Business owners understand the importance of operating cost effectively. The more money you can save on unavoidable (but necessary) expenses, the more money you can put into your business—into directly affecting the bottom line. For retail stores and many other commercial enterprises, lighting is one of those expenses that can inadvertently place a stress on your operations and prevent you from reaching your main goal: sales.
Most people know that LED lighting is incredibly efficient. But many of those people also distrust the manufacturer’s performance claims and recoil at the price per bulb in comparison to other lighting technologies, such as CFL or halogen. So how do you get around this?
There is an answer. An answer that will satisfy doubts about bulb performance and alleviate concerns over a large upfront investment in LED light bulbs.
ENERGY STAR certified LEDs.
ENERGY STAR is a U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program that sets standards for energy efficiency and quality, so you can rest assured that the specifications listed on the packaging live up to their claims. “Other bulbs may be cheaper, but the tests that ENERGY STAR requires are important, and necessary for customers to get the performance they expect.” (www.energystar.gov).
ENERGY STAR qualified LED bulbs:
- Use at least 75 percent less energy and last at least 15 times longer than an incandescent bulb.
- Have efficiency as good as or better than fluorescent lighting.
- Turn on instantly – there is no warm-up time.
- Allow for precise placement of light due to the directional nature of LEDs.
- Produce far less heat than an incandescent, which can reduce air-conditioning needs.
- Are durable – perform well outdoors and in cold temperatures
As for keeping more money in your pocket, right now most utility companies are offering huge ENERGY STAR rebates for businesses—upwards of 50%—for installing ENERGY STAR qualified LED light bulbs. Accordingly, based on your electricity use, you could see a return on your investment in as little as 6 months and in cases wehre your lights are on 24/7, in even less time! To calculate your exact payback period, see the Leapfrog Lighting Savings calculator (and if the ENERGY STAR PAR30 LED light bulb is your product of choice, remember to account for the rebate offered by your utility company for a more accurate assessment).
How long will utility companies continue to offer these rebates? We can’t say with any certainty, but we do know that missing out doesn’t sound all that appealing.
What should you do now?
- Contact your electricity company and ask what ENERGY STAR rebate program they offer for businesses.
- Confirm that the rebate program recognizes the specific light bulb type you want to install (for example, PAR 30 LED).
- Find an ENERGY STAR qualified light bulb and test it to ensure the light quality is to your standards. Note that while ENERGY STAR does test specific criteria, the quality of the light emitted is not one of them. For more information, see LED light quality not determined by the specs on the box.