Being compliant in terms of lighting specifications and more specifically having sufficient light levels has become much easier in recent times.

Ever walked around a mine or an industrial complex at night? Chances are that you would find yourself feeling insecure as the area is inadequately lit and many spaces appearing dark and dingy. This is because either the initial design was not sufficient or the current lighting has deteriorated to such lengths that it is of little worth and pose considerable health and safety risks.

It is not necessary to have light everywhere but there are many functional areas that need minimum light levels by law. Getting this right and compliant does not have to be a grudge purchase anymore but it can come with a real added benefit – energy saving.

The truth about LED lighting is that it is so powerful that light levels can be made compliant with a great payback at the same time. One can actually become compliant within one year and get payback within 12 months.

ALTSA has recently been involved in a few projects that achieved just this.

There are; however, some secrets to this.

China has been dominating the manufacturing of LED lighting recently and has also been responsible for driving costs down. Unfortunately, the biggest challenge of LED imports is the substandard quality that cannot possibly last 5 years or even 3 years.

In the recent past the reservations around LED emanated from the low quality products that is still abundant in the market. Buying from your regular electrical wholesaler will unfortunately not guarantee quality.

Secondly efficiency plays a major role in payback. The market now offers efficiencies from 70lm/W to 170lm/W. Purchase of a higher wattage with lower efficiencies means longer payback. The lm/W ratio thus must be checked.

The beam angle and light distribution is also something that need to be optimal and perhaps only to be optimised through professional lighting design. Many mines let their foremen buy stock piecemeal to replace bulbs, but this comes with its own downside. Premature failures from vanilla brands is rife.

It is simply not worthwhile purchasing a product that will not last instead of buying a proper 5-year guarantee product with high efficiency that gives you a 12 month payback in anyway.