Energy Saving LED Lighting Accessories

LED lighting itself is a big upgrade over incandescents, halogens and even fluorescents as far as energy savings are concerned. But did you know that combining LED lighting accessories with energy efficient lighting can further drive down energy costs? Protect your bulbs? Improve lighting levels? Improve look of interior aesthetics? All of this is possible with the right accessories.

Below are options to consider when upgrading to LED lighting:

LED Fixtures


Depending on where the lights are located, some lighting requires the lighting to be waterproof. Particularly in outdoor installations or where moisture and condensation are common. An example would be our most popular VapourTight Fixtures which have an IP Rating of 65 (fancy wording for waterproof) and are actually shock proof and UV resistant. They are also equipped with anti-theft locking system - keeping your LED tubes safe from burglary. The fixtures can also be row mounted, as they are approved for such use.

Before you go ahead and purchase the cheapest option, consider the requirements of the property you are retrofitting. If there is ANY potential of water coming in contact with your lighting it is better to protect against such damage initially than to have additional maintenance costs down the road.

Motion Sensor Compatible? Yes.


Made out of galvanized steel, impact proof and designed to withstand corrosion the Wireguard fixtures are an ideal solution for manufacturing, industrial and warehousing applications where durability is of main concern. These fixtures have been approved for row mounting which allows for unity in designing the layout of the lighting infrastructure.

Motion Sensor Compatible? Yes.


Most of commercial office or common areas now take into consideration interior design aspects. designer fixtures have been created: to look good and work with majority of interior design ideas.
Plunking a fixture that does not work with the overall design of the space can take away from the intended look.

This is why they are designed for spaces where ceiling/work area is being viewed for extended period of time so as not to hurt the eyes. With a sleek, modern design they can accommodate majority of interior layouts and not be an eye sore.

Motion Sensor Compatible? Yes.


Similar to the Wireguard fixtures above, the strip fixtures are designed for row mounting and are able to withstand impact. The difference is that these fixtures come with connector parts to connect each fixture in a row. This increases lighting levels and creates a unified infrastructure that gives off plenty of light necessary in all sorts of applications.

Motion Sensor Compatible? Yes.

Motion Sensors

Built-In Sensors

Some LED lighting fixtures come with built in motion sensors - eliminating the need for additional setup or installation. Easy to setup and control, these options allow for greater energy savings and are ideal for use in applications such as underground parking garages.

One of our products, the commercial troffer, even comes equipped with a remote controlled motion sensor allowing users to adjust settings at any point. This allows for great flexibility and ease of operation.

Infrared Motion Sensors

Unlike the built-in sensors above, majority of fixtures require an external motion detector to be added. Infrared motion sensors are the most common and can increase energy savings of bulbs by as much as 50% in addition to the already incurred savings from LED technology.

Most motion sensors can detect motion up to 10 meters in range and have time settings that range from 10 seconds to 30 seconds, giving you the flexibility to configure the fixtures to your preference. They are a fantastic addition to LED lighting as they not only save energy but prolong the life expectancy of T8 LED tubes from 5 years up to 7 years!

Alternating Motion Technology

Motion sensors work great - however, if they control only one bulb while the other one always stays on then the one bulb will always wear out faster than the motion controlled one. Fortunately, there is alternating motion sensor technology available where each bulb is rotated by the motion sensor - allow for equal usage of each tube.

This is ideal for uses in 24/7 applications such as underground parking garages where there needs to be a certain level of light at all times. Instead of us taking you through the details in writing, have a look at the short, descriptive video below: 

Direct T8 LED Replacement Tubes Overview

Fluorescent tubes are a big part of many commercial properties: from parking garages, to hallways and office space. While fluorescent tubes were considered a great technology not too long ago, LED tubes are overtaking them in many aspects: performance, longevity and quality. A recent new technology which is taking commercial spaces by storm is the direct T8 LED replacement tubes that are now compatible with both existing fluorescent fixture ballasts or without.

Before we go into outlining the benefits and shortcomings of using direct T8 LED replacement tubes make sure you take a look at our product showdown post on led vs. fluorescent tubes. If you're as excited about these tubes as much as we are, check out the direct replacement benefits below:


1. Initial installation costs are cheaper

Why? There is no need to rewire the ballast - simply replace the existing tube with the direct replacement one and you're good to go!

2. No need for any electrical work, or electrician

To the point above, the direct replacement LED tube works with most existing electronic ballasts.

3. Easy to install

Just remove the existing fluorescent tube and replace with new LED tube.

4. You can use with existing fixtures

Assuming you have a standardized 4 or 2 foot fixture, these tubes fit in perfectly with all existing fixtures.


1. One ballast dies you will have to call electrician to disconnect ballast and reconnect wires

While this tube is ballast compatible as soon as the ballast life expires you will have to have the fixture rewired.

2. When lamp does not have light output you don't know if its the lamp or ballast

This is a bit of a bind but keep in mind that our direct replacement bulbs come with a 5 year warranty, meaning that if the bulb goes out you are covered. If it's the ballast you will have to have the fixture rewired. Once re-wired, you only have to worry about the tube itself!

3. Eventually you will have to cut out he ballast and re-wire all fixture, better to do so at initial installation

The initial, easy replacement of the tubes is easy. However, the ballast will have to come out eventually - something to keep in mind when deciding to use direct replacement LED tubes.

4. Not good product for commercial usage

Assuming that the existing fixtures all have ballasts it will be a painstaking task to simply replace all fluorescents with direct replacements then once each tube goes out it will be difficult to determine if the ballast or the bulb need replacement. Particularly with a large number of fixtures such as an underground parking garage or multiresidential stairwells where lights are on 24/7.

5. Does not make sense with a brand new fixture

New fixture installations allow you to setup an infrastructure applicable to the specific property. Direct replacement tubes are meant to be exactly that: replacements. Type C LED tubes may be a better option as part of brand new fixtures. As a matter of fact these Type C LED bulbs now come with a 10 year warranty (from Metrosphere) and are an ideal option for brand new fixture investment.

As you can see with the points above the direct replacement LED tubes are much better suited for residential applications (although commercial applications are common as well). It allows for quick and easy replacement of existing, burnt out fluorescents with little to no installation steps required. Eventually you will need an electrician to remove the ballast, which can be accomplished in a short and inexpensive manner.

Ontario Plans Ban of Fluorescent Bulbs in Landfills

The Ontario government is taking a big step forward in reducing our ecological footprint by strongly considering a ban of fluorescent bulbs in landfills. As we noted in our LED vs. fluorescent tube showdown - fluorescent lighting is filled with mercury, which when disposed incorrectly can have a significantly negative impact on soil and surrounding environment.

Unfortunately this revelation took longer than it should have on behalf of environmental authorities in the government. Fluorescent technology exploded as a clear-cut alternative to incandescent bulbs due to their lower wattage. At the time there were no better alternatives than the fluorescent bulb - they were everywhere! But as usual, the tendency to focus on only the benefits often results in other shortcomings being overlooked. Shortcomings such as:

Mercury Makes Bulbs Difficult to Dispose

Mercury contamination can be quiet harmful to the environment. It not only affects the soil but the ecosystem, even at very low levels of contamination. With an increasing amount of light bulbs getting dumped into regular garbage, landfills are full of bulbs which release mercury and introduce it to the local environment.

Disposal Could Get Costly

Aside from the negative effects, property managers who see fluorescent bulbs as a cheap alternative now have an extra added cost and further work to ensure fluorescents are disposed of properly. You can imagine a condominium building having a hallway filled with fluorescents needing a big budgetary cost if the ban requires special disposal.

Fluorescent Bulbs Lose Competitive Advantage

If this law should pass, it will shine lots of light on the other side of fluorescents: the not so good. Their good qualities will become average and  they will slowly become associated with mercury contamination. Plus, who doesn't find it creepy when fluorescent bulbs start blowing out or flickering due to temperature fluctuations? It makes tenants feel as if they are in a cliché horror movie!
With the continuous efficiency improvement and price drops of LED bulbs, it will not be too long until they become the "standard" of energy efficiency for lighting purposes. With virtually no negative materials, minerals or disposal issues - LEDs will be the true green alternative to not only incandescent, but fluorescent bulbs as well.

Benefits of LED Lighting: Vatican Invests in Clearer, Green Lighting

There has been a lot of argument regarding green technology, including LED lighting, giving small to medium businesses the operational and maintenance-free edge in order to remain competitive with big management companies.

However, what happens when big business starts to invest into green technology? We have to give big kudos to the property managers of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican for electing to retrofit the entire facility with LED lighting products. You heard right; the Sistine Chapel has gone green with their lighting. While the energy savings were a big part of that decision, there were other factors influencing this upgrade:

Energy Savings

Yes we did mention savings as a big decision to make the change, but in case you were wondering. The lighting energy consumption will be reduced by 60% compared to the existing lighting that was there (halogen).

Reducing Eye Strain

A big issue for the 5.5 million annual (wow!) visitors was the eye strain they suffered when visiting the chapel. The frescoes were hard to see with the halogen lights and it took a real toll on people’s eyes. With new LEDs and tactical lighting angel setup the artwork now pops up and is easily visible at all times.

Lighting as angled so that it is in tune with natural lighting which comes from the windows and not to contrast the lighting which comes from the outside. The combination of both makes the artwork look livelier than ever.

Did we mention that the LEDs were discreetly placed as to not interfere with the artwork? Barely visible in the image below:

EU Subsidies

While there are no estimates on the subsidies that the EU provided, it was backed by the EU and helped get the project initiated. Much like programs available through local power authorities in Canada, Europe is backing the investment into green lighting.

So what exactly does this mean? It means that both governments and larger institutions are aware of the untapped potential in all of the LED advantages compared to alternative lighting. 
Often when facilities personnel talk about energy saving it relates to reducing the power usage, or installing economical appliances, solar panels – which are all great ideas...but an easy first step would be to reduce consumption from something every facility relies on: lighting.

Nobel Prize in Physics: LED Inventors Recognized

LED lighting seems like it has been around for a long, long time by now. Energy efficient lighting has come a long way from the first LEDs being used commercially in everyday household items such as TVs, calculators and radios. But how exactly did the LED lighting technology become so efficient, and more importantly how exactly was it discovered?

Fortunately enough the inventors of the blue LED light have been honoured by winning the Nobel Prize in Physics; professors Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano from the University of Nagoya and professor Shuji Nakamura of the University of California.

Why specifically the inventors of the BLUE light-emitting diode?

Originally LED lights could only be used in red and green formats which we saw in our household items (or more excitingly holiday season lighting). After many considerable attempts in both commercial and scientific to create a bright LED light no one was able to do so until these three researchers created technology which found the solution. Below is a brief overview of how it works:

Their invention helped create the white LED lamps which emit light common for our living and commercial spaces.

Why is this recognition significant?

Not only did they break through the colour spectrum, but they were able to create a long lasting and energy efficient alternative to common lighting technology. Currently majority of manufacturers and engineers keep working on improving the efficiency alongside lighting levels by advancing LED bulbs to suit commercial LED lighting solutions including high-bay applications and outdoor places. It opened up a whole new world of everyday energy efficient lighting which was previously not possible.

Take the time to appreciate this recognition, including all of the positive outcomes as a result of these individual's research.

LED vs Fluorescent Tubes - Comparison in Energy Consumption, Lighting Performance & Efficiency

Fluorescent tubes have been around what seem like "forever" - they provide affordable lighting for majority of commercial areas: hallways, offices, warehouses, etc. However, just because something has been around "forever", does that make it the best solution?
LED vs. Fluorescent Tube Comparison

We explore the difference in our LED vs. Fluorescent tubes match-up, a first of many comparison posts to come - weighing the commonly often used lighting products to their LED alternatives. There are three main areas worth comparing:

1. Energy Consumption

As the deciding factor for many property managers and companies, energy consumption or electricity use can be the difference maker for not only lighting but many other operational technologies associated with a building. While many facilities managers look to install energy efficient HVAC systems, not many are familiar with the potential savings with LED tubes compared to their current fluorescent lamps. This is especially true for property areas with 24/7 lighting (meaning the light is on all day and night) such as parking garages, hallways, lobbies, amenity rooms and many other locations.

So how much difference does an LED tube make compared to a fluorescent? Below is a simple comparison chart between the two:

 Ballast Factor
Operational Wattage
  Annual Consumption (24/7 operation - 1 bulb)
34 Watt T12 Fluorescent Tubes 
43 Watts
376.68 kWh
16 Watt T8 Equivalent LED Tube
16 Watts
140.16 kWh

While the difference is only 236.52 kWh, keep in mind that this is for one bulb only! If the cost of energy is $0.11 per 1 kWh...with just one bulb the building would save approximately $26.00.

Now many of us know we do not have a single fluorescent bulb around, usually a building is setup with fixtures that have two bulbs. Lets assume a 100 (low estimate for larger commercial properties) fixtures with 2 tubes per fixture:

Fluorescent Operation

Annual Energy Consumption: 75,336 kWh
Annual Operating Costs: $8,286.96

LED Operation

Annual Energy Consumption: 28, 032 kWh
Annual Operating Costs: 3,083.52


Annual Energy Savings: 47, 304 kWh
Annual Operating Savings: $5,203.44

That is a big number to reduce off of energy bills, and improve the efficiency of a property. Simply by replacing the type tube in the fixture. Keep in mind that the higher number of tubes being replaced in the property, the higher the annual savings. Depending on the type of existing fluorescent tubes (T4, T8, T12), there is a potential for both ENERGY and OPERATING COST savings with LED tubes.

Yes, we know the next question coming up: but if 16 Watt LED T8 tubes replace 34 Watt T12 fluorescents, will that not decrease the lighting levels of the area?

2. Lighting Performance

The answer to the above question plain and simple: NO, not only will the light levels improve, but will maintain their brightness levels for the entire duration of the LED tube's life. Which cannot be said the same for fluorescent tubes.

How often have you walked in an underground garage or down a hallway, only to notice the ominous light flickering. As fluorescent tubes expire, their light levels decrease significantly...and eventually they start to flicker. In comparison, LED tubes do not flicker or decrease the amount of light coming from the bulb. The light level always remain the same - as the tube reaches the end of its life, it simply stops working. No decrease in lighting, no flickering, and most importantly no creepy experience for your tenants!

Flickering Fluorescent Tubes

Below is the average lumens (amount of light produced by the tube) for both types of bulbs:

  • 32W T12 Fluorescent: 1,800
  • 16W LED Tube: 1,900

Keep in mind, for the LED the lumens remain the same no matter how long its been working while the lumens depreciate for the fluorescent over time (as mentioned above)! While this difference may not seem like much, but when there is an enclosed area in question - such as an underground parking garage - light levels make a staggering difference:
LED vs Fluorescent Tubes - Before & After

3. Light Efficiency

From the comparisons above, it is fairly clear that LED tubes hold the advantage as an overall lighting solution. Luminous efficacy is basically how well a light bulb produces visible light in comparison to the power consumed and the amount of lumens generated. Simply, it is how many lumens are produced per watt.

If we stick with the two types of tubes we have been comparing so far, we get the following results
  • 32W T12 Fluorescent: 53 (1800 lumens/34 watts)
  • 16W LED Tube: 119 (1900 lumens/16 watts)
That is more than DOUBLE the efficiency of standard fluorescent tubes. Need we say anything else?

The T8 tubes are a clear cut winner for improving not only the environmental impact of your commercial property but the operation costs as well.

Stay tuned for the next series in light technology comparison - coming soon!

LED Lighting Energy Efficiency

LED lighting - already arriving in rapid waves to commercial retail locations. It is the new wave of lighting energy efficiency that is sweeping both commercial and residential establishments. Luckily this lighting technology comes in a number of different options  such as LED T8 Tubes, LED Canopy Lights, LED Wall Packs, LED PAR Lamps + many more). So what is it exactly that makes them so energy efficient?

Significantly Reduced Electricity Consumption

This is probably the most common benefit of LED lighting products: they use extremely less electricity to operate. Compared to traditional incandescent bulbs, some of the LED alternatives can use up to 90% less energy! How do they compare to other types of lighting?

vs. Incandescent - 90% Less Energy

  Operational Wattage
  Annual Consumption (24/7 operation)
LED PAR Lamps 6W 52.56 kWh
A19 Incandescent 60W 525.60 kWh

vs. Fluorescent - 62% Less Energy

  Operational Wattage
  Annual Consumption (24/7 operation)
LED Plug-In Lamps 5W 43.80 kWh
Plug-In Fluorescent 13W 113.88 kWh

vs. T8 Fluorescent Lamps - 50% Less Energy

  Operational Wattage
  Annual Consumption (24/7 operation)
4' LED T8 Tubes 16W 140.16 kWh
4' Fluorescent Tubes 32W 280.32 kWh

vs. Wall Packs (High Pressure Sodium) - 60% Less Energy

  Operational Wattage
  Annual Consumption (24/7 operation)
LED Wall Packs 40W 350.40 kWh
HPS Wall Packs 100W 876 kWh

vs. Halogen Exit Signs - 91% Less Energy

  Operational Wattage
  Annual Consumption (24/7 operation)
LED Exit Sign 3W 26.28 kWh
Incandescent Exit Sign 33W 289.08 kWh

Longer Life Expectancy

How often do you have to replace those fluorescent tubes in your parking garage? It seems that one goes out every other day, and on the days in between one starts to flicker. LED T8 tubes not only last longer - but they do not flicker. Once they reach their limit, they simply turn off and indicate it is time for changing. But not to worry - they last up to 50,000 hours! How does that compare to traditional fluorescent tubes? Check out the tables below that show the difference in lighting longevity!

vs. Incandescent - 97% Longer Life Expectancy

  Life Expectancy
LED PAR Lamps 40,000 hours
A19 Incandescent 1,200 hours

vs. Fluorescent - 66% Longer Life Expectancy

  Life Expectancy
LED Plug-In Lamps 30,000 hours
Plug-In Fluorescent 10,000 hours

vs. T8 Fluorescent Lamps - 50% Longer Life Expectancy

  Life Expectancy
4' LED T8 Tubes 50,000 hours
4' Fluorescent Tubes 25,000 hours

vs. Wall Packs (High Pressure Sodium) - 40% Longer Life Expectancy

  Life Expectancy
LED Wall Packs 50,000 hours
HPS Wall Packs 30,000 hours

vs. Halogen Exit Signs - 80% Longer Life Expectancy

  Life Expectancy
LED Exit Sign 50,000 hours
Incandescent Exit Sign 10,000 hours
 Reduce the amount of lighting products you buy and dispose by switching to LEDs!

No Hazardous or Harmful Materials

LED bulbs - regardless of their type, are engineered without any hazardous materials whatsoever. Disposing of LED tubes simply requires the recycling of plastic or other materials that may enclose the actual LED chips providing the light.

On the other hand, incandescent bulbs are full of tungsten which is harmful to the environment if not disposed of appropriately. Fluorescent bulbs are comprised of mercury, which is known to cause poisoning in both humans and wildlife.

Take the next step and eliminate the need to dispose of these materials - don't use them at all. LEDs provide higher lighting efficiency than the alternatives PLUS they don't contain any hazardous materials.