If you’ve read up on Solatube tubular skylights and on some of the accessories we offer for them, specifically the Smart LED Lighting System, then you’ve probably heard that the Smart LED system offers up to 94% savings compared to traditional lighting. What does that mean, exactly?
Skylights Plus LEDs
A Solatube skylight offers 100% savings on lighting costs when the sun is out. However, no amount of high tech design in the light collector can make up for a lack of sunlight. That’s why we introduced the Smart LED Lighting System. With Smart LED, Solatube light fixtures and light tubes can truly replace conventional light fixtures, providing lighting 24 hours a day from the same spot. It’s neater and simpler than having two separate lighting systems.
Skylights vs. Traditional Lighting
So, during daylight hours, we’re at 100% savings. The light is free and plentiful, in fact, your Solatube Skylight may require a dimming mechanism to keep the light at a comfortable level. Sunlight can also be focused and polarised at the outlet to prevent glare. It’s a fantastic system. But, adding a Smart LED system makes it adjustable in the opposite direction: when the light is too dim, it can be brightened with a powered back-up. It’s the best of both worlds.
LEDs vs. Traditional Lighting
An LED globe offers approximately an 80% savings on running costs compared to an incandescent globe. Let’s say that 2/3 of the lighting you require is during daylight hours, and the LED backup is required 1/3 of the time. Let’s do the math.
In short, this means that you will pay approximately 94% less for lighting with Solatube’s Smart LED Skylight System than you would if you were to use traditional incandescent lighting to provide the same amount of light. Obviously, the exact number will vary depending on the number of hours the LED is used; 94% is actually a conservative estimate for a workplace, since workplaces are in use mostly during daylight hours. It’s more accurate for typical lighting requirements in a home.
So, you may be thinking to yourself, ‘Nobody uses incandescents anymore. What are the savings associated with a Solatube system with Smart LED vs. just LED lighting?’ Well, using the 2/3 to 1/3 assumption, you’d be saving 66.6% on your energy use.
What if we included the cost of the globes and the cost of Solatube installation in the calculation? Sadly, that’s not something we can give you a good estimate for. It depends on the Solatube system you choose and on the cost of installation, which will vary both by location and by the complexity of the job. That’s a calculation you’ll probably want to make yourself.
In any case, a Solatube skylight with a Smart LED System gives you functionality that matches or exceeds what you’d get from conventional electrical lighting, and it will save you a bundle on your energy costs.