A traditional, incandescent lightbulb hasn’t changed all that much since its invention – a filament is still heated to 2300 degrees Celsius to create light. Unfortunately, most of the electricity required to do this is wasted as heat and only 10% is turned into light. Worse still, incandescent light bulbs only last for up to 1,000 hours – which equates to one year*. Being so energy hungry, they are expensive to run and a hassle to replace so often.
*Based on residential usage of 2.7 hours per day.
Not quite as energy efficient but still the most sold energy-saving household bulbs are compact fluorescent lights (CFL). They use merely 50 - 80% of the wattage that an incandescent bulb consumes, yet last up to 20 times longer. Light from a fluorescent bulb is first created by an electric current conducted through an inert gas producing ultraviolet light that is invisible to the human eye. The ultraviolet light in turn interacts with special blends of phosphors coating the interior surface of the fluorescent lamp tube that efficiently converts the invisible light into useful white light. Once your CFL bulbs stop working, make sure to treat them as special waste; your nearest transfer station should be able to get rid of them for you.
LED is the most efficient replacement option for traditional lighting - it uses ten times less wattage to produce a superior quality of light*. LED bulbs are available in many different colour temperatures, with lower temperatures producing warm, more relaxing yellow light (warm white) and a higher colour temperature emitting cooler, white lighting that can be useful in workspaces or outside (cool daylight). Although they have drastically come down in price over the past years, LED still cost more than incandescent bulbs, but you quickly make your money back with low running costs. With a hearty lifetime of up to 15,000 hours* an LED bulb will outlive a traditional one many times over.
*This is based on the Philips range – may differ with other brands.
Look out for LUMENS
Just as a rugby player is measured in kilograms – light is measured in lumens. It is a measure of how much light a bulb produces, whereas wattage shows you how much power the bulb requires to run. Therefore, it makes sense to judge light bulbs based on how much light they provide, rather than how much electricity (watts) they consume. A 10 watt Philips LED produces 1020 lumens. For a traditional, incandescent light bulb to produce the same amount of light, it consumes almost 100 watts – 10 times more!
While it is possible to swap fluorescent tubes with LED versions, which should be done by an electrician, it is now recommended to changing the entire fitting with alternative forms of LED lighting. This will allow for more flexibility on lighting intensity and placement, and these days doesn’t make much of a price difference. If you are looking at replacing your club’s fluorescent tubes, we suggest to get an electrician in to help work out the best solution for your needs. Once you have a quote and want to apply for funding to finance an upgrade, feel free to get in touch for a support letter written by Litefoot.
Court / field lighting
There are many different types of light sources that can be found around sports clubs in NZ, e.g. Mercury vapour, metal halide or sodium lamps. All of these cannot simply be replaced 1-to-1 by an LED. Just like with fluorescent tubes, we recommend getting in an electrician that will be able to work out what types of LED replacements will be best suitable for your club’s requirements. Philips have a great range of LED options for recreational sports, and despite higher up-front costs we urge your club to look into LED when thinking of upgrading major lighting sources. Not only will it save your club a lot of money on power bills, it will also require less frequent replacements (i.e. less money spent on cherry pickers!), supply a consistent light output over time (i.e. less frustration), and no warm-up period (i.e. you don’t have to think about when the next training takes place before turning the lights off!).