LEED or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design changes the way we think green buildings and how communities are designed, constructed, operated and maintained. The main goal of this change is to be more environmentally responsible and use available resources as efficiently as possible. About 35% of the total energy used in a typical commercial building in the United States is from lighting. Many buildings are are over illuminated, and so some energy can be saved by a more appropriate lighting system. This is just one of the tactics that can increase commercial lighting efficiency.
Commercial Lighting Efficiency
The higher the efficacy of a light is, the more energy efficient your luminaire system has. Each light has a different efficacy. The least efficient type of lamp is the “Edison” lamp or the incandescent lamp, popular because of its low cost but also because it has been around for very long. Fluorescent lights, the most common in commercial buildings, are more effective than incandescent lamps but their initial cost is somewhat higher than incandescents. Further, High Intensity Discharge lamps (HID) are somehow similar to fluorescent lamps, however, their lifespan is longer and efficacy is higher. Induction lamps have similar light to fluorescent, but their lifespan is up to 8 times longer than a fluorescent lamps.
Finally, LED luminaires use is growing significantly in the commercial market because of their low power, durability, efficacy, and lower total cost of ownership is competitive with other types of lights as initial costs have come down. It’s important to know that all lamps, except incandescent lamps, require a ballast. A ballast controls the power supplying of the lamps. There are two types of ballasts- magnetic and electronic. Magnetic ballasts were standard once, but they have been replaced by electronic ones because they are more efficient. One of the hallmarks of LEED is to take a whole building approach to green building design, so efficient lighting also means constructing the commercial building to maximize natural light along with integrating efficient lighting to all of the other elements of construction.
Lumax and Racing Up LEED Points
The green building revolution has impacted how Lumax does business. Lumax now offers a line of LED lights that could work for your industrial or commercial application. The largest category of points towards your buildings’ certification is Energy and Atmosphere, and using energy efficient lighting like Lumax’s LED lights can rack up points towards the certification. In addition, Lumax’s domestic supply chain and recycled materials will impact your Regional Priorities and Materials and Resources score as well.
Commercial LEED lighting 101 summary
Choosing the right luminaires can have a big impact on your LEED certification project and ultimately on the domestic economy, public health, and the environment. Lumax and our local sales representatives will be partners in your project helping you determine the best fixtures for the job.