LED lamps are often touted as the most energy efficient lighting solution on the market, however, they may actually hurt your business’ bottom line. Between decreased productivity, effects on health, and loss of intensity over time, here are a few ways LEDs can be more costly than you would expect.
Repetitive Eye Strain
The light produced by LED lamps intermittently flickers. While this flickering is usually imperceptible to the naked eye, it can create repetitive eyes strain and even contribute to the development of stress migraines. This is shown to markedly decrease workplace productivity, harming employees ability to focus and increasing the likelihood of them calling off sick.
Negative Health Effects
Another major issue cheaply produced LED lamps face is that they generate the majority of their light in the high-blue spectrum. Overexposure to blue light can contribute to the development of insomnia, seasonal affective disorder, and pre-diabetes. This, combined with the eye strain mentioned above, drastically decreases the efficiency of a workplace. According to Lockheed Martin every minute less of wasted time per hour represents a 1.67% gain in productivity—where a 2% increase in productivity equates to $3 million saved per year.
Loss of Intensity
While LED lamps last far longer than older fluorescent or incandescent bulbs, their lifespan can be somewhat deceptive because they do not burn out like other bulbs. Instead, their light intensity slowly fades over time. Although LED bulbs are known to last 50,000 hours on average, some produce less than 80% of their initial light after only 8,000 hours of use. This causes many installations to waste electricity on their “efficient” lighting before they can see they system’s full benefits.
The Best Solution
It is easy to place any two products side-by-side and compare them, however, the best solution for most facilities is often a combination of lighting products. Well-designed daylighting avoids many of the issues created by LED lamps, but even the best systems can only provide light for around 10 hours per day. Because their quality of light balances each other out, combining broad spectrum LEDs and daylighting is the best way to ensure a healthy, economically sound lighting design.