Being Green: Good For Your Bottom Line
At Datacate, we are always looking for ways to improve our sustainability and reduce waste. So when the opportunity recently presented itself to replace our Rancho Cordova facility’s fluorescent lighting with ultra-efficient LED elements, we did not hesitate.
A typically 4-foot long fluorescent tube, like what you’ll routinely find in commercial buildings, uses 40 watts of electricity. The ‘greener’ low-power fluorescent tubes use 32 watts – these are what Datacate had previously installed throughout our building.
The new LED-based replacement tubes produce an equivalent amount of light as compared to fluorescent tubes, while consuming just 17 watts. That’s a 47% reduction in energy consumption for lighting, accomplished simply by changing a bulb. Translated to annual numbers, the anticipated energy usage reduction for our Rancho Cordova facility is upwards of 50 kilowatts per year.
There are additional benefits: most people find the quality of light produced by LED lamps to be superior to that of fluorescent tubes, LED lamps do not contain harmful mercury, LED lamps don’t flicker as they get older, and with a lifespan that is six times greater (or more!) than fluorescent tubes, LED lamps reduce labor and solid waste as well.
One final benefit: the significant savings on monthly electricity bills. A single 4-foot LED tube will save a bit more than $80 in electricity costs over the life of the lamp, according to manufacturer estimates (actual numbers will vary by regional costs for electricity and other factors). That difference more than compensates for the higher retail cost of LED elements, but it’s becoming quite common for dealers to offer discounts or instant rebates on LED lighting products these days, making the proposition of switching even better. Your local utility may also pitch in, offering you a rebate in the form of cash back or service credits. When the installation of hundreds of lamps are involved, it’s easy to see how being green can pay off.
Datacate used a combination of the above-mentioned incentives, and became that much greener with relatively little cost and effort – but you don’t have to be a data center to do the same. Office buildings, warehouses and many other types of commercial buildings can benefit from switching to LED lighting. Use the following page to check for utility rebate programs in your area. Consumers can get in on this too – use this page to type in your zip code and see what kind or rebates are available.
Latest posts by Ed LaFrance (see all)
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