In November 2011, Williams Notaro took a chance and decided to replace 13 pendant light fixtures in our office, that were using 60W incandescent A-19 light bulbs, with new (back then anyway) 8W LED A-19 light bulbs.  The LED bulbs were considered the 1st generation of viable A-19 LED retrofits and, back in that time period, a gamble, since so many products were failing to meet customer expectations.  They were expensive at $10 each (a similar LED bulb is now less than $2). Even still, the projected payback period was less than 10 months at 10 hours a day, 5 days a week. 

The LED bulbs are turned on in the morning and shut off at close of business each day and we have been concerned with the heat build-up in the pendant fixture (see pictures below).  While LED are extremely energy efficient, there is still considerable heat that must be dissipated as seen in the photos.

We are now just a bit over 5 years after installation and the lights are still going strong.  To date, they have saved Williams Notaro 8,450 kWh or $715 (after the installation cost).  The fixtures have a manufacturer life expectancy of 40,000 hours (or 16 years based on the operation above).  Now only time will tell if the fixtures will make it to their life expectancy mark or if the heat will get the better of them…  Be on the lookout for another blog (hopefully they will all still be operational).

LEDs are a wonderful opportunity to save energy and reduce waste.  I follow the LED industry closely and always amazed at how far the industry has come in the past few years (not only in price but performance as well).  Many facilities have retrofitted or used LED fixtures by now.  I am interested in hearing anyone else’s experiences (good or bad) with LED’s, especially long term installations.  In addition, if you have any general LED questions, feel free to comment or contact me via email at bwilson@wnainc.com

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