Continuing in our church energy series, we’ve been taking a look at lighting upgrades as a relatively quick and effective way to reduce energy usage and operational costs. In this post, we turn to the high bay gym style fixtures that are often used as house lights. These lamps are generally mounted near the very top of facilities with very tall ceiling height. The fixture housing as seen in the picture below is very reflective and they are usually covered with a diffusion lens. High bay fixtures are very popular in big box stores, super markets, manufacturing plants and others primarily because their high positioning, reflective housing and distribution lenses offer wide area coverage with minimal shadowing. If your church has high bay fixtures, they likely use metal halide bulbs which require a lot of energy.
Induction lighting isn’t a household name at this point. However, this cool technology will be making more headway in the market especially in large rooms and halls with outdated high bay fluorescent fixtures while using half the energy. They give off good color closer to daylight (around 5000K) and are comfortable for a variety of tasks with significantly reduced glare. They aren’t affected by temperature and can withstand vibration.
Induction Lamp Example
Suppose your church has 8 high bay fixtures with 400-Watt metal halide bulbs. If they are on for an average of 20 hours a week for 52 weeks a year, they consume 3,328kWh per year. With the national average rate of $0.12, these lamps cost $399.36 each year or $33.28 per month. Inductionlamps.com offers the Efficient Luminosity 200 watt 5000K equivalent replacement induction lamps at a list price of $299 each. These would be a direct replacement for the 400-Watt metal halide fixtures. That would cut the wattage usage in half. If you replaced the metal halide bulbs with these induction lamps, your church would save 50% on that portion of the bill ($16.64 per month).
Let’s talk payback period. 8 replacement fixtures will cost $2392. Lift rental and installation labor may run you another $1200. All in the price tag is $3592. With a savings of $16.64 per month, it would take 216.85 months for these lights to pay for themselves with the savings achieved. That’s just under 18 years.
If you are not impressed with the payback period, consider the fact that these fixtures will exceed 100,000 hours of lifetime. At just 20 hours of operation a week, these lights could easily operate virtually maintenance free for 30+ years, well into your next building renovation and beyond. The other benefit of induction is how cool they run. In the video demonstration below, check out how the presenter can handle the light with his bare hands after it’s been on for awhile. Imagine how much you will save in air conditioning cost without the heat your old fixtures gave off. How’s that for payback?
If you are still on the fence about the payback period and would like to recoup these savings faster, consult with a lighting designer and get renderings done of several options. Have them draw up renderings of lower wattage induction lamps fixtures in the space.
Lastly, check local, state, and electric company for upgrade credit and rebate programs. If one or more of these entities can provide assistance, this could significantly impact your upfront costs and lower your payback period greatly.
Next time, we’ll continue breaking down church energy and efficient lighting by looking at a clever replacement for fluorescent tubes.