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Thread: Inspection area lighting: spend my company's money and help save the planet

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* Keitho's Avatar
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    Default Inspection area lighting: spend my company's money and help save the planet

    I could use some expert help spending some of my company's money replacing fluorescent fixtures with LED. Here are the requirements:

    - RATING: to qualify for local energy consortium rebates, fixtures must be DLC listed, or EnergyStar rated (they provide comparatively small rebates for Type A and B fluorescent replacement tubes, so I'll be going with either Type C tubes or standalone fixtures)

    - STYLE: surface mounted on ceiling (not recessed): most will be panel lights, but a few need be aimable track-style lights

    - CONTROLS: dimmable; controllable by daylight/motion sensor (we get extra rebates for these features)

    - INSTALLATION: ceiling is about 9'/3m (not high bay); in the USA

    - CRI: min 80 for all, a few at 90 if possible for a dedicated visual inspection area, and the rest should be at least 80 for general administrative work

    - CCT: 4000-5000K (current is 4100K; I'm open to going slightly cooler)

    - SIZE: I'm replacing about 3 kW of fluorescents as a pilot project in my inspection area, and will hopefully roll out replacements throughout the rest of my plant, about 75-100 kW of fluorescents in our high bays and other office areas

    - PRICE: I can sell my cheap CEO on a few more expensive high-CRI lights for specific areas, but the entire project and follow-on upgrades will be in jeopardy if the bulk of the fixtures are too expensive

    Thanks for the help! I'm having a hard time finding too many options with decent CRI, DLC or EnergyStar, and decent price.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Inspection area lighting: spend my company's money and help save the planet

    Virtually any fixture made by a reputable company who will stand behind their warranty will have DLC listing. Even a lot whose warranty is probably meaningless still will stand behind their warranty. Commercial fixtures generally do not have EnergyStar listings ... lack of category and/or makes no sense. Commercial down-lights will have EnergyStar as often they are mixed commercial/high end residential.

    I am not sure what you are visually inspecting so I cannot comment on whether 90CRI will offer much benefit or not in your inspection area. If it is not color critical, then 5000K will provide far more benefits w.r.t. inspection ability due to improved visual acuity versus 90CRI.

    90CRI should not be a lot more expensive, it should just be less efficient. You are mainly paying a premium for them being rarer and having a few more LEDs to get the efficiency up ... at least at 4000K. 5000K is a different ball game. 90CRI/5000K LEDs typically used in fixtures are not overly common so yes, you could definitely take a price hit there.

    4100/4000K is typical in office environments. You won't get any complaints.

    For your office, though flat panel troffers (typically 2x2) are all the rage, they do create more glare .... but they are cheap. I see them installed at 5000K+ in China all the time. Personally I find them pretty awful, but if you have no frame of reference, you may not. If you have prismatic lens troffers currently in the office, people probably won't notice a drastic difference. If you have parabolic troffers, the increase in glare will be substantial.

    Can you give an example of what you consider "a decent price". These days, it can cost as much for the electrician as it does for the lighting, though if you have in-house electricians that shouldn't be as much of an issue. For the high bays, the reduced maintenance and time on boom trucks is often enough never mind the electricity savings. What payback period are you looking for?

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* Keitho's Avatar
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    Default Re: Inspection area lighting: spend my company's money and help save the planet

    Quote Originally Posted by MeMeMe View Post
    Virtually any fixture made by a reputable company who will stand behind their warranty will have DLC listing.
    ...
    I am not sure what you are visually inspecting ...

    Can you give an example of what you consider "a decent price". ...What payback period are you looking for?
    Thank you very much for the response. Can you give examples of a surface mount panel model on the DLC QPL that you have experience with or recommend for some of the reasons you listed?

    Thanks for the commentary on CRI and CCT. This forum and many other resources have been a great help in my education on this topic, and have made me a better QA Manager.

    As far as fixture price...we get energy rebates based on "watts reduced." For each 64W fluorescent (1'x4') fixture that we replace with ~30W LED fixture, we get about $61 rebate ($1.81 per W reduced if it is controlled by a motion sensor). Or, if we replace a pair of 64W fixtures with a 60W LED, we get a $123 rebate. (If we just replace the fluorescent tubes with LED tubes, the rebates are drastically reduced.) So, if we can keep the fixture price in the neighborhood of $100 for the ~30W option, or $175 for ~60W, it will be an easy sale to the CEO. The higher the fixture price, the less chance that my little project or the rest of the factory will ever get approved.

    I'm 100% convinced the retrofit is the right move for many reasons; but, unfortunately, initial cost will be a driving factor in whether we'll continue to suffer under the flickering, greenish weight of fluorescent tubes. If I can jiggle the numbers enough to show a payback period of 2-3 years, I'll probably add that to my argument. I have a feeling my most effective argument will be along the lines of, "here is a not-too-expensive way to make the workplace more pleasant, take the chance to add additional capabilities (dimming, occupancy sensors), put high-CRI lights where we need them, make the place look more "modern", and save a little money every month on electricity and bulb replacements (<3 year payback)."

    Thanks again for the help!

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