Increasingly, the external lighting of buildings has become as important and style-led as the internal options. As new products and technologies come on to the market, the choices and techniques available also grow. Despite this, the specification of lighting to make the most of outdoor spaces is often left until last, despite the fact that the right lighting can significantly add value in the short term and save money in the long term.
So, what are customers looking for in terms of lighting for their external spaces? Style and quality are key for both but, increasingly, people are also seeking out energy-saving lighting solutions, and LED lighting has presented the perfect solution to fill that gap.
As with all lighting, but in particular outdoor lighting, light pollution is a common issue when products illuminate surrounding areas rather than the actual area required. With energy efficiency remaining a key issue in the industry, it is vital to choose outdoor lighting solutions that offer reduced light pollution in order to save both energy and ultimately, money.
One of the most common forms of outdoor lighting is of course street and car park lighting. Whilst street lighting is undoubtedly a necessity, the costs can often seem extortionate. The maintenance and running costs of street lighting are among the largest costs for councils, as replacing a lamp in a 16-metre-high fitting requires costly expertise and equipment. Due the labour and tools required, a contractor reportedly charged £220 to change one external lamp in a housing estate! Expenses such as this soon mount up, but there are other areas where costs can be reduced. For example, it is becoming increasingly common for street lighting and some car park lighting to be turned off completely to save energy. However, this is a drastic move and can mean that safety and security is adversely affected.
A more practical way of reducing costs is to switch to LED lighting. Changing street lighting can save from £200,000 to over £1million per year, depending on the existing fittings. As with all new technology, there are many alternatives still in a development stage but there are still many options available and, as the technology develops, the associated costs will come down.
Compared to traditional methods, the rewards are much greater with an LED alternative, as it uses less energy, lasts longer, and requires less maintenance, proving to be one of the most cost-effective lighting options. With further improvements – such as the development of chips to produce more lumens per watt – its growth in popularity is likely to continue.
LED floodlights are one of the most common outdoor products, steadily replacing conventional discharge options. The versatility of this product means that it is suitable for a variety of different uses, ranging from car parks to small sports areas. On a smaller scale, many commercial users would like to change their domestic outdoor lighting to LED in order to save energy, but are understandably concerned by the cost and how quickly the products will pay for themselves and deliver a return on investment. One way wholesalers, such as YESSS, are helping to educate installers on this is by providing cost-of-ownership calculations to help them work with customers to make informed decisions.
Find your nearest YESSS Electrical branch – visit www.yesss.co.uk