There are a variety of reasons that retailers don’t want to give up their fluorescent lighting systems and switch to LED lighting. The majority of retailers are hoping they can, somehow, avoid making the change from fluorescent to LED altogether. The reasons range from not wanting to shoulder the costs for what they see as questionable benefits to sheer rebellion at having this change imposed on them by the government.
The Cost of Switching is a Financial Burden for Some
There is no question that the cost of making the switch from fluorescent lighting to an LED system is financially worrisome to some retailers.
The cost is immediate and the savings are spread out over several years. In fact, the expectation is that the savings on electricity through the use of LED lamps after changing the entire system can be realized within two to five years, depending on the individual store.
Certainly, for any store that has a low profit margin, the owner will probably do their best to avoid investing in any upgrade that doesn’t offer an immediate compensation as long as they can. However, retailers who investigate the way in which changes can slowly be integrated into the lighting system will be reassured that the costs can be spread over a reasonable timeframe. The savings in electrical costs begin immediately.
There are still government grants and utility rebates available that will help defray the costs, but time is running out. Retailers will have to act fast at this point.
Many Retailers Object to Government-Imposed Lighting Changes
The term ‘light bulb socialism’ has been bandied about, and over 70% of Americans object to government legislation dictating the kind of lamps and fixtures that can be used in this country. It is understandable.
However, most Americans see the benefit of many government-imposed rules such as speed limits on streets and highways, the use of seatbelts in vehicles, hospital hygiene requirements and food plant inspections. This is a new government rule that makes sense and it is slowly gaining acceptance. It is indisputable that less energy use reduces the drain on, and the contamination of, our natural resources.
There are Still Questions Raised about the Benefits of LED Lighting
The quality of LED lighting has been proven and the cost savings has been proven. What questions are still being raised?
For some retailers, there is a mistaken belief that LED lamps contain mercury, which is an environmental concern and a disposal problem for retailers. Also, LED lamps are rumored to start poorly and can’t be dimmed. Not true. These concerns demonstrate the confusion between LED lamps and CFL compact fluorescent lamps that do have these problems. LED lamps have neither.
There are many articles claiming that LED lighting is not as bright as traditional fluorescent lights and too expensive to buy and install. Most of these articles are outdated or contain slanted information.
The jury is already in: LED lamps are efficient, contain no mercury or glass, do not cause colors in fabrics to fade, use energy to produce light not heat, are environmentally preferable, and will save the retailer a lot of money over time.
There are Alternatives Available – For Now
Retailers who object to making the change to more efficient lighting can avoid the problem by buying and stockpiling traditional lights and lighting fixtures. A good supply of both can keep a store well lit for some time. In fact, there has been a great run on incandescent lamps and fixtures in many countries, especially in Europe.
This can only be a temporary measure, of course. A well as phasing out fluorescent lamps, magnetic ballasts (the engines, so to speak, of fluorescent light fixtures) have already been phased out in the US and Europe.
At some point, the stockpiles of incandescent lights and fixtures will run out, and society will look upon the last incandescent-light-holdouts as destroyers of the environment and will object to patronizing businesses that don’t demonstrate their concern about the quality of our air and drinking water by reducing their energy use. Plus, retailers who do cost comparisons will realize that they are paying far more for electricity than businesses that use LED lighting systems.
It is wise to gradually adopt an efficient lighting system that will, in a few years, pay for itself, increase your profits, and help protect the environment. Everybody will be happy. Check it out!
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