubes that we purchased were rated at 60,000 hours, which is significantly longer than even the T8 extra long life bulbs.  

Below is the picture of the lights before any retrofit was done.  The height of the lights made maintenance very difficult.  Maintenance on the bulbs had not been done in several years due to the cost of the scaffolding build.
T12 fluorescent
The bulbs before the lighting retrofit were T12 "cool white" color.   The owner of the building wanted to brighten up the look and decided to go with a higher kelvin 5500K lights. 

Even though the LED tubes were significantly more expensive than just a simple T12 to T8 lighting retrofit, we felt that in this case the extra cost of the LED tubes was justified. 

LED tube lights

These lights were at a location that was simply not accessable by use of a scissor lift.   The only way to get to the lights was through scaffolding build, at a cost of thousands of dollars, and a large disruption to clients.

Before the lighting retrofit there were no lighting controls on these lights and they ran 24/7.   We have now added a lighting control that turns off the lights in evenings and weekends.  This will significantly cutdown the overall run time of the lights. 

With the LED tube lights and the addition of the time clock controlling the lighting hours we believe it will be several years before the scaffolding build needs to be done again.  

Stay tuned for more information on this project as it will be featured on Idaho Power's "success stories" page, where Idaho Power recognizes outstanding lighting retrofit projects.