Lighting division of electronics company Philips South Africa, Philips Lighting Solutions, is undertaking a maintenance and refurbishment project at a warehouse owned by a Johannesburg-based automotive company.
Philips Lighting Solutions compared the consumption and maintenance requirements of 400 W, T5 and light-emitting diode (LED) high-bay luminaires and found that the LED option offers more savings, owing to the low maintenance requirements. The LED lighting solution has a 30% lumen deprecation over 50 000 hours, which equates to about 10 years of useful life depending on the burning hours, reducing maintenance costs and downtime significantly.
“One of the biggest drivers for the automotive company was compliance with the appropriate lighting levels as stipulated by South African National Standards (SANS) and South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) specifications. Philips Lighting Solutions was one of many lighting companies the automotive company requested evaluations from for this particular project and was apparently the only one to identify the application light level requirements correctly and design a lighting system that facilitated the specific visual task of the application,” says Philips Lighting Solutions technical sales manager Grant Combrink.
Combrink says some companies interpret the requirements of SANS 10114-1 incorrectly and the evaluation of the application, which he attributes to the lack of experience and knowledge in the lighting industry.
Incorrect interpretations resulting in the installation of inappropriate luminaires for a specific visual task can result in legal battles for a company, should an employee be injured, as SANS 10114-1 also covers Occupational Health and Safety Act levels, notes Combrink.
Philips Lighting Solutions provide a total cost of ownership (TCO) solution with a return on investment over a certain period, which depends a lot on the burning hours of an application.
Over the TCO period, which can be either five or seven years, the company says there are almost no maintenance costs for LED luminaires over the useful life, owing to the 50 000 hour life expectancy of LED lights and the lumen outputs of LEDs depreciating only by 30% after 50 000 hours of useful life.
He notes that with the LED luminaire system, downtime due to maintenance is dramatically reduced, enabling the automotive company to limit associated costs.
Meanwhile, Combrink explains that about five years ago the lighting solutions retrofit market was dominated by energy services companies (Escos) and State-owned energy supplier Eskom’s integrated demand management (IDM) programmes, which offer rebates for the installation of energy-saving equipment.
Eskom’s IDM programme created an influx of Escos, resulting in increased Chinese imports and, therefore, several products that did not comply with energy efficient standards.
This resulted in South Africa-based compulsory specifications and technical regulations enforcement organisation the National Regulator for Compulsory Standards (NRCS) issuing letters of authority so that energy-saving lighting products comply with the safety specifications of SANS 60598.
In the last few years, many incorrect installations took place, owing to some companies not undertaking accurate energy audits and identifying the correct lighting levels required for certain applications.
“Every application has a visual task and standards organisations such as SANS, the SABS and the International Electrotechnical Commission dictate what the required lighting levels are for every application.
“Some companies take a 400 W high-bay lighting system and use an 85 W compact fluorescent lamp in this system, but then the control gear is disconnected and connected to mains voltage. This will provide the energy savings, but not the appropriate lighting levels for the application.
“Some Escos were often only retrofitting and refurbishing the lamps in lighting systems, but they were not doing a like-for-like comparison on different lighting systems, wattage and lumen outputs. To get the full energy- saving benefits and sustainable solution, the entire luminaire needs to be replaced and not just the lamp in a lot of applications,” explains Combrink.
This has been a problem, as there is no real enforcement to ensure energy-saving equipment complied with industry standards. Eskom has been more proactive in ensuring that energy-saving equipment complies, but the utility also downgraded its rebate structure, impacting negatively on the bottom line of Escos, he notes.