Energy-efficient solutions play a key role in interior design, and one of the most dramatic ways in which to implement a change is through the lighting. Nick Clark, director at Lietcorp, explains the advantages of LED lighting for hospitality spaces – including the reduction of energy usage, cost and maintenance, as well as the aesthetic and decorative benefits.
Lighting accounts for a fifth of all electricity generated in the UK, and 24 million tonnes of carbon dioxide is produced from non-domestic lighting alone. As a key resource in the hospitality sector, lighting plays a critical role in the overall customer experience and impacts on atmosphere, comfort and security.
Lighting emitting diodes (LEDs) are increasingly becoming the lighting source of choice in the sector, and are helping businesses cut their energy usage and electricity bills while simultaneously making the building more energy efficient. On average, companies within the hospitality industry could look to save up to 60% on their energy bills simply by making the switch to LEDs.
For example, since 2010, we have been working with Mitchells and Butlers, one of the UK’s largest restaurant, bar and pub chains, and the company is now seeing annual cost savings of over £3.3m following a complete LED refit.
Not only do LEDs use less energy than traditional light sources but they also give off significantly less heat, reducing the need for systems such as air conditioning. The lower temperature also means they last a lot longer, so they do not need to be replaced as frequently as incandescent bulbs. Quality LEDs are designed to last for up to 90,000 hours compared to fluorescent tubes, which run for around 12,000 and 20,000 hours.
As well as being maintenance free and reducing re-lamping costs, LED manufacturers are now also steadily moving away from the harsh, cold blue tones, offering warmer colour temperatures instead. This is especially useful to the hospitality industry, as cold white LEDs can be detrimental to the warm, friendly atmosphere of a restaurant or bar. Furthermore, retro-fit solutions are now available, enabling modern LED lamps to be compatible with not only outdated casings but also with the industry’s more decorative fittings.
Despite these benefits, organisations need to remain wary when choosing an LED supplier. Inflated performance promises, often from overseas suppliers who sometimes provide cheap, badly made LEDs with a lack of instructions on how to properly install and use the products, has resulted in catastrophic experiences for those on the receiving end. As a result it is absolutely vital that when investing in LED products, businesses buy from a reputable supplier to ensure they receive the best value possible.
LEDs are one of today’s most energy-efficient and rapidly-developing lighting technologies. Quality LEDs last longer, are more durable, and will play an integral role in shaping not only the look and feel of an area but also the efficiency of the building whilst keeping costs down.
Lietcorp is an LED light fittings designer and manufacturer providing refurbishment-cycle commercial lighting solutions for the UK and international market.