LED's and modern high efficiency lighting options are significantly more energy efficient than traditional incandescent and fluorescent bulbs. Upgrading to LED's can cut your lighting bill in half or more.
LED bulbs last up to 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
What is it?
The most energy efficient lighting technology currently available on the market is the Light Emitting Diode (LED). LED's are semiconductor devices that emit light when electricity passes through them. New LED lighting technology uses energy more efficiently than any traditional bulbs (incandescent, fluorescent, halogen, metal halide, or high pressure sodium) where only 5% of the energy is used to create light and the remaining energy is lost as heat.
Incorporating efficient lighting reduces energy consumption and saves on utility costs, while also improving indoor light quality for occupants, and reducing light pollution. Over the last few years, efficient lighting technology has made great progress in increasing the efficiency of new bulbs while simultaneously making them more affordable. When compared to traditional lighting, efficient lighting is more durable, has a substantially longer lifespan, and requires less maintenance, all of which combined can have significant cost savings.
One of the simplest and most effective ways of reducing energy consumption through efficient lighting is to replace all existing traditional lights with LED’s. According to Natural Resources Canada, for commercial and residential outdoor use over a span of 35,000 hours, you could use 35 incandescent bulbs, 3.5 compact fluorescent bulbs or 1 LED bulb. LED lighting technology has progressed to the point that most bulbs can be directly replaced 1 for 1 or with minimal rewiring. Directly replacing traditional bulbs with LED's is an extremely easy way to reduce energy consumption, however choosing new efficient lighting fixtures will provide the greatest energy savings, reliability, and longevity. The same can be said for high bay lights, linear fluorescent lights, pot lights, and outdoor parking lot lights. The variety of LED and high-efficiency lighting technologies available today make it possible to replace the bulb or upgrade the fixture for the lighting needs of nearly any building type.
Efficient bulbs and fixtures can be matched with lighting controls such as occupancy sensors, dimmers, and timers, to achieve even greater savings. These controls save electricity by ensuring lights are turned off when they are not in use and by lowering light levels. Other simple behavioural changes such as getting in the habit of turning lights off when they are not in use is also an easy way to reduce lighting energy consumption.
How can we help?
The Municipal Climate Change Action Centre (MCCAC) offers the TAME Express program which provides Alberta municipalities with quick access to financial incentives for the implementation of high efficiency lighting retrofits. Without the need to perform a detailed energy assessment, TAME Express will offer rebates for retrofits of indoor lighting, outdoor building and parking lot lighting, lighting controls, and exit signs. TAME Express is the ideal option for any project looking solely to undertake efficient lighting retrofits.
The MCCAC also offers Energy Efficiency Toolboxes to municipalities. These toolboxes contain a variety of useful equipment for measuring proper interior lighting levels, as well as for measuring energy consumption from some existing light fixtures, allowing opportunities for cost-effective upgrades to be discovered. Municipalities are encouraged to borrow an Energy Efficiency Toolbox and get a firsthand look at where their buildings may be energy inefficient.