Investing in energy efficiency upgrades could be very beneficial to building owners. Reduction in gas and electricity bills together with an increase in the building’s value are some of the benefits. This way, homeowners can accumulate significant savings throughout the lifespan of the home and buildings up for rent or sale become even more appealing to potential buyers.

Obviously, energy efficiency measures would differ for different buildings, considering the fact that each building is different in its own way. However, there are general energy efficiency measures that could work for almost all buildings. This article features LED lighting energy efficiency upgrades. This article discusses LED lighting, and it will be the first in a series of articles focusing on energy savings.

Benefits of LED Lighting in Residential and Commercial Buildings.

It is common knowledge that unlike older lamp types, LED lighting guarantees high efficiency. Below is a table, showing savings in percentage achieved from energy efficiency upgrades from common lamp types to LED.

Common Lamp types Savings After Upgrade
Incandescent lamps80% – 90%
Halogen lamps80% – 90%
Compact fluorescent lights (CFL),25% – 40%
Fluorescent tubes40% – 60%
High-intensity discharge (HID) lamp55% – 75%

From the table above, we can clearly see the amount of energy savings you can get from upgrading to LED lighting. But that’s not all, LED lighting offers more than energy savings as its benefits. The lifespan or service life of LED lamps is usually longer than the lighting systems it replaces. Hence you don’t change lamps as often as you would with other lamp types. Using the lamp types in the table above, below is another table, comparing the lifespan of other lamps with LED lamps.

Lamp TypesLamp Service LifeEquivalent Service Life of LED
Incandescent Lamp800 – 1,200 hours15,000 – 25,000 hours
Halogen lamps2,000 hours15,000 – 25,000 hours
Compact fluorescent lights (CFL),8,000 – 12,000 hours15,000 – 25,000 hours
Fluorescent tubes18,000 – 27,000 hours50000, – 100,000 hours
HID lamp10,000 – 24,000 hours50,000 – 100,000 hours

Another benefit of LEDs energy efficiency is its cost-effectiveness. You might say, “but LED lamps are more expensive.”. Of a truth, a single LED bulb would cost around $6.00 as opposed to the $1.50 for an incandescent bulb. But when considering the lifespan of a building and the lamps, 25 incandescent bulbs equals one LED bulb. And that is like favoring an initial $6.00 LED bulb over a $1.50 incandescent bulb 25 times which will amount to about $37.50.

Additionally, for air-conditioned spaces or cold rooms, LED bulbs would save more energy, as opposed to other lamps. This is because other lamps emit more heat, hence increasing the workload on the cooling equipment. Whereas LED lighting will reduce its workload.

Recommendations When Upgrading to LED Lighting

There are three main classifications of LED system upgrades:


This type of LED upgrade does not involve changing the initial fixture, power source or wiring. It involves only replacing the lamps, therefore, the existing sockets and connections must work with the new LED lamps.


This type of LED upgrade, like Relamp, uses the existing fixtures. However, it differs from relamp in the sense that it involves changes to the internal wiring. For example, the ballasts fluorescent and HID lamps use are bypassed by LED retrofit kits.

led retrofit

Complete Replacement

As the name implies, this LED upgrade type involves completely replacing the present fixtures with new LED lighting fixtures.

As you would guess, completely replacing an existing fixture, is more expensive than relamping and retrofitting. However, the efficiency of this upgrade is slightly higher. In this case, for a simple lighting improvement, relamping or retrofitting will suffice. However, for a total renovation, or a major upgrade, I recommend complete replacement.

For new projects, efficiency is always a priority. And a complete LED fixture offers that in abundance. And to save energy, you must invest in upgrading your lighting system. Therefore, choosing efficiency over cost would benefit you more in the long run. In this case, The difference in the cost of both options is the “upgrade cost”.


Any energy audit you receive for your building will most likely include an LED upgrade recommendation. Improving the lighting system is even easier when it is in the company of other energy efficiency measures.

Note that, like any engineering decision for your home, consulting or seeking structural design advice or opinion is always recommended. There are different LED upgrades for different applications. Consulting the right structural design firm will help in your decision making.