Tips to save money on lighting costs
Lighting represents one of the largest energy expenses for a business. Factoring in the air conditioning required to reduce heat produced by inefficient lighting systems, total costs for lighting may be as much as one-third to one-half of the electric bill for a business. A retrofit can save up to 35% on lighting energy costs, but there are also little things you can do.
Find more lighting tips in SRP's Energy Savings Guide for Business .
Turn off indoor lights
- Turn off lights in unoccupied areas. Encourage employees to turn off the lights in their workspaces when they go to lunch or meetings. People leaving unoccupied restrooms or storage areas should also turn off the lights. Put signs near light switches as a reminder.
- Install occupancy sensors. These sensors automatically turn lights on and off and work well in areas such as conference rooms, break rooms and offices that are not occupied continuously.
- Take advantage of natural lighting. Turn off or dim lighting when adequate sunlight is available to illuminate interior spaces.
- Use partial lighting before and after public hours. There may be times when employees must work in an area but the public isn't there. You may be able to turn on half the lights and provide enough light throughout the area to meet employees' needs.
Keep lamps and fixtures clean. Accumulation of dust, grease and other dirt can reduce light output by as much as 30%. It is recommended that you clean your light fixtures every two or three years and replace yellowed or hazy lenses and diffusers. In greasy, dusty or smoky settings, or when light fixtures are integrated with the HVAC system, more frequent cleaning may be necessary.
Reduce outside lighting
You may be able to turn off or reduce lighting in parking areas, on signs, in entrances, on walls and in landscaping.
- Use only necessary safety and security lighting. At night and in unoccupied areas, the only lights left on should be for safety or security. Consider using instant-on lighting controlled by a motion sensor. Ensure that outdoor lighting is off during the day.
- Comply with codes. Be sure to abide by code requirements for safety, emergency and security lighting, such as exit signs and stairways.
- Make sure automatic controls are working properly. Some of your lighting may be controlled by a time clock that switches the lights on and off automatically at predetermined times you select. Make sure the timer is adjusted as sunrise and sunset times change throughout the year. Just an hour or two a day of unnecessary lighting can add up to substantial energy costs.
Estimate your potential savings using our lighting calculator.
SRP has rebates for lighting retrofits. Some customers may even qualify for a no-cost lighting audit. Find the rebate for you and be sure to apply before ordering or installing lighting equipment.
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