Lighting accounts for about a quarter of energy used by the average commercial building, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. There have, however, been dramatic improvements in lighting efficiency over the past 20 years.
New high efficiency fluorescent lamps with electronic ballasts are much more efficient than the 40-Watt fluorescent lamp that was the workhorse of commercial lighting for years. Fluorescents are available in warmer colors, eliminating the stark lighting of early fluorescents.
Here are some tips for reducing your lighting costs:
- Consider upgrading your lighting system if it is more than 10 years old.
- Consider replacing high intensity discharge, or HID, high bay fixtures such as high pressure sodium (HPS) or metal halide (MH) with more energy efficient fluorescent or LED fixtures. These fixture types will provide better color rendering index (CRI) to reduce color shifts, consume less energy and have a lower demand when compared to HID fixtures.
- Replace old fluorescent fixtures with magnetic ballasts with ones using electronic ballasts, which are 30 percent more efficient and allow for remote control. Dimming and other energy-saving features.
- Replace old EXIT signs. EXIT lights produced since 2006 meet higher efficiency standards, and LED EXIT signs use 80 percent less electricity than signs with incandescent bulbs.
- Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs, which use 75% less electricity and last five times longer, reducing energy and maintenance costs.
- Use natural lighting or daylighting when possible.
- One of the best ways to use less energy for lighting is to turn lights off when they're not needed. Encourage employees to turn off all lights that aren't safety related as they leave a room or close up for the night.
- You can ensure lights are turned off by installing automatic controls.
Automatic controls can:
- turn lights on and off on a schedule;
- turn off lights in empty rooms using sensors that detect motion, heat or carbon dioxide;
- lower lighting in response to daylight.
For more information about lighting, call or email your business development manager.