This week on the Bright Ideas series by Acuity Brands®, Catherine is joined in the studio by Justin Moon, Director of Industrial Products at Acuity Brands; and Joe Holcomb, the Sales Director for Holophane®. Joe and Justin are going to unpack how lighting can play an important role in the overall building savings. Total cost of ownership is a topic on the minds of many industrial building owners, especially when they are considering an upgrade to their lighting.
MAJOR FACTORS TO CONSIDER IN TOTAL COST OF OWNERSHIP:
When deciding which industrial fixtures to purchase, five key parts of total cost of ownership include:
- Return on Investment (ROI)
- Superior Optics
- Thermal Performance
- Design Requirements
- Trustworthy Manufacturing
1. RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI)
In the case of lighting, ROI refers to how long it will take for a light fixture to earn back its own cost– either in energy savings, productivity improvements, or lack of maintenance.
Sometimes return on investment (ROI) can be mistaken for total cost of ownership. While it is certainly a major factor in deciding which fixtures to purchase, total cost of ownership involves looking at more of the big picture. A system may have a slightly longer return on investment period, but its actual total cost of ownership may be tens of thousands of dollars lower, due to some of these other factors.
2. SUPERIOR OPTICS
After ROI, one of the biggest factors to consider in total cost of ownership is superior optics. Optics play a massive role in the quality and quantity of light that is achieved in a space. All of that plays into operational effectiveness from an employee morale and productivity standpoint. Better optics lead to fewer defects, and often also means a reduction in fixture counts.
3. THERMAL PERFORMANCE
From a fixture design standpoint, the next factor is thermal performance. First-class thermal performance, especially in today’s LED world, is pivotal to maintain light levels over the long period that the fixture is going to be lighting the space. These solutions have to be designed to dissipate the heat in industrial environments: moving heat away from critical components like the board, the LEDs, and the driver so that the fixture can achieve and maintain optimal performance over the life of the fixture.
That will help reduce maintenance expenses, and it will also help reduce downtime expenses. In addition, thermal performance aids in maintaining light levels across the industrial facility – not just indoors, but outside in walkways and parking lots as well.
4. DESIGN REQUIREMENTS
Very much congruent with thermal performance, it’s also important when purchasing a lighting fixture to ensure that it’s designed specifically for the harsh industrial environment where it will be employed.
In spaces like petrochemical facilities, paper mills, steel mills, or power generation plants, users need a product that’s engineered to be durable with robust construction. In food processing, for example, fixtures have to go through high-pressure hose-downs, often at high temperatures, to stay clean and sanitary. They need to be designed so that debris and cleaning chemicals will roll off of them, and so their outer coatings won’t deteriorate.
Design requirements for industrial facilities could include corrosion-resistant finishes, borosilicate glass optics, cutting-edge surge and power quality, and so forth. And at the end of the day, all of these features will help save users a lot more money in the long run.
5. TRUSTWORTHY MANUFACTURING
Given the tough environments that industrial light fixtures have to contend with, using a fixture that isn’t robustly-designed or rated for those spaces can pose a monetary risk. Even though they have cheaper price tags, their total cost of ownership may be extremely poor in comparison to fixtures from more trustworthy vendors.
If the warranty for a product is longer than its manufacturer has been in business, that’s a major red flag. If a lighting manufacturer may not be around to stand behind their product when it fails, that purchase could end up costing you a lot. When considering total cost of ownership for industrial lighting fixtures, choosing a reliable manufacturer will always lead to greater peace of mind and security in the purchasing decision.
Holophane, backed by North America’s largest lighting manufacturer, Acuity Brands, has been in this industry for over 120 years and can help industrial builders or plant managers find the right fixtures for their facilities. Visit holophane.com to learn more about the different industrial products they offer. Next week, tune back in to the Bright Ideas series to learn about some recent changes to the Design Lights Consortium (DLC) requirements for qualified light fixtures.
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