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The undeniable financial case for parkade LED lighting

Posted by Vital Group of Companies on Jul 2, 2020 12:55:12 PM
  • The cost of continuing to operate non-LED lighting is NOW higher than cost of an LED retrofit!
  • A full parkade LED lighting retrofit can yield a payback of less than one year while improving lighting quality and the safety of motorists

One of the biggest users of electricity in any building is lighting. Parkades and parking garages use a significant amount of electricity for lighting since they are often lit 24/7. Under these circumstances, the cost of a full LED lighting retrofit is often cheaper than continuing to operate the current lighting for the next year! Here is where the savings come from:

Electricity Cost Savings

The reduction in electricity costs that an LED retrofit will provide depends on the type of lighting that is currently installed. The most common parkade lighting fixtures are fluorescent T5, T8 or T12 fixtures. Here we will assume a parkade with 200, 2-bulb T8 fluorescent fixtures operating 24/7.

Parkade Lighting Electricity Cost Comparison (200 Fixtures) Rated Power per Light Fixture (W) Annual Electricity Use (kWh) Annual Energy Cost ($0.06/kWh)
Current T8 Fluorescent Tubes 64 112,000 $9,000
LED Ballast Bypass Tubes 28 50,000 $4,000
Total Savings 36 62,000 $5,000

As shown, the LED tubes will generate $5,000 in electricity savings annually. This is not the only way LEDs reduce your electricity bill, demand charge savings are a hidden way that LEDs save you money. 

Demand Charge Savings

In addition to a charge for electricity use, electricity providers also charge customers for the rate at which they use electricity, which is a demand charge. Since parkade LEDs will reduce both the amount and rate of electricity use, annual demand charges will decrease.

Parkade Lighting Demand Charge Comparison (200 Fixtures) Total Rated Power of Light Fixtures (kW) Annual Demand Charge ($160/kW)
Current T8 Fluorescent Tubes 12.8 $2,000
LED Ballast Bypass Tubes 5.6 $900
Total Savings 7.2 $1,100

Demand charge savings add another $1,100 to our total savings number. We have yet to account for perhaps the best way that LEDs save money.

Maintenance Cost Savings

LED ballast bypass tubes are the latest LED technology that do not require a ballast and are warrantied for 5 years, which leads to even more savings! The maintenance cost savings is generated by the fact that the LED tubes last twice as long as fluorescent tubes and they don’t require a ballast.

Parkade Lighting Electricity Cost Comparison (200 Fixtures) Rated Bulb Life Bulb Warranty Bulb Replacement Costs Rated Ballast Life Ballast Replacement Costs Total Annualized Maintenance Costs
Current T8 Fluorescent Tubes 3 Years 1 Year $1,300 3 Years $7,000 $2,800
LED Ballast Bypass Tubes 6 Years 5 Years $3,300 Not Needed $0 $600
Total Savings           $2,200

Adding these savings opportunities together, we see that continuing to operate the T8 Fluorescent tubes will cost $13,800 per year, while the initial cost to complete an LED ballast bypass retrofit would be $6,500 and cost $5,500 per year thereafter. A summary of the savings is shown below:

The savings generated in year 1 plus the initial cost are less than the cost of continuing to operate the T8 fluorescents. It really does cost more to operate fluorescent lighting than it does to retrofit to LEDs!

Additional Benefits

Although the financial case for LEDs is quite compelling, there are many more benefits to this energy efficient technology:

  • New LED lighting will eliminate dark spots in the parkade and improve driver safety
  • LED technology is easily paired with occupancy sensors to further reduce the electricity costs and demand charges
  • LED bulbs are much more durable than brittle glass tubes and light bulbs
  • The warranty for LEDs is typically 5 times longer than other lighting types which reduces risk
  • LED lighting can contribute to building certifications like LEED
  • LED lighting reduces greenhouse gas emissions and makes a building “greener”

Get Started with an Energy Assessment

The financial case for LED lighting retrofits in parkades can be made for many different types of lighting. Fluorescent tubes, high pressure sodium, metal halide, incandescent and others often yield very positive financials when replaced with LED lighting.

Generate energy is a trusted electrical contractor specializing in LED lighting and Solar PV installations in Alberta. We can complete a customized parkade LED lighting plan which includes a financial analysis as shown above, for free! Contact us to find out how much you could save with parkade LED lighting! 

Filed Under:

LED Lighting

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