Oklahoma company getting in on the LED lighting boom – Tulsa World
In 2014, the LED lighting market was estimated at $13 billion, according to a report from market research and consulting company Radiant Insights. By 2020, that figure is likely to cross the $63 billion mark.
The boom, said Oklahoma LED President Joe Schrader, can in part be attributed to people realizing that the savings that comes from converting to light emitting diode — or LED — bulbs is not too good to be true. Feedback is coming in from early adopters of the energy efficient LED lightbulbs, he said, proving that the promises that come with converting aren’t just hype.
“They’re saving the 70 to 80 percent,” Schrader said. “That’s what’s making the rest of the field say, ‘Hey, it’s not too good to be true.’ That’s a big reason why it’s exploding.”
Schrader launched his Tulsa-based family business Oklahoma LED in 2012. Since that time the company has completed nearly 65 LED conversion projects across the state, with notable projects including the 12-story Sun Building in downtown Tulsa, Case & Associates headquarters, Warren Clinic and the Valliance Bank Tower parking lot in Oklahoma City.
In the conversions, the typical 65 watt incandescent light bulbs in buildings are replaced with nine-watt LED bulbs, Schrader said.
“It’s better light, it lasts a lot longer, and it’s over 80 percent more energy efficient,” Schrader said. “When a building has 10,000 or 50,000 lights, that’s when it (the savings) becomes a big number and hard to believe.”
The LED conversions come with a definite upfront cost — Schrader said that can range from $3,500 for a small building to around $1 million for converting a public school system. But with the significant annual energy savings that comes from switching to LED, the investments pay off.
Rebates are also available for switching through the PSO Power Forward program, Schrader said. Oklahoma LED says currently its projects have led to nearly $600,000 in rebates for Tulsa companies.
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Brad Scrivner, president and CEO of Valley National Bank, said that the bank is expecting to see more than 10 percent returns on the conversion project within just a few years. The bank worked with Oklahoma LED to convert all of the lighting in its 10 locations to LED. The roughly two-month conversion process finished in February.
Before LED, Valley National Bank’s annual energy costs were just over $48,000 a year. After conversion, the price tag is on track to drop to less than $18,000 annually.
The drop in annual kilowatt-hour usage across the branches is approaching 380,000.
The LED conversion was an easy step for the bank to take, Scrivner said.
“For us it was a good financial decision, it was a good decision about being that good steward of (environmental resources), and it was good for our employees because it created a better work environment for them in terms of their lighting and work areas,” Scrivner said. “So I think it was a real win-win.”
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