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“Because we have been working on environmental issues for some time I was surprised at how much useful practical information was new to me which I can now apply within my organization.”
Sheila Daly, University of Portsmouth
LED Lighting Case Studies from East Sussex
Rapid development in LED lighting technology means there is now a wide range of products available that match the light output of traditional and fluorescent lamps whilst offering attractive energy savings and additional benefits such as reduced heat output and instant start.
With support from the Energy Efficient East Sussex programme, which offers free energy audits and grants of up to £1,000 for energy saving measures, businesses across the county have been upgrading their lighting to LEDs. The programme is funded by East Sussex County Council and the EU to help local businesses improve profitability and reduce their carbon footprint.
Ellis Building Contractors are installing LED panels at their head office to replace four-tube fluorescent fittings. Measuring 600 mm by 600 mm, the panels are designed to fit into standard suspended ceilings. They use 40 Watts of electricity, about half that used by four 2 foot fluorescent tubes. The building firm’s project is predicted to pay back in energy savings in around 4.5 years, comparable to similar installations, although the price of LED panels is continuing to fall.
Rewiring sometimes required
Ninfield Village Stores have reduced their energy consumption by 2,175 kWh per year by updating ageing fluorescent tubes to LEDs. Equivalent to an annual saving of £245, the new lamps will pay for themselves in 3.5 years. Owner Chris Moore is also pleased with the “brighter, cleaner light” they produce. Whilst they did not need to change the lamp fitting to accommodate the LEDs, the fluorescent tube control gear needed to be bypassed.
The Natural Fitness Centre in Eastbourne chose to update fittings to be able to replace low voltage MR16 halogen spotlights with mains voltage GU10 LED spotlights. Switched on the majority of the day, the new lamps, which use 85% less energy, will repay their £805 installation cost in energy savings in two years.
New fittings are not always necessary when replacing low voltage halogen spotlights with LEDs however, instead the transformer can be changed to one that is able to operate at the reduced electrical load that lower wattage LEDs require. This is a task for a competent electrician.
Social enterprise Computers for Charities, who refurbish IT equipment collected from businesses to sell to charities at affordable prices, received a grant to help towards the cost of installing LED task lighting.
As well as reducing energy usage and costs by 2,155 kWh and £240 each year, the LEDs provide better light levels and colour rendering than the high-bay sodium lamps originally in place; beneficial for staff and volunteers undertaking detailed work.
Energy Efficient East Sussex helped SMEs reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by over 150 tonnes. It was funded by East Sussex County Council and delivered by the Sustainable Business Partnership CIC.