Over the course of the last several years, there has been a substantial increase in the awareness of LED lighting technology. Colored LED lighting has been around for many years and is commonly used in products such as exit signage, auto tail lights and traffic signal devices. The challenge for the lighting industry was trying to produce usable white colored LED components for use in everyday applications. Over the last several years, there have been major improvements in LED technology which has led to the development of products suitable for many different applications. Screw in LED lamps are becoming common place on the shelves of home improvement stores, Municipalities are changing out street lighting to LED, grocery store freezer cases, gas station canopy’s commercial exterior lighting and some interior office space lights are also using LED technology. While the development of LED lighting is very exciting, it is also prudent to do an honest comparison of LED to other technologies. LED may or may not be the appropriate lighting technology for your sports facility at this time. The following are considerations that should be made when deciding between LED and other technologies.

Lamp life.
LED lamp life is typically being rated anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 hours. While these are impressive ratings, there are T5HO lamps that are rated for similar lamp life. The LED rated life is an assumption at this point, based on accelerated lab testing. There haven’t been white LED’s in service long enough to verify the true longevity of the lamps.

Lumen Depreciation.
All light sources have a degradation of their initial light output over time. This is referred to as lumen depreciation. Typical LED lumen depreciation is around 30%, which means that the usable light output will be declining over time. T5HO lamps have a lumen depreciation of 5-7% over there rated life, which means more usable light over the life of the lamp. It may be necessary to over engineer a LED lighting system to compensate for the high lumen depreciation.

Initial cost and replacement costs.
The initial cost of LED fixtures is relatively high compared to other technologies, plus the technology is evolving so rapidly, that some fixtures and lamps purchased today will be outdated fairly quickly. The other consideration is replacement cost. Some LED fixtures do not have individual components that can be replaced at end of life, resulting in a throw away fixture. T5HO lamps and ballasts are commonly available, are relatively inexpensive and can be replaced on an individual basis as needed.

Ongoing development.
Courtlite® is as excited as everyone else about the emergence of LED lighting and currently offers LED products for racquetball, gymnasium and ice rink lighting. As LED technology evolves, our engineers are working on viable options for the use of LED in indoor tennis applications. If you are considering a lighting upgrade to your sports facility, you owe it to yourself to do a comparison of the available technologies, so you can make an informed decision. Courtlite® would be happy to help guide you through this process.

For more information about Sport Lighting Solutions please visit www.Courtlite.com or contact us at 425.422.1744.