Since I teach sound production workshops at churches and schools around the country, I've been getting questions about LED lighting. And while I'm learning a lot about the technology (power requirements, dimming, connecting, etc...) the big question is "How much will it cost, and how much will it save?". So I'm looking for any sort of spreadsheet or charts that will outline or calculate the ROI payback times for various LED upfit/installs. For instance, a brand new room should have a pretty quick ROI payback since LEDs will require a smaller HVAC unit, less power circuits, and distributed rather than centralized dimmers, not to mention the gel/color flexibility and reduced lamp maintenance. But older buildings with an operational tungsten lighting system will have a much longer ROI payback time for LED upgrades, especially when you consider that the existing lighting, wiring, and HVAC systems have already been paid for. However, you still need to consider reduced KWH costs and gel/lamp savings.
Finally, it would be great to get some LED lighting gear to demonstrate in my seminars. For instance, I plan to hook up an old-school spinning house meter with a bunch of different light technologies and dimmers plugged into it. Then my seminar attendees will be able to watch the power meter spin slower or faster using tungsten, CFL and LED bulbs of equivalent foot candles. I've found that dry charts and graphs are a hard sell to administration types who don't know or care about technology. But showing them a spinning power meter should get the point across pretty easily.
generally speaking the cost savings with LEDs does not come from energy savings in terms of a venue installation. There are some
energy savings, but the big money savings comes from consumables and maintenance.
With an example like theatrical house lights, the cost to replace a $2 light bulb is fairly significant if it requires scaffolding, minimum labor calls, or other extensive procedures. With LEDs requiring significantly less replacements and maintenance, the savings in this area is significant over energy savings.
Switching a conventional wash fixture (say a 575w S4 par) out for an automated LED wash fixture (ie. a mac 301 at 350w) will produce a significant long term cost savings in labor and consumables, as you've eliminated the costs of gel, lamps and labor to refocus it for every show. Long term, this will produce a higher return than the minimal energy savings (225w/hr of use, at $0.15/kwh the savings is slightly above $0.03) could hope to achieve. This is assuming that both fixtures are used for the same amount of time at full output.This thread
on Control booth has some good points regarding the actual electrical savings for LED products, including a link to a very well written article.