LED Lighting: The Best Choice for Commercial Kitchen Equipment
Many types of commercial kitchen equipment require lighting. It's most commonly used in commercial refrigerators, bakery cases, and merchandisers to display products or make it easier for users to see where products are located in the units. Until recently, the majority of that lighting was provided by fluorescent light bulbs - long, fragile tubes with short lifespans. In recent years, LED bulbs have overtaken fluorescent lights as the preferred option for lighting commercial kitchen equipment. Below are a few reasons this development is beneficial for business operators.
LED Lighting Benefits
1. LED lights have an extended lifespan. Fluorescent bulbs have an average life expectancy of 15,000 hours, a number that sounds impressive until you break it down. If left running 24/7, the average fluorescent light will last about 625 days, while an LED light lasts an average of 50,000 hours, or 2,083 days.1 While LED lights often have a higher up-front cost, the fact that they last, on average, more than three times as long as their fluorescent counterparts makes them a wise investment.
2. LED lighting emits less heat than fluorescent lights. Each LED bulb has a heat sink inside it, allowing it to absorb and slowly release heat instead of pumping it all out into its surroundings like other bulb types.
Because LED bulbs don’t emit high levels of heat into the surrounding area, they are ideal for use in refrigeration, as the unit's compressor does not have to compensate for the extra heat. LED lighting is also a great choice for bakery cases, where the heat emitted by other types of bulbs can dry out the case's contents.
3. LED lights are environmentally friendly. LED lights produce more lumens per watt than fluorescent lights3, meaning they require less energy. On average, LED bulbs are more than twice as efficient as fluorescent tubes, meaning they can light your commercial refrigerators and bakery cases while lowering your utility bills.
LEDs are also more eco-friendly because they are 100 percent recyclable and harbor no toxic materials. Fluorescent lights contain mercury, so they cannot be recycled and must be disposed of carefully at the end of their life. This also means that if a bulb is broken, safety precautions must be taken while the surrounding area is carefully cleaned.4
4. LEDs are convenient to use. While fluorescent lights take a few minutes to warm up, often dim and flickering before coming to full brightness, LEDs are always able to power on immediately. LEDs also run silently, while fluorescents sometimes buzz and click – not an ideal situation in customer-facing applications like refrigerated merchandisers.
5. Bright white LED lights are ideal for product displays. LEDs are known for their bright white illumination, which can help present products in a flattering light in merchandisers and display cases. Fluorescent lights aren't quite as bright and often have a yellow or pink hue. Fluorescents also emit a small amount of UV light, which can fade product packaging over time.
- Lighting Comparison: LED vs Fluorescent and CFL. Stouch Lighting. Accessed May 2018.
- How much heat is generated by LED light bulbs? EarthLED. Accessed May 2018.
- LED vs Fluorescent Tubes. Metrosphere Light Corp. Accessed May 2018.
- Cleaning Up a Broken CFL. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Accessed May 2018.