So you’ve spent hours searching for ways to save your condo or co-op association money. Your association board looked at every column in your balance sheet. You’ve pored over every statement. You’ve talked to every contractor and vendor. And you’ve searched floor to...ceiling?


Yes, a great way for associations to save is right over their head. Replacing your traditional light bulbs with efficient LED bulbs is a great way to use less power and save money over time. But before you go out and re-bulb every corner of your building, there are a few things to know. We’ll shed a little light on a few of them right here. 


1. There are definite benefits.

LED (it stands for “light-emitting diodes”) lighting comes with all kinds of pluses. They use 75% less energy than traditional bulbs. They can last anywhere from 30,000 to over 50,000 hours. They’re more efficient, and they produce less heat. Unlike the energy efficient bulbs of days past, they turn on immediately, without delay. And their light is far more precise and can be adjusted to provide light in more specific directions. 


2. Consider the cost.

Here’s the rub: LED lighting will feel like they cost you more initially because they’re more expensive. Still, you’re looking at savings over time because LEDs use far less energy and, as a result, will help you save on your power bill. Here’s how it breaks down: a traditional bulb may cost you just $6, but powering it every day for a year will cost $87.60. On the other hand, an LED will cost $45, but it will cost only $10.51 per year to burn. That’s a potential savings for your association of $38.09 per bulb in year one alone. Now consider this: you’ll have to buy a new traditional bulb after about 2,000 hours, whereas with the LED lighting you invested in will offer a warranty of three, five or even 10 years. 


3. Be a smart shopper.

Not all bulbs are created equal. Sure, it may be tempting to score that low-price LED for $5 or $10 less than you’re seeing them priced elsewhere, but those savings may be coming at the cost of quality. So how do you know you’re getting a quality bulb? It’s pretty easy...look for bulbs that use Energy Star® ratings, or a UL-listed name-brand bulb. This is also one of those situations where the company you know is probably your best bet in quality and longevity. Companies like CREE, Phillips, GE, Sylvania and TCP have a long-standing reputation for excellence, and that tradition continues in their current line of LED bulbs. 


The best property management company will help you develop comprehensive cost-saving strategies throughout your condo association community. But starting with LED lighting is a great way to begin. For more on energy-saving innovations, contact FirstService Residential, New York’s leading condo association management company.

Tuesday November 11, 2014