You may have heard about LED lighting in the news recently. There are several cities around the country converting their street lights to be LED street lights. No more metal halide or high power sodium bulbs. As you would imagine these types of streetlights need to be quite powerful to light up the blacktop 25 feet below the pole. Sure enough they are bright!

So what about LED lights on your property in the common areas that you are paying the electricity on? Well such replacement bulbs exist and they make CFLs look bad.

There are two types of LED bulbs; high power and low power. You have most likely only seen low powered bulbs which hardware stores and Costco try and sell. The problem with low power bulbs is that they do not give off enough lumens, light. High powered bulbs do exist and are fantastic. Visit www.standard-led.com to view great options for your property.

You may be thinking that the high powered LED bulbs are too expensive. Not true, \$40 to \$60 each.
When you factor in the length of time your lights are on, the replacement cost of incandescent and CFLs, the cost of electricity, and the low wattage LEDs consume you will appreciate the power of LEDs. Look at this real example.

Dave F. of Los Angeles, CA, purchased 177 LED bulbs for the common area of this 125 unit complex in Orange, TX.

He replaced 65 watt incandescent bulbs with 6 watt LED bulbs. This measured a savings of over 90% on his utility bill for the portion dedicated to lighting. This positive changed saved Dave F. \$37.18 PER BULB per year starting in year 1. At an 8% CAP rate Dave F. raised the value of his property by \$82,261! (\$37.18 X 177 =6,580.86 ÷ .08 = \$82,261)

How much did it cost Dave F. to replace the bulbs? Answer: \$9,549. With the energy savings that the 6 watt bulbs save, Dave F. will experience an ROI on the LED bulbs in 1 year 3 months and 25 days. This assumes that the common area lights are on for 11 hours a day. As the cost of electricity rises he will find his investment to have an even higher rate of return.

As an added benefit, high power LED lights last for  50,000 hours, so Dave’s maintenance staff does not have to purchase and replace bulbs for the next 12 years 5 months and 13 days.

Spending \$9,549 to save \$6,580 annually for the next 12+ years and raise the value of his property at an 8% cap rate to \$82,261 is not just a good financial decision it is smart!

(Scott Yahraus is the president of Apartment Energy Consultants. Apartment Energy Consultants is the governing body that certifies multifamily properties as being “National Green Apartment Certified visit them at www.GreenRetrofitter.com

, 818-854-6850, or email Scott directly at Scott@GreenRetrofitter.com)