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Spend $1,100 now and SAVE $238 each year... ROI = 21.6%
Fluorescent lighting fixtures that are more than ten years old are likely using T12 fluorescent lamps. T12 lamps are 11/2-inch diameter tubes in either 4- or 8-foot lengths. A better option, the narrower (1-inch diameter) T8 lamp, is now available. T8 fluorescent lighting has better color, less flicker, and uses 20 percent less energy to produce the same light output.
T8 lamps are coupled with more efficient electronic ballasts. T8s are also available with dimmable ballasts that allow greater light level control and energy savings. To convert from T12 to T8 fluorescent lighting requires replacing the entire existing fixture. That’s more complicated—and more costly—than a lamp replacement, but with rebates from your electric utility and Tax Credits from the state, this conversion can pay for itself quickly. (Note: Utility incentives may change when utility restructuring takes effect.) In addition to the utility savings, the lamps provide improved color rendition, enabling employees to see their work better.
An even more efficient fluorescent lighting technology is the T5, which is available and worth considering. T5 lamps are smaller, as they are only 5/8 inches in diameter. They are 10 to 15 percent more efficient than a T8 lighting system. All new construction should include T5 lamps and fixtures. They come in metric lengths so their use has been largely restricted to new construction or major renovations where the entire ceiling grid is being changed. Fluorescent lights are not like incandescent lights; they need to have special ballasts in order to operate. Dimmable ballasts are an option with most efficient fluorescent lighting systems. They allow you to lower the lighting levels—and cut the energy consumption—when you don’t need the lights at their full brightness. Why pay for the light when you don’t need it? The lower the light levels, the lower the energy use.
Dimmable ballasts are often used where an office skylight or some other kind of natural lighting is in place. If your office space is subject to variable natural lighting levels, you can install dimmable ballasts to reduce—or even eliminate—the energy you use when more artificial lighting isn’t needed. The savings depend on the space they’re installed in. These ballasts are most cost effective during the installation of new light fixtures.
The ROI Calculation is based on replacing ten T12 lamps with ten new 2 bulb T8 Linear Fluorescent High Bay fixtures. Each fixture costs on average $110. A typical employee uses $568 of energy per year. On average, lighting accounts for 21% of an offices energy consumption which is $119 per employee. An office of ten employees uses about $1,190 on lighting. A set of T8 lamps costs $1,100 and the savings is about $238 per year.
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