You probably didn’t notice what type of light was illuminating the last exit sign you saw. If you’re a building/business owner, start paying attention.
If your exit signs are currently lit by incandescent or fluorescent bulbs, you can save hundreds of dollars by switching to LED exit signs.
The first exit signs were lit by incandescent bulbs, and this type continues to be popular in commercial buildings because of low bulb cost. However, these are the same incandescent bulbs that burn out quickly, use a ton of energy, emit heat, and are set to be banned in 2012 by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.
Fluorescent-lit exit signs are certainly more energy efficient than incandescent, but they work the same way: both sides of an exit fixture are backlit from the inside. This provides for uneven illumination. In addition, bulbs still need to be changed fairly frequently, and the cost of replacement bulbs is high.
LED exit signs might be a slightly higher initial investment, but reduced maintenance costs, energy savings, and overall performance makes the switch well worth it for business owners. Check out this Cost Comparison Table completed by the North Carolina Department of Commerce (“Energy Efficiency for Restaurants: LED Exit Signs” fact sheet):
||Typical Wattage (watts)
||Bulb Life (years)
||Annual Bulb + Labor Cost
||Purchase + Install Cost
||Annual Energy Cost
||1st Year Cost
||10th Year Cost Savings
|LED (new installation)
||$20 + $25
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