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Ask Mr. Tight Watt: Energy-Efficient Church Lights  Smart Choices Archive

Ask Mr. Tight Watt: Energy-Efficient Church Lights

Ask Mr. Tight-Watt

Question: My church runs our house lights on dimmers; we use forty-eight 300-watt flood lights in recessed cans. What can we replace them with that will be close in lumens but energy efficient? –Jason, a Smart Choices reader

Answer: To find an answer Jason’s question, Mr. Tight Watt called on Rob Kirkpatrick, Service Concepts.

“Thanks for asking, Jason. This is a question I’d love to be answering in a couple of years. I’m afraid there isn’t a good solution at this point to meet your needs. The largest affordable, dimmable energy-efficient bulb replacements are going to be about equal to a 100-watt incandescent bulb. There are good CFLs to get to your size, but not dimmable ones. There may be good LED fixtures (not replacement bulbs for your cans) that would provide the amount of dimmable light you are looking for, but completely cost-prohibitive for your application (think four figures).
The advance of LED technology has been so rapid that I would not be surprised to see a good solution for you within the next few years, but there’s still a big gap between where you are and where the technology is. To put it in perspective, we now see (good quality) dimmable LED options in the $50-$60 range to replace a 65-watt incandescent can light and have entire can replacements (not bulbs) for 100-watt floods that retail in the $100-$300 range each.
You’re on the right track, so don’t give up. Keep asking, Jason!”
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