ENERGY STAT: FOR THE PAST TWO YEARS, ENERGY-RELATED CO2 EMISSIONS IN
THE U.S. HAVE INCREASED. UNLIKE 2013, HOWEVER, THE 2014 RATE (0.7%) WAS
MUCH SMALLER THAN THE GDP GROWTH RATE (2.4%).
become more dynamic, your lighting
should be able to keep pace. You want the
flexibility to reconfigure a space and adjust
the fixtures accordingly, notes Wilcox.
2) Measure Light Levels
It’s best to quantitatively measure illumination rather than make decisions
based on what looks pleasing to the human eye.
“We put all of our properties through a
rigorous lighting assessment that is pro-
fessionally administered by a third party,”
notes Teichman. “To objectively evaluate
safety and appearance, we go out at night
and map a grid of measurement points
in the parking field by taking actual light
measurements on the ground.”
For outdoor fixtures, make sure
replacements provide even coverage
without high contrast areas or dark spots.
For interior lighting, carefully consider
how footcandles, lumen output, wattage,
and color rendering will affect the look of
3) Anticipate Operational Costs
Your utility bill doesn’t tell the whole
story – lifecycle costs can get buried
in other departmental expenditures.
Calculate the total cost of ownership by
forecasting what to expect for labor and
A helpful reference is to have two years
of energy and maintenance costs available for your old fixtures, says Teichman. Rather than a modeled estimate,
these numbers will help you project a
true payback and validate manufacturer
performance claims once the installation
When considering your budget, also
make sure to compare initial vs. lifecycle
costs. It’s tempting to go for the lowest
upfront price, but it may not yield the
savings you’re looking for in the long run,
“A solution with a slightly higher
upfront cost will often be the lowest cost
solution over the product’s lifecycle,”
adds Eric Snyder, marketing manager for
Eaton’s Cooper Lighting business.
You should also consider options that
will make it easier and faster for your
crew to reach lamps for repairs, cleaning,
and inspections. Ask your lighting vendor
about service packages if you need an extra maintenance hand, Wakefield advises.
For multitenant properties, confirm
which party owns which light fixtures
and how costs are divided between the
tenants and owners.
You know it and we know it –
lighting efficiency is one of the
easiest ways to slash your utility
bills. Not to mention that better illumina-
tion can increase safety, improve produc-
tivity, and lower maintenance costs. But
sometimes lighting retrofits get pushed
back when there are major capital im-
Show your leadership that it doesn’t
pay to wait when an upgrade can immediately start saving money. Use these five
tips to show how replacing those outdated
fixtures will improve your operations.
1) Investigate All Options
Your first priority is to establish what
your lighting goals are. Are you simply
looking to decrease energy costs or does
the project need to satisfy functional
improvements as well, such as dimming,
even distribution, or branding? Knowing
the answer will help you weed out options
that won’t fulfill your needs.
To extend your system’s performance,
you should also explore control options,
says Mick Wilcox, vice president of
controls strategy for Acuity Brands. You
could recoup additional savings if an occupancy sensor can turn off lights as well
as set back the thermostat when a room
The capability to sequence controls
is easiest to coordinate at the onset of a
project rather than after the installation is
in place, notes Andy Wakefield, director
of building solutions and services with
Lutron. If controls aren’t in the cards now,
make sure the fixtures have scalability
that you can tap into down the road, he
While LEDs remain at the forefront
of lighting technology, don’t automatically assume they’ll be the answer to your
lighting needs – evaluate all source types
to make sure you have the right fit.
“While LEDs are becoming more
prevalent and cost effective, traditional
lighting technologies such as metal halide
have also improved their performance so
they can continue to compete,” explains
Will Teichman, director of sustainability
at Kimco Properties.
Also try to project your illumination
5 Tips for a Hassle-Free Lighting Upgrade
needs in the future. As workplace layouts
HAVEN’T GOTTEN AROUND TO LIGHTING UPGRADES YET? Before you commit to a replacement
fixture, explore every facet to ensure your selection will satisfy your energy and quality goals.