In an effort to decrease energy usage, the United States is phasing out incandescent light bulbs, leaving multifamily owners and developers with just two viable lighting options—compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) and light emitting diode (LED) lights.
While CFLs have received a lot of attention, LEDs have remained somewhat in the dark. Yet LED lighting, also known as solid-state lighting, is just as energy-efficient, tolerates temperature variances and turbulence, and, unlike CFLs, contains no hazardous materials such as mercury. A 7-watt LED light bulb, for instance, can replace a 75-watt incandescent bulb. What’s more, LEDs last 20 times longer than incandescent bulbs and up to six times longer than CFLs. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that energy consumption for lighting can be reduced by more than 20 percent by 2020 through the use of solid-state, LED-based lighting.
LED lights have a variety of applications in the multifamily setting, says Michael Gouel, a sales manager with LAMPS PLUS Professionals, a Chatsworth, Calif.-based retailer that recently launched a new lighting design and specification services program catering to the multifamily audience. He says multifamily operators often use LED lighting for common spaces and hallways, as well as parking structures. LEDs also are appropriate for interior use, including can lighting and architectural accent lighting.
In Chicago, for example, LED lights are brightening the Residences at River Bend (pictured here), developed by New York-based Lehman Bros. The high-rise along the Chicago River features one horizontal line made of blue Plexineon LED lights from iLight Technologies, a Chicago-based manufacturer and distributor of LED lights.
“LED lighting, with its minimal energy footprint and lamp longevity, not only decreases energy consumption but can also dramatically impact maintenance costs,” Gouel says. “As LED technology continues to improve, we will see it used more frequently for apartment buildings and other multifamily projects.” —Jennifer Popovec
1. Night Light: Designed specifically for street and parking applications, the EverGEN 1520 solar-powered LED lights from Carmanah Technologies provide bright, uniform illumination without trenching, cabling, or grid access. Featuring the LEDway lighting fixture by BetaLED, the lights require no scheduled maintenance for up to five years. For more information, call Carmanah Technologies Corp. at 877-722-8877 or visit www.carmanah.com.
2. Wide View: Guth Lighting’s SUNDOWNER LED family of wall pack luminaires is built with LUXEON Rebel LEDs from Philips Lumileds Lighting Co. The luminaires offer an 18-year lifetime and 80 percent energy savings, along with a new LED-enabled design that provides a wider illumination field than any previous fixture offered by the company. The lights can be used for indoor walkways, parking structures, and doorways. For more information, call Guth Lighting at 888-589-3662 or visit www.guth.com.
3. Two for One: From National Geographic’s Preserve Our Planet collection, the LAMPS PLUS Solaris outdoor light features both a solar-powered LED option and a hardwired fluorescent light. The solar LED component provides soft lighting for ambiance and security with no energy usage. When additional light is needed, the included fluorescent lamp can be turned on from a wall switch. For more information, call LAMPS PLUS Professionals at 800-304-8120 or visit www.LampsPlus.com/Pros.
4. Mercury-Free: Replace fluorescent tubes with ilumisys’ MK-1 LED light tubes. Patented circuitry enables these LEDs to operate in existing fluorescent fixtures without modifications to the fixtures or ballasts. In addition to providing an energy-efficient alternative to fluorescent tubes, the tubes are mercury-free. For more information, call ilumisys at 248-614-2400 or visit www.ilumisys.com.
5. Lightweights: Under development for two-and-a-half years, the new Array LED lamps from Nexxus Lighting are the lightest lamps on the market. The lamps are fully dimmable and use recycled plastic-injected molded housings. The product reduces energy usage by 90 percent and uses 50 percent less energy than CFLs. For more information, call Nexxus Lighting at 704-405-0416 or visit www.nexxuslighting.com.