When it comes to using LED lighting for marine applications, the list of benefits is long! They’re much more energy efficient and help save money and the environment, but that’s just one significant advantage of upgrading to LEDs. They keep docks and marinas safe, businesses well-lit and recognizable, and can be used for safety and navigation on recreational vessels and barges. But what makes some LED lights different and superior to others? Let’s explore.
First, where you purchase lighting matters most of all. It’s hard to know whether the LED you’re buying is low- or high-quality, and working with a supplier you can trust is imperative. Don’t go to the big box stores — like most investments, the cheapest option isn’t always the best. Choose a distributor that offers both LED fixtures and bulbs; retrofitting doesn’t provide a return on that investment if you’re not using integrated fixtures.
Retrofitting doesn’t always maximize the efficiency of the new lighting. This is another factor to consider. Although retrofitting can offer substantial energy savings, you need to ensure that you can dim the LED bulbs you choose to function at peak energy-saving efficiency — or else you could be throwing money down the drain every month.
Another critical factor is ENERGY STAR certification. With this certification, lighting is guaranteed to be flicker-free, true to color, and offer the energy efficiency that LED lighting is known for.
ENERGY STAR requirements were introduced in 1997 as an efficient lighting option without sacrificing efficacy and function. Having an ENERGY STAR certification means that your lighting meets minimum performance levels as claimed by manufacturers and has been tested by a third-party certification laboratory to ensure accuracy and industry compliance.
Besides offering protection against low-quality lighting, ENERGY STAR certification means that the bulbs you purchase shine in all directions. This is especially important for businesses that use LED for safety, as the wrong lighting can cast dark shadows that could risk employee and visitor safety.
Choosing a trusted distributor who offers ENERGY STAR-certified lighting and LED integrated fixtures maximizes lighting lifespan. With longer hours of operation, maintenance costs are reduced. Cheaper LED lighting without certification will only last about two to three years and require more frequent replacement. Top-notch lighting from a specialized supplier will last ten years — think about your building and do the math to find out how much you’ll save.
Additional features are a significant reason to skip over cheap LED lighting. Dimmers ensure that you’re maximizing efficiency and keeping the lighting at levels that are optimized for the space. LED suppliers also have the expertise needed to direct you to the right fixtures. Don’t do what so many companies have done and try to DIY this project. That story never ends well, especially when you have to pay to fix broken or cheaply made lighting.
Ultimately, remember that not all LED lighting is created equal, and it may be tempting to choose the cheapest option. Lower-quality LED lighting and fixtures have a shorter lifespan and can be less energy-efficient.
On the other hand, buying high-quality lighting can offer peace of mind knowing that it will withstand the test of time and keep operators safe without the lighting malfunctioning unexpectedly before the stated lifetime claims. Reach out to our team of marine lighting experts to better understand your options, especially if you’re interested in upgrading to LED lighting.