When your business utilizes high-efficiency lighting, it’s your bottom line that will shine brightest. Depending on your exact facility type, it is very likely that the light you require has taken the biggest toll on your energy bills.
The good news? Lighting options now extend far beyond the incandescents of yesteryear, and lighting controls extend far beyond the simple on/off switch.
Though lighting may currently be responsible for 30% of your building’s energy consumption, that also provides you with the opportunity to create big savings, especially if you currently have incandescents in your facility. Incandescents have been in use for over 100 years in residential lighting, commercial lighting, portable lightings such as table lamps, car headlights, flashlights, and for decorative and advertising lighting. Incandescents are inexpensive to manufacture and in cold climates give off heat that helps out the HVAC system. In hot climates, they have the adverse effect of adding heat and requiring additional energy consumption from the HVAC system.
So what factors impact how much energy your lighting system is consuming? There are two:
The first step to efficiency in your lighting system must include a replacement plan for the bulbs that are currently in operation. Consider the following lighting characteristics:
|Lightbulb Projected Lifespan||50,000 hours||10,000 hours||1,200 hours|
|Watts per bulb (equiv. 60 watts)||10||14||60|
|Cost per bulb||$19.00 (and falling)||$7.00||$1.25|
|KWh of electricity used over 50,000 hours||500||700||3000|
|Cost of electricity (@ 0.10 per KWh)||$50||$70||$300|
|Bulbs needed for 50,000 hours of use||1||5||42|
|Equivalent 50,000 hours bulb expense||$19.00||$35.00||$52.50|
|Total Cost for 50,000 hours||$69.00||$105.00||$352.50|
The chart makes clear that light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) outperform incandescent bulbs by a wide margin, even taking into account the greater cost per bulb. In total, for 50,000 hours of light, the high-efficient options will produce greater than 70% savings!
Lighting controls offer additional savings because even though your new lights are highly-efficient, they become inefficient when they are lighting spaces that don’t require full-time light. Lighting controls consist of the following:
Photosensors – This product monitors the natural light that enters the space and reduces the artificial light output as needed. In conditions where the natural light is sufficient, these sensors will prevent the needless use of the artificial light, and more importantly, the needless consumption of energy.
Timers – This product ensures that the lights are turned on or off at specific times. In facilities where the lights are not needed during the night, timers prevent lights that could otherwise be left on and prevent money from being wasted.
Occupancy Sensors – This product determines when an occupant has left the space and turns off the lights accordingly, eliminating the concern of manual controls and consumption of electricity. These sensors can also be connected to the HVAC system to produce even greater savings.
When you combine high-efficiency lighting and lighting controls in one building, you will be taking advantage of the latest technologies that achieve the steepest savings on your future energy bills.