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Sustainability – January 1, 2010

‘Green’ Lights Can Save Plenty of Cash

Photos: Istock
Incandescents CFLs LEDs
Average lifespan in hours 1,000 10,000 to 20,000 but frequent on-offs cut lifespan 50,000
Initial cost From $2 to $10 each 3X as much as incandescents 10X as much as incandescents
Light per watt of electricity 40 to 100 watts, at 7 to 24 lumens per watt 1/4 the energy for same light 1/50 the energy for same light
Best Use All uses, but remember, they generate heat Overhead and cubicle lights Directional lights for display cases, spotlights and emergency exits
Disposal Regular trash Contains mercury, so recycle if possible* Nontoxic; put in trash or recycle if recycling center accepts them

Up to 30 percent of a business’s electricity bill pays for lighting, so you can save a lot of money by replacing traditional incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient CFL and LED bulbs. But businesses also can lose money if they don’t get it right, so here’s a guide to help you get started.

Case study: LED lights were installed in Starbucks’ Hawaii stores and each is expected to save $1,000 a year, according to the contractor, Regency Lighting.

“The initial cost of LEDs is higher, however, the energy savings and environmental advantages are significant,” says Dave Mitchell, general manager of High Tech Lights LLC.

*Recycling CFLs: There is no statewide effort to recycle CFLs. Home Depot stores in Hawaii accept them in limited quantities. Work with your landlord or contractor to recycle CFLs.

Used CFLs can be left in recycling boxes at the University of Hawaii-Manoa College of Education’s Collaboration Center. You can also order disposal kits at www.prepaidrecycling.com.

However, the U.S. Department of Health and the Environmental Protection Agency say it is OK for households to throw CFLs in the trash.

Free bulbs: The group Sustainable UH will give a CFL to anyone who trades in a used incandescent, Jan. 11 to May 5. See sustainable.hawaii.edu for details. “CFLs use 75 percent less electricity and last nearly 10 times as long,” says Shanah Trevenna, the group’s sustainability coordinator.

Word to the wise: “One light source isn’t better than the other. Business owners need to find the right lighting for the best application,” says Miles Kubo, COO of Energy Industries Corp., an energy project developer.

Hawaiian Electric Co. (Oahu) Hawaiian Electric Light Co. (Big Island) Maui Electric Co. (Maui County)
“P” Large-power-use business 23¢
“J” Medium- power-use business 18¢ 18¢ 24¢
“G” Small-power-use business 22¢ 22¢ 27¢

 

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