Fort Lauderdale, Florida (PressExposure) November 19, 2009 -- Illuminated exit signs are an important and legally required safety feature in your facility. In the case of an emergency such as a fire, their operation is critical in protecting the well being of those in your facility. The problem is that all exit signs operate 24 hrs. a day, every day resulting in 8,760 hours of use per year. Most people that contact us looking to save energy have not considered the cost associated with running these small light fixtures.
Many exit signs in todayâs buildings use older, incandescent lighting technology. These signs typically contain two or more small, incandescent bulbs which use a total of 15 to 25 watts each! A single sign may use from 175 to 438 kwh of electricity per year and cost $28 annually to operate. You can imagine the snowball effect when considering a building with 10 floors and anywhere from 50 to 100 exit signs all running 24 hours a day. You are essentially leaving an extra 100 or so light bulbs burning all day.
To make matters worse, many older exit signs require frequent maintenance due to the short life span of the lamps that light them. These little incandescent bulbs typically have a life span of 2500 hours and hence these signs require bulb replacement two to four times per year at a cost of approximately $1 per bulb. We calculate that many customers are spending upwards of $50 a year maintaining their exits sign when you total the energy consumption, bulb cost and maintenance time. Most of this cost is hidden and therefore usually goes unnoticed until we point it out.
The good news is that exit signs or exit bulbs are the easiest and most cost effective lighting retrofit out there. The retrofit itself can usually be done by anyone that can change a light bulb and the ROI is conservatively 9 months. The new bulbs will pay for themselves within the year from the energy savings. (Many of our sharper hotel managers use operating funds at the beginning of year that they know will be offset by the lower monthly energy bill.) To see the math savings of $30 per year by changing from 30 watts to 3 watts click our led exit energy saving calculator here.
There is nothing new in this information - it just bears repeating. Energy Star has been touting the benefits of changing exit signs as an excellent, low-cost, low-labor opportunity to increase the energy efficiency and safety of your facility for years. They report that replacing incandescent exit signs with ENERGY STAR qualified exit signs can increase the energy efficiency of your exit signs by 3 to 8 times! As a matter of fact in EPAct 2005, Congress passed a new minimum federal efficiency standard for electrically-powered, single-faced exit signs that states that all exit signs manufactured on or after January 1, 2006 must have an input power demand of 5 watts or less per face.
So there you have it. New exit signs are generally all LED based with a strip of LED nodes inside. These LED exit signs feature energy consumption of just 3-4 watts, an LED lamp life of 25+ years and led exit bulb cost under $25. Most contractors will probably tell you changing the entire exit sign is the surest way to go. However there is an even better way that costs less and saves your old exit sign from the landfill.
We recommend an LED exit sign replacement bulb (light emitting diode) that has been successfully used in the market for the last couple of the years. It also boasts an average estimated bulb life of 25 years and consumes only 3 watts per sign installation. The LED exit bulb retofit kit comes with 2 LED bulbs and universal fit adaptors for candelabra, intermediate and double contact base sockets. You will enjoy energy savings of close to 90% and not have to change an exit bulb for years. Cost $12.99 per kit.