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LED lighting in hospitality - it’s not what it used to be...

Author: Richard Bevan
Published: September 4, 2017

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LED light bulbs have come a very long way in recent years, but unfortunately their reputation for emitting harsh blue light remains, particularly in the hospitality sector where lighting is so crucial for achieving the perfect ambiance. However, thanks to advancements in technology, most LEDs nowadays not only provide a much better light output, they also boast a host of additional benefits that traditional halogen and incandescent bulbs simply cannot match.

LEDs are cheaper to run

Firstly, LEDs can offer energy savings of 80-90% over traditional incandescent or halogen bulbs, and up to 50% savings over fluorescent tubes. Given the fact that a quarter of a hospitality business’s electricity costs come from lighting bills, making the switch to LED can lead to huge savings in the long run. What’s more, with an average lifespan of around 50,000 hours, modern LEDs last around 2-3 years longer than traditional bulbs, resulting in significant reductions in maintenance costs over time.

Of course, every venue is different and there are many factors to consider when calculating the cost savings of LEDs and the length of time it will take to refund the initial payout; these include energy rates, building layout and size, quantity of bulbs and fittings, and the duration period of illumination.

LEDs provide flexibility

Another key benefit of modern LEDs is that they incorporate the best technology which allows for much greater control over lighting, both inside and outside an establishment. For example:

  • Adjustable colour spectrum: smart LEDs are perfect for venue owners who are seeking lighting solutions which allow them to adjust the colour of a light to suit a variety of situations. Having the ability to switch between warm and cool lighting means venues no longer need to compromise one atmosphere for another
  • Dimmable: one of the major disadvantages of traditional LEDs was their limited dimmable range. Today’s LED bulbs are very different and allow complete control when it comes to dimming, and in some cases can dim to as little as 5 or 10%
  • Brand consistency: lighting styles, levels, and colours are all crucial to a venue’s visual identity and branding. This can create challenges for multi-site franchise businesses, as no two buildings are the same. The flexibility of LEDs allows designers to create consistent and uniform lighting so that guests receive the same experience, no matter their location.

Image credit: Michal Parzuchowsk

Making the switch to LED is easy

Finally, there is a misconception that updating an existing lighting set-up to LED is costly and disruptive. However, most retrofit projects are typically completed overnight, meaning minimal disturbance to business operations. What’s more, the initial financial outlay is often minimal as the project can be spread across as many stages as required. For example, larger venues typically choose to roll out the first phase of their retrofit in the areas of highest energy consumption, and then the savings from this are used to fund the next phase(s). This provides an affordable means of investment, without the high upfront costs.

For those still sitting on the fence, it is also worth noting that as part of the EU’s light bulb phase out initiative, many traditional bulbs are due to become obsolete soon, meaning there’s no time like the present to upgrade to LED lighting.

Switching to LEDs does not need to cause a hassle nor cost a fortune, but it does need careful consideration. Business owners and decision makers should seek advice from experienced lighting experts who can properly highlight the benefits of LED technology without compromising brand consistency. For further advice, please contact us today.