Commercial Lighting Guide
The benefits of LED commercial lighting systems
The owners and operators of large commercial and industrial buildings (such as factories, warehouses etc.) can make significant savings through the installation of LED (Light Emitting Diode) lighting.
These specialist commercial LED light systems comprise high efficiency lamps and fixtures (combined with intelligent light/lux level control systems) and are designed so a lighting contractor can replace older sodium/metal halide HID (or fluorescent tube) fittings on a one-for-one basis
As a direct result of installing LED lighting systems the following key business commercial indicators can be improved:
- Financial overheads
- On-site energy consumption
- Corporate carbon footprint
The rest of the guide below outlines the individual commercial benefits that can be realised.
What are the justifications for LED lighting?
According to the Carbon Trust, commercial and industrial lighting consumes an estimated 20% of UK electricity generation. In most businesses, lighting can account for up to 40% of total electricity costs.
There are three distinct commercial "cases" which can be made for justification of the investment in the installation of new LED lighting systems:
- The financial case for a commercial LED lighting system
- The operational case for a commercial LED lighting system
- The environmental case for a commercial LED lighting system
The financial case
The separate financial/costings benefits of commercial LED lighting include the following:
- The savings made through new energy efficient commercial LED lighting system can represent the single biggest cut a business can make to on-site electricity expenditure. All savings contribute directly to net profit
- Energy saving commercial LED lighting provides a guaranteed financial return 12-24 months is typical, but less than 12 months is possible
- Energy efficient LED lighting can be installed with no capital outlay, only being repaid as monthly instalments as equivalent or exceeding savings are generated by the new lighting system
- Enhanced Capital Allowance tax relief (writing off 100% of the capital cost against tax in the first year) allows faster return-on-investment for a commercial LED
Indirect financial benefits include: - Reduced lighting system maintenance costs (the costs of day-to day commercial lighting maintenance services on an older system can be significant e.g. cost of replacement lamps, the hiring of expensive lifting equipment and contractors) - The cost of heating/cooling loads in a commercial or industrial building (e.g. air conditioning, environmental systems) can be significantly lowered through an LED lighting installation - A well designed lighting installation can improve staff productivity within the business as a result of improved working conditions and lighting levels - Less risk of corporate financial penalties due to accidents or non-compliance with regulations/directives this is where a wise investment in a commercial or industrial lighting set-up can really pay off
The operational case
The operational benefits for businesses who upgrade their commercial or industrial buildings through an LED lighting installation include:
- Improved staff productivity through more comfortable working environments when areas are lit brightly enough and/or given a more suitable "quality" of light (close to daylight) for the type of work being undertaken in the location
- The disruption of maintaining a commercial lighting system can be reduced significantly new lighting technologies can operate for many years between necessary lamp changes
- New commercial or industrial lighting can protect a business against liability from existing health and safety issues and bring a site up to scratch by adopting best practices such as:
- Ensuring that CIBSE lighting lux levels guidelines are met
- Eliminating dim lighting in dangerous working areas
- Addressing issues with hazards caused by lighting such as lowering glare experienced by forklift vehicle operators etc.
- A contractor offering a package of commercial lighting services can identify the risks associated with older, unsafe lighting wiring & circuits etc.
- Using a "pay as you save" financial scheme for an LED lighting installation allows capital equipment (CAPEX) or maintenance budgets to be reserved for other on-site services and repairs.
Other benefits of new commercial lighting systems include:
- The ability to get achieve instant full light levels (no warm-up or re-strike time after e.g. a power outage)
- Some lamps (for older fixtures) are difficult to source due to the halting of their manufacture (an example being 8 foot T12 fluorescent tubes) the upgrading of light fittings to LED eliminates these associated risks
The environmental case
There are numerous environmental benefits for businesses who upgrade their commercial or industrial buildings via an energy efficient LED lighting system installation. These benefits include:
- Being part of a clear Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives and a carbon reduction strategy to supply chains and customers.
- A newly installed LED commercial lighting system provides a very "visual" demonstration of a sustainability/carbon reduction project an investment made in energy efficient lighting provides a very strong message to customers & supply chains who increasingly need to see businesses taking climate change seriously
- New energy efficient LED light technologies require much less frequent lamp replacement. This makes it easier for a business to ensure compliance with ever tighter environmental regulations [e.g. the waste electrical and electronic equipment recycling (WEEE) initiative] requiring specialist hazardous material disposal for expired lamps etc.)
- Budgets can be ring-fenced for other carbon reducing projects within the business, eliminating what is usually the biggest barrier for capital investment projects
What are the benefits for business stakeholders?
Certain stakeholders in businesses will have individual interests in ensuring that the installation of an energy efficient LED commercial lighting system help to achieve their personal business targets - such stakeholders include:
- Site/facility managers
- Financial/general managers
- Energy, environment or carbon managers
- Electrical engineer or contractors
The key benefits that energy efficient LED lighting can provide to each of these roles is outlined below:
The benefits for site/facility managers
Site and facility managers are aware of excessive energy consumption & reliability problems caused by outdated lighting equipment. Replacing old commercial & industrial lighting (e.g.- 400W sodium/metal halide high bay and low bay fixtures) with the latest energy saving LED solutions is a very effective way to:
- Improve on-site working conditions for staff through improved lux levels and light distribution
- Ensure compliance with business environmental regulations & achieve certification standards (e.g. ISO 14001)
The benefits for financial/general managers
Financial or general managers will be aware of the large contribution that commercial lighting bills make to overheads (up to 80% of electricity costs in some cases). New energy efficient lighting system installations will help to:
- Increase business profitability (the bottom line)
- Improve corporate sustainability credentials
- Improve staff performance/efficiency and reduce on-site risks
The benefits for energy, environmental or carbon managers
Commercial environmental/energy or carbon managers are aware of the challenges of securing investment & support for sustainable or energy efficiency projects. A new energy saving lighting installation will:
- Deliver guaranteed significant energy, carbon & financial savings with complete payback in under 2-3 years.
- Kick-start a wider carbon reduction plan as part of a larger business energy efficiency initiative or environmental strategy
- Become part of a sustainable business supply chain
- Help to meet business customer/supply chain sustainability demands
- The installation of new energy efficient lighting provides a very "visual" demonstration of a commercial carbon reduction project
The benefits for electrical engineers/contractors
Industrial or commercial electrical contractors will be aware of ever increasing demands to meet energy & carbon reduction targets from the specification & installation of new on-site equipment. A new LED commercial lighting system can:
- Reduce the expensive cost of hire lifting or access equipment (cherry picker, scissor lift etc.) for lamp changes
- Reduce the risks of blown circuits/shattering lamps/ overheating (common with HID lighting systems)
- Provide an easy way to lower the existing electrical load on the lighting circuits
If your business is looking to investigate upgrading your commercial lighting system to an energy efficient option - LED lighting technology is now at a stage where it can offer the highest energy savings possible.
Our LED systems are now both powerful enough and well enough designed to directly replace 250 and 400W metal halide and sodium lamps on a one-for-one basis.
The first step is to contact Green Business Light and request a FREE no-obligation lighting survey and energy report. This will indicate how much energy, carbon and money can be saved through a tailored LED lighting system.