Batten luminaires are incredibly common in many different types of workplaces, including domestic, commercial, industrial, and Government buildings. And it’s easy to see why.
Battens are high performance lights that are excellent for illuminating large spaces, which makes them ideal for workplaces or even home garages where unrivalled light output is required for high attention tasks. However, many businesses are still using old batten luminaires with traditional T5 or T8 fluorescent tubes. When we look at how the batten has evolved over the last 10 years, it’s hard to see why fluorescents are still used.
It’s time to change. But what should consumers be looking to change to? Are LED battens the future of the batten? Are they the best upgrade option? Let’s take a look.
LED battens are the best like-for-like upgrade for older fluorescent tube lighting as there are many similarities between the two. For example, both feature the same long, thin, sleek design that provides illumination across wide, stretching areas. This widespread illumination is, after all, why many lighting requirements are suitable for the LED batten. They are important for lighting schools and hospitals, which are just two of the places where battens can be used.
Other similarities include size - LED battens can be found in the exact same lengths as older fluorescent tubes. 2ft, 4ft, 5ft, and 6ft lengths are the most popular. There are also weatherproof LED battens and weatherproof fluorescent battens available, so both types can be used safely outdoors to provide necessary exterior illumination.
However, there are also many differences between the two, mostly in terms of efficiency. LED battens use modern LED technology that requires less energy to produce the same - or better - light output. LED battens are around 65% more energy efficiency than their fluorescent counterparts. They are very environmentally friendly, which can help businesses move even closer towards achieving their green initiatives.
LED battens are also much longer lasting, with around a 90% longer average lifespan than old fluorescent tubes. They also require very little - if any - maintenance over their lifetime, so while they may cost a little more initially, they can easily save businesses money in the long term. It’s estimated an LED batten will pay for itself within two years.
Not only are LED battens the best upgrade for fluorescent fittings in terms of performance and energy efficiency, they’re are also to switch from fluorescents as there’s very little that needs to be done to install a new LED batten.
First, you’ll need to choose the right LED batten lights for your installation. For the easiest installation, choose a complete fitting which gives you the required light output. Electricians can do this for those who are unsure about installing new LED light fittings.
LED stands for ‘light-emitting diode’, and it’s the most popular technology for lighting today. Using a semiconductor that emits light energy, rather than the standard wire filament used by old incandescents, LEDs are high performing, energy efficient choices.
The technology, driven by electroluminescence, isn’t new. It’s been around since the early 1900s, with the first LED light developed in the 1920s. However, LED lighting wasn’t commercialised until the 1960s, and even then it was simply too costly to become a viable option. Today, following years of development, LEDs are a popular option.
Used in homes, commercial buildings, and industrial sites, LED lighting uses around 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs, with an average lifespan of around 50,000 hours compared to the 1500 hours for incandescents. They typically last for up to 30 years and require very little maintenance, so they’re fantastic long term money saving solutions.
We’ve already looked at how LED battens produce more light using less power, and how they have a longer lifespan than fluorescents, helping to save money in the long term. But what additional advantages come with switching to modern LED battens?
The first is that there’s no compromise on performance over time. With older fluorescents, flickering, dimming, and delayed illumination when switching on were common symptoms of a dying bulb. Today’s LED battens offer instant illumination, and consistent performance across their lifetime. This means that they can be used for a wider variety of tasks, including as emergency lighting systems as they are so reliable.
A second major benefit of LED battens is that, as with fluorescents, there are many different colours and temperatures available. It’s easy to find different battens to suit different spaces, with warm white, cool white, and daylight options providing different atmospheres. While warm whites offer a gentle glow which could see battens extend into the home environment.
Another advantage is that LED battens are much safer than fluorescent alternatives. They don’t use toxic chemicals like mercury which in the event of breakage can be a concern. As battens are commonly used in places such as school buildings and hospitals with children and vulnerable people, benefits such as added safety really do seal the deal for swapping.
Absolutely. Batten luminaires have been around for 60+ years because they are so good at what they do. There’s nothing better for illuminating large areas than tube lighting. But relying on old, inefficient fluorescents isn’t sustainable. What’s required is a form of lighting that retains all the design benefits of the classic batten yet incorporates a more modern, efficient technology. And that’s exactly what LED battens are doing.
Created by Gary Baker on 24th February, 2021