Our firm has made the decision in the last few years to no longer use conventional lighting. Thus, we moved to specifying led lighting only. Many of the clients we work with still have conventional lighting installed but are concerned with the upgrade costs and actual cost savings. Here are a few things to keep in mind that may assist you in making the decision a bit easier for you and your team:
- Prior to making any moves to remove and install new lighting, it would be wise to check with your current business representative for your electrical account. Many of the electrical providers offer credits or cash for businesses to change their lighting for lower consumption. Many of them will even do a cost analysis for you to show actual cost savings. In most cases it can offset your upfront or ongoing costs just by making this your first step.
- Ensure your lighting team is an expert with theatrical and architectural lighting. Many firms and electrical contractors only do one and not the other. They both are very different but in many situations where broadcasting or streaming video is going to be taking place it is essential to make sure the color temperature of the fixtures matches in both arenas of use. If you are going to upgrade in stages please keep in mind that in most cases your conventional and your led lights will not match. In this case, I would keep my architectural and theatrical separate and upgrade them individually if the budget won’t allow for the whole upgrade.
- Lastly, you may want to verify your wattage and volts running to your current systems. A good lighting designer will ensure that you do not have to redo your entire infrastructure but compliment what you have already done. In most cases you are going to be able to add lights without adding additional power. LED lights require less wattage. It is imperative that the correct fixture with the proper coverages and foot candles be installed. A good lighting designer will know and figure these items in advance in proper drawings to scale. In some cases in theatrical lighting, you may have retrofit kits to remove conventional setups for led setups. It is normally about half the cost or less of new fixtures.
Another benefit to going to led is that you may have the options of coloring space. Many of the led lights have the color spectrum or color mixing from one fixture. It allows for more creativity or creative use of normal spaces. Since variety is the spice of life led lighting may enable you to spice up your lighting. Remember to stay brand agnostic but solution based and you will come out the winner every time!