Energy Efficiency | March 28, 2019
Why LED Lighting Needs Custom Engineering + Agile Teams
Replacing old fluorescent, metal halide and incandescent fixtures with modern LED lighting and controls is, without question, a good choice for a facility upgrade. LED lighting isn’t a new technology anymore. From facility manager to CFO, your team understands the need for – and benefits of – energy efficient, LED lighting.
Lighting retrofits need to be custom engineered however, to fit the specifications of each project. Unlike residential LED lighting that often replaces an old incandescent bulb for a screw-in LED, commercial/industrial facilities need lighting to support the building’s purpose which can be upgraded with new LED fixtures, retrofit kits (or combination of both) and an updated lighting design.
Our biggest piece of advice for lighting retrofits? Don’t take on LED lighting upgrades without a professional and agile team. Here’s why:
The Right Light Levels for Manufacturing
Our Efficiency Solutions Division previously completed a large lighting project for a New England-based manufacturing facility. The processing/manufacturing plant was in an old office park space that had been converted. The facility had very specific needs for the type of product the company manufactured, including very high lighting levels on all manufacturing surface space.
Typical lighting level in a regular office space is 30-50 foot candles. This project needed almost 100 foot candles for staff to identify parts, so upgrading to these levels was a challenge in itself.
3 Challenges of Manufacturing Plant LED Lighting Upgrades
The manufacturing plant project had 3 key challenges that we see on other projects as well:
24/7 operation: The plant ran 24/7, so any upgrades had to be done around existing operations.
High light levels required: Because of the light level specifications, we were unable to retrofit the fixtures 1-for-1. We had to redesign the entire space for the new LED fixtures.
Old structure: The manufacturing facility was in an old building. The new design had to be installed in the ceiling with an extremely limited amount of space. In some parts, we had about 3 inches to work with.
The 24/7 run time, high light levels and structural space meant we needed the right types of fixtures to deliver the right output.
We are product-agnostic, so we aren’t bound to working with any one particular vendor. This practice means that products we select are exactly the right one for the space and project, just like in this case. That’s when agile and knowledgeable teams really matter.
LED Lighting Installation is a Team Effort
We worked with one of several trusted partners that represented multiple lines of products to specify and deliver the right lighting product. Partners like this also helped us work on the controls system by consulting and reviewing the final design.
Next up: the installation. Remember, this facility was running 24/7 and the lighting installation had to take place over valuable and delicate machinery, and very sensitive equipment. We reviewed our network of subcontractors and qualified electricians for the right support and expertise for this higher profile and complex lighting project. A team that worked together to solve challenges as needed was important for our work in this manufacturing facility.
Agile Teams Are Teams that Deliver
The project ended up needing 700+ fixtures installed. Because of the ceiling space we worked in to install the new LED lighting, we had to constantly adjust the project where needed to meet the customer’s specifications. With the right products and teams in place, we had the ability to be flexible with our design, overcome new challenges, adapt, adjust and deliver the results required by the manufacturing plant.
Our Efficiency Solutions team is more than just our staff. It includes subcontractors, vendors, and other experts we choose to work with. Whenever you take on an LED lighting upgrade, don’t forget: it takes high quality people to deliver a high quality solution.
Discover more content and insights from Mantis Innovation
3 Common Concerns for Your HVAC Units Going Into Spring
3 Common Concerns for Your HVAC Units Going into Spring HVAC systems regulate and move heated and cooled air throughout residential and commercial buildings, from homes, to offices, to indoor
Breaking Down Demand Response
Breaking Down Demand Response You know those days where the temperature feels like you’re a mile away from the sun and you’re counting on your air conditioning units to get you through the day? Or
Energy Pricing in Deregulated Markets and Its Inherent Risk
Assessing risk in your energy spend can be complicated but by understanding what makes up your energy pricing—whether electricity or natural gas —and the factors that influence it, is the first step
The Basics of Energy Procurement
In this blog, we’ll give you a foundation for understanding energy procurement in the United States and how it can differ from state to state and between different energy sources. At a high level,