Visibility: When deciding to upgrade to LED lighting, consider both clarity and profits


April, 2024- Most new construction buildings use LED lighting because the human eye sees better under LEDs, and it costs far less to operate compared to incandescent, fluorescent and HID (high intensity discharge) lighting.

Depending on the specifics of a workspace, employees can see as well with 10 percent to 30 percent fewer LED lumens than with other lighting sources. If a space’s current light levels are good, then a lower lumen lighting system can be installed for equal visual performance. Installing an equal lumen LED system will result in improved visual performance.


Every manufactured light source delivers a color spectrum that impacts how an individual perceives color. Light is radiated energy that allows humans to see when the light energy is reflected off surfaces. Two factors come into play when buying LED lighting. One is the color rendering index (CRI) and the other is the K (Kelvin temperature) of the
LED light.

A lamp CRI is an important factor in determining color accuracy, and K impacts contrast and details. Selecting the best light source for a task or workspace requires the correct balance of CRI and K. The higher the CRI, the more accurately the light source reflects color. Typically, LED and incandescent lighting offer the best CRI; however, incandescent lighting costs too much to power and has a short lifespan. Therefore, incandescent is being phased out and banned in many markets— and fluorescent will be next.


*Chart includes numbers based on mean ranges 

Kelvin temperature is associated with the color of light energy, often referred to as a range between warm white (2700K) and daylight (5000K). Commercial and industrial building lighting systems are more complex and require expert lighting knowledge. When one light fixture appears to be “brighter” than another light fixture, it is most likely because they are different Kelvin temperatures.

For optimal visual performance, it is not recommended to mix Kelvin temperatures. A lighting practitioner can help determine the best balance of CRI and K temperature specific to your workspace. Many light fixtures look alike or
make similar claims at varying price levels. One size does not fit all, and just because one light fixture looks like another does not mean they are actually the same. Be careful not to decide about a long-term lighting investment without knowing how to accurately compare the options.


Replacing inefficient lighting with LED lighting fixes a profit leak. LED lighting typically lasts two to five times longer than other light sources. Based on the chart (below left), it is easy to see why most new buildings are using LED lighting. It has the best overall balance of CRI, Kelvin temperature and lumens-per-watt efficiency. It costs less to operate and maintain LED lighting.

LEDs improve visibility in most spaces while reducing the power consumption by up to 60 percent. You can elect to continue to pay the utility company for a lower quality of light or invest in LED lighting and keep the money for other business investments. The average return on an LED lighting upgrade in an existing building is between 2.5 years and

four years. If you include utility rebates and tax incentives, payback could be as low as one year. The icing on the cake is that LED lighting will reduce your environmental footprint by 20 percent to 60 percent.

LED lighting does not just save money, it makes money. Contact a reliable lighting resource and ask for a financial and visual analysis before upgrading to LED lighting.

Service Lamp, 856/768-0404

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