How Your LEDs May Be Costing You

By Torrin Greathouse | April 04, 2017

While they have the potential to be one of the most efficient and sustainable artificial lighting technologies currently on the market, many LEDs face design issues which can drastically reduce their effectiveness. Selecting the wrong LED technology has an equal chance of costing you and helping you save. Below are a few key issues to understand when integrating these technologies, which could lead to elevated costs.

Reduced Productivity

Eye Strain

LED lamps with poor quality ballasts have a tendency to flicker intermittently. While this flickering can be near imperceptible, its effects can be severe. Because our eyes naturally adjust to changes in light, this rapid change can cause repetitive eye strain. Prolonged exposure can even contribute to the development of stress induced migraines.

Negative Health Effects

Because our bodies associate light in the blue spectrum with daylight, overexposure can trick our bodies into reducing their production of melatonin—the neurotransmitter that controls sleep.  A lack of melatonin contributes to the development of insomnia, seasonal affective disorder, and pre-diabetes, all of which directly hamper the efficiency of employees in the workplace.

Loss of Intensity

Unlike other artificial lighting, LEDs do not burn out. Instead, they slowly dim over time. Despite an average lifespan of around 50,000 hours, this loss of intensity can cause them to produce only 80% of their initial output after just 8,000 hours. This means that an LED lighting system often becomes significantly less efficient than advertised before even reaching half of its total life span.

How to Ensure Your Costs Aren’t Elevated

There are a few important ways to avoid increased costs when implementing LED technology it does not increase your overall costs. Integrating your artificial light with natural light is one option. The other is to check that your LEDs are broad spectrum and employ high quality drivers and control chips. This will help to reduce high-blue spectrum light output, and intermittent flickering.

To learn more about the lighting systems currently available on the market, download our eBook A Comprehensive Guide to Sustainable Lighting.

(Photo: Forte Chance Piemonte, CC.)
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