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Is All LED Lighting Created Equal?

We’ll be the first to tell you about the long list of benefits that LED lighting can offer. To start with, they’re much more energy-efficient and help save both money and the environment. They keep warehouses safe, businesses well-lit and recognizable, and offer serious style when used in decor. But what makes some LED lights different (and better) than others? Let’s explore.

Some LED Lighting is NOT Safe

The headlines suggesting that exposure to LED lighting isn’t safe have some truth to them.  Some very low cost LED lighting (often found online) are usually manufactured overseas without the quality control we demand from our manufacturers. Exposure to too much of any light over time can lead to retina damage, but making a smart LED choice can mitigate this risk and keep eyes healthy. It’s important to understand that not all LED lighting is created equal.

First, where you purchase lighting matters most of all. It’s hard to know whether the LED you’re purchasing is low- or high- quality, and working with a supplier you can trust is imperative. Don’t go to the “big box” stores — like most investments, the cheapest option isn’t always the best. Choose a distributor that offers both LED fixtures and bulbs; retrofitting doesn’t offer a return on that investment if you’re not also using integrated fixtures.

While retrofitting can help cut down on switching over to LED lighting, this method of using LED bulbs in existing fixtures doesn’t always maximize the efficiency of the new lighting. This is also another factor to consider. A; although retrofitting can offer huge energy savings, you need to ensure that the LED bulbs you choose can be dimmed to function at peak energy-saving efficiency — or else you could be throwing money down the drain every month when paying utility bills.

ENERGY STAR Certification

Another key factor is ENERGY STAR certification. LED manufacturers can make all sorts of claims about their lighting but without the ENERGY STAR label these claims are unfounded. With the certification, lighting is guaranteed to be flicker-free, true to color, and offer the energy efficiency that LED lighting is known for.

ENERGY STAR requirements were introduced in 1997 as an efficient lighting option without sacrificing efficacy and function. Having an ENERGY STAR certification means that your lighting meets minimum performance levels as claimed by manufacturers and has been tested by a third-party certification laboratory to ensure accuracy and industry compliance.

Besides offering protection against low-quality lighting, ENERGY STAR certification means that the bulbs you purchase shine in all directions. For businesses that use LED for safety, this is especially important as the wrong lighting can cast dark shadows that could put employee and visitor safety at risk.

Choosing a trusted distributor who offers ENERGY STAR certified lighting and LED integrated fixtures maximizes lighting lifespan. With longer hours of operation, maintenance costs are reduced. Cheaper LED lighting without certification will only last about 2-3 years and require more frequent replacement. Top-notch lighting from a specialized supplier will last 10 years — think about your building and do the math to find out how much you’ll save.

Additional features are also a big benefit to skipping over the cheap LED lighting. Dimmers ensure that you’re maximizing efficiency and keeping the lighting at levels that are optimized for the space. LED suppliers have the expertise needed to direct you to the right fixtures, as well. Don’t do what so many companies have done and try to DIY this project. That story never ends well, especially when you have to pay to fix broken or cheaply made lighting.

Most importantly, don’t skimp on an LED upgrade. While this lighting helps to save operating costs over time, it does take an upfront investment. While some may balk at this potential budget line-item, there’s no price on keeping your employees and building visitors safe by choosing a high-quality LED system.

Ready to see how high-quality LED lighting can transform your property while keeping occupants and visitors safe and healthy? The first step is having our lighting professionals perform a free audit to find out how you can improve your current system. We can also inform you about rebates you may be eligible for by upgrading to more energy-efficient LED lighting.

Get in touch with our lighting experts to build a custom system that meets your needs and helps protect employees. We’ve built our name by lighting up businesses in St. Louis and across Missouri and Illinois since 1970. We stand the test of time because our carefully selected products do the same. We stake our name and our word on the quality and support we provide.