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Think of a traditional construction jobsite in past years and string lights throughout the area will come to mind. Bulky, cumbersome to install and difficult to salvage, string lights require constant upkeep to replace dead bulbs. Cords get caught behind walls and duct work, resulting in cords being cut and the lighting thrown away. Today, jobsites are increasingly using purpose-built LED lighting instead, which can replace the need for string lights in almost all areas. With just one 360-degree LED area light, contractors can replace up to 250 feet worth of string lights, reducing installation points by 95 percent.

Energy, Cost and Manpower Savings

It’s not only saving on labor with LED lighting, with less time dedicated to installation and tear down, but also savings in energy consumed. The energy savings that can result when switching from bulb-based lighting to LED lighting can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings. Not only will LED lights consume 70 percent to 90 percent less power, but less LED lights will be needed to light the jobsite when compared to string lights.

Energy savings from temporary lighting is frequently underestimated, and when it is considered that the lights are typically running 24/7 for months or years at a time, it highlights the significant positive impact LED jobsite lights can have on the project and the environment.

If a project uses LED jobsite lighting, the energy savings will pay for the lights themselves in a short time frame. In addition, with no bulbs to replace, quicker installation/uninstallation time and fewer electrical circuits required, adopting LED on a jobsite provides a return on investment based on labor savings alone. And then there’s the benefit of reusing the lights on additional jobs—an option not available with string lights.

One LED jobsite lighting manufacturer tracked in real time the energy savings of their clients’ construction projects. It was found that using LED lighting resulted in a total of 100 million kWh of energy savings in more than two years. This is the equivalent to removing 16,000 cars off the road for one year, or powering 11,000 homes on an annual basis. Then monetize the savings using an average of 10 cents/kWh (the national average) and it adds up to $10 million of savings. This translates into savings for the project owner and the environment.

Traditionally, contractors don’t consider the amount of energy consumption lighting can have on a project, since often the energy costs fall to the developer/project owner. But as shown, the savings can be tremendous and is therefore an important consideration for a project owner. A contractor who can bring high levels of savings to a job could win future projects from the owner.

It’s increasingly important today for construction companies to pay attention to jobsite carbon footprints. After decades of wasteful practices that are destructive to the environment, using LED jobsite lights is a proactive step toward reducing the carbon footprint of construction sites. Waste is reduced by reusing the LED lights from project to project. This lighting reduces waste going to landfills and contains no hazardous chemicals such as the mercury present in compact fluorescent and metal halide bulbs or other toxic heavy metals.

Using purpose-built LED lighting on a construction jobsite brings many advantages to contractors and project owners, and huge energy savings throughout the build. It can accomplish this by reducing labor and material, saving the owner hundreds of thousands of dollars in electricity and creating a more sustainable jobsite. The return on investment is fast and, with the ability to reuse the lights on multiple projects, the move to LED construction lighting is worth the investment.


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