Two of the principals from McCall & Associates, Inc. recently attended a day long instructional tour of the headquarters of Cooper Lighting and their product showroom, The SOURCE, to learn about the latest innovations in LED (light emitting diode) lighting. Cooper Lighting is an industry leader in the development and offering of LED light fixtures through their brands such as Halo, Fail-Safe, Metalux, Portfolio, Lumark, inVUE, McGraw-Edison, Corelite, Neorey and others.
LED lights were initially introduced into the market for use is parking garages, where light fixtures typically are illuminated continuously. LED lights are now available for almost every application imaginable. LED light fixtures are now being installed in residential, retail, office interior, warehouse, industrial, medical and street lighting applications as well as the original application in parking decks. Retrofit kits are also available to change currently installed light fixtures to LED. Although the initial cost of the fixture is still a concern, LED lights offer a 25-50% reduction in the amount of energy used to produce the same amount of light as that from other sources such as metal halide, fluorescent, halogen and high pressure sodium. The color of the light (color temperature) and color rendering ability of LED light equals if not surpasses that of most incandescent and halogen lights. Aside from the quality of the light and the reduction in energy use from LED lights, the added benefit is the longer life of the light source compared to previously utilized technologies: up to 25 times longer lamp life than incandescent lamps, lasting up to 68 years in most residential applications and 15 years in typical commercial applications. LED light sources also produce a more even spread of lights from the source. Lastly, LED lights are dimmable using most currently installed dimming devices.
When analyzing the cost of installing LED fixtures in new construction or replacing existing fixtures, most facility owners have previously not adopted LED technology due to the high initial cost of the fixtures. Price points are coming down. When one includes the lower energy usage and longer lamp life, payback periods are now on the order of 4-5 years. Additionally, there is a tax credit available for another two years. A business can claim Code Sec. 179D tax deductions, as enacted by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct), for qualifying low wattage lighting installations completed as of December 31, 2013.
At McCall & Associates, Inc., we strive to stay abreast of developing technologies and trends in the building industries. We seek to evaluate the pros and cons of new developments, and are not early adopters of unproven products. We are excited about the current offerings in LED lighting technology, and will utilize these fixtures as appropriate for our clients. For projects that seek LEED certification, LED lighting will be a great benefit.
McCall & Associates, Inc. is an architectural firm begun in 1975, and is part of the McCall family of companies, including MPM (McCall Planning and Management, LLC) and MCS (McCall Construction Services, LLC).