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Everything You Need To Know About LED Commercial Lighting

Your comprehensive guide to the world of commercial LED lights.

Whether you’re in a shopping mall or an office, lighting is an all-important necessity. With it, employees are able to get work done and business goes on as normal. Thanks to the growth of technology, an energy-savings option for lighting has become more popular than ever, especially in commercial uses of LED lighting.

Here, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about commercial LED lights. How do they work, how long do they last, how much do they cost, and how much can they help you save? You’ll also learn all about the different types of LED lights and when and where to use them. As well as some details about manufacturers and companies where you can find them.

This is your detailed exploration into commercial LED lighting that will hopefully answer any questions you may have. Let’s dive in!

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What Are Commercial LED Lights? 
How Do Commercial LED Lights Work?
How Long Do LED Lights Last?
Industrial vs. Commercial LED Lighting
How Much Do Commercial LED Lights Cost, and How Much Do They Save?
Types of Commercial LED Lights
Top Commercial LED Lights Manufacturers 
Commercial LED Lighting with Viribright™

What Are Commercial LED Lights? 

As we start looking into the nitty-gritty details, the first questions that need answering are: What exactly is LED lighting? What sets it apart from traditional lighting choices, like fluorescent lights? And what are commercial LED lights?

LED stands for light-emitting diode, which is a directional light source. Simply put, LED lights are composed of semiconductor chips that emit light. LED lights are highly efficient, and they need only a small amount of energy to work. As a result, they produce very little heat and save energy. 

Commercial LED lighting, specifically, refers to lighting used in commercial spaces, such as offices, government buildings, malls, businesses and restaurants. LED lights have many uses, they come in many forms, including tube lights, troffer lights, high bay and low bay lights, vapor tight lights, and flood lights, to name a few. We’ll break down these categories later on.

How Do Commercial LED Lights Work?

One aspect that causes LED lighting to stand apart from traditional lighting (incandescent, fluorescent, halogen, etc.) is the heat difference: The traditional incandescent lightbulb emits light at the cost of high heat. In contrast, the LEDs emit light without burning too hot. LEDs consume far less energy than the traditional bulb, so less heat is emitted and they need less energy to work. 

LED lights also aren’t made with any hazardous materials, so they can be disposed of easily without harm to the environment, making them environmentally friendly as well—perfect for companies that are looking to reduce their carbon footprint. This can be done conveniently by replacing traditional lighting with more sustainable LEDs. 

Because they are made of semiconductor material, which requires more sophisticated engineering, and therefore more time and money to make, the price of LEDs is higher than traditional lighting. However, since LEDs use less energy, they are financially beneficial over time. While the initial cost of buying LEDs can be steep compared to traditional lighting options, they are a smart investment in the long run.

LEDs are energy efficient, safe, cost-effective, durable, and long-lasting. Their applications also vary widely. Some LED lights have the option of dimming and brightening as needed, and replacing traditional lighting with LED lighting isn’t difficult either. If you find that you want to replace your traditional lighting with LEDs, commercial LED retrofit is a cost-effective and convenient way to do so. 

With LED lighting, there are plenty of benefits and options to choose from. It’s no wonder their popularity has been on the rise since their introduction to the business world.

How Long Do LED Lights Last?

One of the biggest advantages of LED lighting is the long lifespan. As a durable alternative to traditional lighting choices, LED lights are well known for lasting longer than traditional lights. Let’s break it down.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, residential LEDs use 75% less energy than traditional lighting, meaning they can shine approximately 25 times longer than the incandescent lightbulb. On average, commercial LED lights can last up to 25,000 hours, sometimes more. If they are used all day, every day, LED lights can keep shining for 3+ years. And, if the time of use is cut down to about 8 hours a day, they can last for approximately 8.5 years.

Of course, LED lifespan varies based on use and environment. There are multiple types of LED lights, each one with a slightly different lifespan. In hotter temperatures, they may not last as long, and if they are used 24/7 they tend to have shorter lifespans. And of course, a higher-quality LED light will last longer than a low-quality one. 

Durability is another advantage to the longevity of LED lighting. LEDs are less fragile than traditional lighting, so there is less risk of accidental shattering. Because LED lighting is less likely to break, they are more likely to last for their entire estimated lifespan. 

Very little maintenance is required for the use of LED lighting, making them not just durable and long-lasting, but convenient as well. Using LEDs means not having to worry about regular replacements (though a regular cleaning schedule is still recommended). LED lights also don’t burn out as easily as other lighting options due to their low level of heat; rather, they will dim over time. Even when the lifespan does begin to run out, LED lighting is more convenient than traditional lighting.

Industrial vs. Commercial LED Lighting

For both industrial and commercial lighting, LEDs are oftentimes the best options due to their efficiency, health safety, and financial benefits. But in order to understand how best to use LEDs to illuminate these different types of spaces, there are some differences between industrial and commercial lighting to consider. 

Both industrial and commercial lighting are task-oriented, so what is the difference between one and the other? 

Industrial

Industrial lighting pertains to manufacturing environments, such as warehouses and factories. Strong lighting is necessary for the type of work that occurs in industrial atmospheres; in an area with a large square footage, there are plenty of dark places to illuminate. One of the biggest concerns in a manufacturing environment isn’t just the functionality of its lighting, but the safety of its workers.

Employees in environments like warehouses and factories often work with, or are surrounded by, heavy machinery. Industrial atmospheres tend to include dangerous areas, so to prevent workplace injury, providing the ideal lighting is imperative. LED lighting is bright and illuminates areas where traditional lighting would have cast shadows. 

Notably, the use of LEDs also doesn’t cause injury after prolonged exposure to the lights. Employees working in manufacturing fields often work long hours and tough shifts, during which harsh lighting can cause headaches, migraines, and other health issues. LED lighting is soft and doesn’t contribute to these types of health-related nuisances. In the short-term and long-term, LED lights in industrial environments are safer than traditional lighting.

Commercial

While industrial environments prioritize functionality, commercial environments thrive off of ambience. Commercial venues include such spaces as restaurants, malls, and office spaces, as well as government buildings. For this type of environment, appearance is key and helps to improve business through the eye of the customer. Not only do LED lights provide ideal lighting without the harshness of traditional lighting, they also create a pleasant atmosphere that welcomes customers and keeps employees happy.

In a similar way to industrial lighting, commercial lighting improves the safety of employees, but it also helps businesses to thrive at the same time. LEDs are bright but not harsh, which gives radiant illumination without the downside of hurting the people who are enjoying it. And in commercial areas that thrive on softer lighting, like restaurants or other business areas, LED lights can be dimmed as well. Whether you need brighter work areas for increased productivity or softer lighting to make customers feel comfortable, commercial LED lighting can accomplish both. 

For environment-conscious companies, LED lighting is preferred for its environmentally-friendly qualities. LED lights are recyclable, and they create fewer (if any) UV emissions than traditional lighting does, so it’s quite literally easier on the eyes. LEDs are more sustainable and safer for the health of employees and customers. What’s more, LED lighting achieves all of these safety positives while casting a flattering light on everything they illuminate, whether it’s an industrial factory or a commercial business.

How Much Do Commercial LED Lights Cost, and How Much Do They Save?

For lighting used for commercial purposes, taking cost into consideration is a must. It takes a lot of power to illuminate an office, a shopping mall, etc. One of the most common reasons for businesses to second-guess whether or not choosing LED lighting is right for them is the high price of LEDs compared to traditional lighting. But, as the most cost-effective lighting out there, LEDs are sure to save money in the long run. Let’s break down how.

Price

Because of the materials and skill needed to manufacture LED lighting, they generally cost more than traditional lighting. LED requires a higher level of sophisticated engineering in order for the end product to have the needed measure of quality. So, there’s a bit of a trade-off.

Typically, the price of LED lighting hovers around 4–5 times the price of traditional lighting, which is a decrease in price compared to the times when LED lighting technology was newer and rarer. The Department of Energy expects the price to decrease even more as time goes on. 

That being said, the initial price of replacing traditional lighting with LEDs is still a point of note that can end up turning businesses away from making the switch. To be sure, replacing traditional lighting with LEDs can be a large investment, so it’s important to look at the business’s specific growth options and limitations before making the decision. In the end, it’s all about comparing the costs with the benefits.

Savings

Fortunately for businesses, the higher initial cost for installing LED lighting is quickly paid back by the amount of energy saved over time. Compared to traditional lighting, the cost to actually use LED lighting is far lower, meaning that not only does LED lighting eventually pay for itself, but businesses also save money by cutting back on energy used.

In general, LED lighting cuts down on energy and saves approximately 75%. In the long run, switching from traditional to LED lighting is cost-effective, making it a financially smart move. As mentioned previously, LED lights last much longer than traditional lighting, so they don’t need to be replaced as often, owing to their longevity and durability. An LED light bulb lasts 3–5 times longer than a CFL (compact fluorescent light) and up to 30 times longer than an incandescent light bulb.

This detail can create a great deal of savings for a business. Energy savings this great add up fast. If second thoughts about paying for a switch to LED lighting are surfacing because of the high initial cost, this is where the benefits to businesses present themselves. The end result is oftentimes worth the price.

Types of Commercial LED Lights

Just as there are numerous types of lighting technology (incandescent, fluorescent, halogen, etc.), there are several types of LED lighting that have their advantages and disadvantages. Depending on the application of the LED lighting, these categories can be considered both industrial and commercial due to their versatility. Let’s take a moment to explore what type of LED is used for each application of lighting.

2x2 troffer led lighting fixture Viribright

LED Troffer Lights

As one of the most common types of commercial LED lights, drop ceiling lights are typically in a rectangular pattern and are designed to hang from the ceiling of commercial buildings. They can be suspended or mounted on the surface of the ceiling (hence the term “drop ceiling”) and focus light down and out of their mounted fixture. This type of LED light can also fit into the grid of the ceiling, in which case they would be recessed. 

When paired with the recessed drop ceiling fixture, troffer lights provide bright illumination without altering any of the building’s interior design. Troffer lights are usually used for environments like offices, pharmacies, and hospitals.

LED Tube Lights

As the name suggests, commercial LED tube lights (or, linear bulb lights) have a tube-like shape, and they do their best work in temperature-controlled areas with standard ceiling height. As linear lights, they provide uniform illumination in smaller areas, giving precise lighting without being too bright. 

Due to their versatility, tube lights can be used pretty much anywhere, whether the location is industrial or commercial; one exception would be areas that require lighting upward as well as downward, like suspended fixtures. As one of the most common type of LED lighting, tube lights are general purpose and are perfect for areas where lighting needs to be on for longer periods of time, and they vary in size and levels of brightness, depending on what you need them for. LED tube lights are also one of the easiest types of lighting to maintain.

Their durability, as well as their versatility in terms of size, brightness, and application, makes LED tube lights ideal for shops and garages, but also for offices, stores, and industrial spaces. 

Selectable Wattage Linear High Bay

LED High Bay and Low Bay Lights

For larger areas with ceilings higher than 15 Ft. that need a great deal of illumination, high bay LED lighting is ideal. As the name implies, low bay lights pair with lower ceiling heights at 12–20 Ft. This type of lighting has the benefits of being affordable, having an even light distribution, and presenting a uniform appearance. Linear high bay LED lighting is rectangular in shape, making for easy installation and a preferable replacement for tube lights if you need an upgrade. 

Because high bay LED lights are extremely functional, they can be used in an industrial capacity as well as commercial. They are often found in indoor commercial areas, such as shopping malls.

For a non-commercial environment, homeowners can use a UFO high bay LED light, which has a more circular appearance—like a UFO. This makes them useful for large residential areas, like barns. Outside of residential uses, UFO high bay lights are used in commercial and industrial spaces like warehouses and factories.

vaportight

LED Vapor Tight Lights

For rougher areas where dust, water, or dirt can easily spread, vapor tight lights provide bright and safe lighting. This type is a durable bulb set in an enclosed, sealed fixture, making it water-proof and protected from dust and humidity.

Commercial LED vapor tight lights are used for illuminating areas with plenty of moisture, dirt, or fumes. As such, you can typically find them providing light to airports, tunnels, and parking garages, to name a few.

Stadium Light_Large

Commercial LED Flood Lights

For outdoor areas and parking lots/garages, flood lights are the perfect choice, as they use lightweight but high-powered bulbs. The light emitted from this type is broad and able to cover a wide area with precise beams. 

Flood lights are used to illuminate areas both day and night. Schoolyards use them during evening or nighttime sports, and at night they are useful to businesses in preventing nighttime break-ins and robberies or for simply illuminating a specific monument or an outside church view.

Top Commercial LED Lights Manufacturers 

Choosing the correct manufacturers for your lighting needs depends on which type and application you need. Though there is, undoubtedly, an enormous amount of commercial LED lighting manufacturers and companies out there, but a few of them stand out as top players in the game.

Generally, companies like Cree Lighting, Acuity, Lithonia, and LSI Industries provide a wide range of commercial LED lighting, whatever the application. Choosing a manufacturer depends on a business’s particular needs, but these top companies regularly provide high-quality products.

But of course, no list of top commercial LED lighting manufacturers would be complete without Viribright™.

Commercial LED Lighting with Viribright™

The very mission of Viribright™ as a manufacturer is to offer reliable lighting for businesses and homes. Cost-effective and durable LED lighting is right at home here.

Armed with the information you need—definition, cost/benefit breakdown, types and applications, manufacturer information, and more—you now have the know-how to make your business a more enjoyable, cost-effective place for customers and employees alike and for yourself. Take a moment to browse through Viribright™ commercial LED lighting options to get started!

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