Even though I am quite a fan of the use of retrofit LED’s in various museum applications,I recommended florescent lights for the storage area mainly because the lights will most likely be on for short periods of time each day and it would take forever to justify the high cost of LED’s vs. the energy savings. In other words, the payback in energy savings would most likely be well beyond the 7-year guideline that most energy consultants recommend.
As usual, Dale makes very good points about how long the LED’s may (or may not) last and the color shifts that can occur. As some installations are reaching 10,000 hours, color shifts are being noticed. All retrofit LED’s are certainly not created equal in respect light output or color shift. We installed over 1000 retrofit LED’s in our historic houses and galleries after extensive testing because we liked the way the artifacts looked under the LED lights and because our State energy efficiency utility gave us a full rebate on the cost of the LED’s. Had we been required to purchase the LED’s at full price, pack-back in energy cost savings would been close to 10 years and we would not have invested the money at that stage of LED development two years ago. We are observing our LED’s, measuring light output and observing for color shift. We have not experienced any problems yet with our two different brands of bulbs, but they have only been lit for 2500 hours. I view this as a good opportunity to test this technology on someone else’s dime and will share the results as they come in.