Commercial lighting firm questions LED 50,000-hour lifespan (Part II)

In this regular blog series, Bob Hall, the co-founder of Greenlite Lighting Solutions, makes sure you aren’t left in the dark about the lighting sector. This month, he advises: longevity is important, but there other factors to consider when exploring your lighting options.

Last month, I brought to light the fact that disreputable lighting companies are exaggerating LED lifespan claims. I also highlighted my wariness of the industry standard of 50,000 hours, since LEDs haven’t even been around that long! Luckily, lifespans don’t have to be a deal- (or circuit-) breaker when it comes to choosing LED solutions. First and foremost, you should look for products that are the best value for your business and its premises.

This issue is particularly relevant to retailers. It’s very easy to be dazzled by impressive statistics, but show some restraint and ask yourself: “what does this mean for my store?” Let’s look at the figures for a moment. A typical retail store will have approximately 4,500 hours of lighting use per year, so – if the 50,000 hours claim is correct – the LEDs will last for just over 11 years.

Sounds fantastic, doesn’t it? But my experience with commercial lighting tells me that you will almost certainly refurbish your store within that time period. If you replace the lighting after five years, a 50,000-hour lifespan is irrelevant. It would be far more economical to plan store refurbishment into a new lighting installation and ensure that your lighting designer uses products that are the best value for what you want to achieve. This may be LEDs – or it may not.

As an energy-efficient lighting expert, we know that LEDs are a leading light for the commercial low-energy lighting industry. But this doesn’t mean that they are perfect for every situation. My advice is: work with a commercial lighting design expert, take a long-term view and explore your options to create a lighting installation that saves you money and is truly fit for purpose.