Frequently Asked Questions
Get the answers you need to most of your questions. If we’re missing an answer you are looking for, feel free to contact us directly.
I've heard LEDs are more efficient. Does that mean they produce less light?
You’re right about LEDs being more efficient. Compared to a traditional incandescent light bulb, LEDs are 6 to 7 times as efficient as traditional incandescents and up to twice 2 as efficient as compact flourescents. What that doesn’t mean, however, is that they produce less light compared with their counterparts. A 40-watt incandescent light bulb produces around 450 lumens of light output. You can replace that 40-watt incandescent bulb with a 4-5 watt LED light bulb and not lose a single photon of light output.
Do LEDs really not burn out as often?
Because of the way LEDs produce light, they really do last much longer than their incandescent and CFL counterparts. Depending on the light bulb, your LED replacement can last up to 50 times what a traditional light bulb would last. Technically speaking, LEDs really never burn out like an incandescent or CFL. Over the life of the bulb, however, they will begin to lose brightness over time and will function at about 70% of their original output at the end of their expected life, which ranges from between 25,000 and 50,000 hours. That’s 12 hours a day for more than 11 years!
Do LEDs only come in one shade of bright, white light?
This is still a common misconception about LEDs but is definitely not true anymore. With advances in LED technology over the past decade, you can now find LED lights in every color of the rainbow and any shade of white imaginable. Compared to incandescents and CLFs, LEDs offer superior light quality, including brightness, warmth, and color accuracy. This allows customers the ability to customize their lighting solution to their specific needs and wants. And with new technology added to LED lights, they can actually change color on demand, allowing you the option to light up the outside of your business or home in a shade of white one day and green or purple or pink the next!
Do all LED bulbs look the same?
LEDs create light via tiny instruments called diodes – that’s where the D in LED comes from. Originally, this only allowed for a limited number of applications for LED lights. But with advances in LED technology and design, LEDs now come in literally all shapes and sizes, from vintage globe bulbs to modernist chandeliers. Because of this versatility of design, we can customize your lighting solution to fit the specific look and feel of your space.
Are LEDs safe?
Simply put – yes. Because of their design, LEDs are made to last. Unlike incandescents and CLFs, LEDs are made without glass, so accidentally dropping a bulb is no problem. As well, LEDs are made exclusively with materials that are safe for human contact, unlike CFLs, which use mercury and other toxic chemicals to produce their light. Not only does that mean not worrying about the health and safety of your family or coworkers but also not worrying about the health of the planet. LEDs are fully recyclable and require no special disposal procedures when and if you need to replace one.
My CFLs take a while to turn on fully. Do LEDs have a delay too?
Because LEDs produce their light in an entirely different way, they do not share the “lag time” in reaching full brightness. In fact, LEDs are used in applications that require extremely sensitive lighting systems, like high speed imaging, because they turn fully on and off in milliseconds.
Are LEDs really better for the environment?
Beyond their safety profile, LEDs really are helping in the fight for a sustainable future. Because they require so much less energy to illuminate and last so much longer than their counterparts, LEDs offer customers the ability to substantially shrink the carbon footprint. Longer lifespans and lower energy intensity translate to fewer light bulbs in landfills and less carbon in the atmosphere.
Am I a good fit for retrofitting?
To put it as simply as possible – yes, you are. Transitioning to LEDs is one of those rare no downside, all upside endeavors. There are now LEDs that meet every lighting need imaginable and with the advances made in their design, they can often be used interchangeably with their incandescent and CFL counterparts or only require a simple retrofit solution to your existing infrastructure.
How does the financing work?
Over the past 5 to 10 years, innovations in energy efficiency financing have really solved the last remaining barrier that stopped energy infrastructure upgrades from going forward in the past. Investing in your energy infrastructure offers a whole host of benefits, from better finances to happier employees, but often the initial cost required for many of these projects was prohibitively high, leading to businesses and residences continuing to waste money and energy. But now, financing for energy efficiency projects has found solutions to the problem of upfront capital costs, allowing for energy upgrades to be made without large outlays of capital up front and the ability to see some of those energy savings immediately.
What financing partners do you work with?
Woodward Energy Solutions partners with financial institutions, non-profits, utility companies, and governments to provide the financing needed to make investing in energy efficiency projects possible. We’re headquartered in the heart of downtown Detroit, Michigan so we have established relationships with a number of local partners including Michigan Saves and Lean and Green Michigan, which allows us to offer our clients below market interest rates and a seamless application process. For our clients outside of Michigan, we do the work needed to link you up with the best possible financing partner but ensure that you receive all of the incentives you qualify for – at the federal, state, and local level.