Five Things to Consider Before Switching to LED
Humans are blind without light. For construction workers and miners, lighting is even more important because projects must be completed around the clock and in poorly-lit conditions. Night shifts are not at all uncommon in such industries because strict deadlines must be met and for safety considerations, adequate lighting needs to be implemented. While any type of illumination can make working in the dark a more plausible task, LED technology is the preferred choice these days, for not just safety and environment concerns; we delve into why they are such a popular lighting equipment on job sites.
1. LEDs are very bright
One of the most important qualities of a light source is its brightness. In most cases, brighter lights are better lights because they allow an individual to see more of his or her surroundings, but whilst you want the work area illuminated, it’s also just as important to not have bright lights shining directly in workers (or passer-by’s) eyes. Brighter lights cut through the darkness like a knife through butter, and they provide vision for those who need it most when they need it most whilst still being flexible enough ensure only the required area is lit up. Laser-emitting diodes are much brighter than traditional incandescent bulbs and compact fluorescent lamps. They have longer throw, which is critical in tunnels that may stretch on for miles. A tiny LED unit the size of a box of cards can emit light at an intensity that is at least three to four times that of an incandescent or CFL unit that’s the same size.
2. LEDs are extremely durable and reliable
When you buy a product, you expect it to function as advertised and for a long time. With LED technology, you get both every purchase. The lifespan of an LED light is up to 50 times longer than that of an incandescent light and five times longer than that of a CFL. Incandescent bulbs have filaments that can burn out, and CFLs can be easily destroyed with impact. LEDs, on the other hand, are nearly indestructible. They are extremely shock resistant and can take a beating in even the harshest environmental conditions. Since LEDs don’t have filaments, they won’t ever burn out. In mining tunnels or unfinished structures where danger lurks around every corner, LED lights can save lives because they work reliably all the time – as long as they are plugged in or powered by batteries. In the event of a tunnel or structural collapse, surviving workers can count on LED lights to guide them to safety.
3. LEDs do not pose any apparent health risks
All compact fluorescent lamps contain mercury, a poisonous substance that is hazardous to human health. While the mercury is essentially harmless when contained within the CFL bulb, it can easily leak if a CFL bulb is shattered. Stepping onto fragments of CFL bulbs can cause a severe reaction that destroys tissue.
In construction zones and mines, accidents occur all the time. Things get knocked down, bent and dented for one reason or another. Many times, these occurrences aren’t even the fault of the workers. In such accident prone workplaces, LEDs are the only sensible lighting option because they rarely break and don’t contain harmful chemicals. CFLs and incandescent bulbs are simply too fragile to withstand the abuse, and that means they can fail when you least expect it to pose the biggest health risk of all: potential death.
4. LEDs use less energy and run cooler
Research suggests that LED lighting uses about 75% less energy than incandescent lighting. That huge decrease in consumption translates to huge savings over time, and who wouldn’t want to save money? Mining and construction businesses usually spend a lot of money to run daily operations, and a big part of that goes to lighting. Replacing existing light fixtures with LEDs can cut a lot of energy costs and spare funds for more useful purposes.
Being the efficient light sources that they are, LEDs produce very little heat as a result. Heat production isn’t only annoying for workers because it can raise local temperatures and make the job even more difficult to endure than it already is, excessive heat can also set off explosions in mining tunnels where volatile gases often exist. Saving money and saving lives are both very convincing reasons for any individual or company to switch over to LED lighting.
5. LEDs can be expensive
LED lighting is great, but let’s be honest – there are pros and cons to everything. The biggest drawback of implementing LED lighting in construction and mining sites is cost. Yes, you’ll save a ton of money in energy expenses, but purchasing the LED units themselves could cost you a small fortune initially. That’s especially true if you run a large business and plan on phasing out your entire stock of incandescent or CFL lights. The good news is that LED lights have gone down greatly in price since their introduction years ago. This means that they are more affordable for the average consumer. However, the fact remains: LED lights are still more expensive than more conventional forms, and they probably won’t get into the same price range until another cutting-edge lighting technology comes along and goes mainstream.
This is the age of LED lighting. This powerful, rugged, and efficient technology is clearly superior to incandescent and CFL technology, and it’s on the path to seeing mainstream use. In industries such as construction and mining, using LED lighting can prove to be a huge advantage that increases vision, productivity, and safety. Unfortunately, not all LED lights are made the same. Product design and quality of manufacture can determine whether or not an LED light lives up to its reputation or bites the dust far before it’s supposed to. When shopping for LED lighting, always do research to ensure that you get a quality product that is as dependable as sunlight.
This article is written by Jayde Ferguson, who writes for AllightSykes, one of the world’s largest suppliers of lighting towers; designed, engineered and built in Australia to meed the world’s toughest standards.
Note: Try the LED lights that can be attached to caps and hardhats, offered by Texas America Safety Company (tasco-safety.com) Remember that 5% discount if you mention the blog! Thanks, pb