How to Save Money on Overhead Lighting for Your Commercial Building

How to Save Money on Overhead Lighting for Your Commercial Building

Assess Your Lighting Needs

When looking to save money on overhead lighting in your commercial building, the first step is to assess your lighting needs. Consider the purpose of each area and how much light is required. For example, office spaces require bright, general ambient lighting for computer work, while corridors may only need dimmer pathway illumination.

Make a list of all the areas in your building and think about:

This lighting audit will provide the information needed to right-size your lighting and avoid over-lighting, which wastes energy. Accurate lighting assessments can lead to significant cost savings.

Use Energy Efficient Lighting

The easiest way to save money on overhead commercial lighting is to install energy efficient lighting fixtures and bulbs. Some options include:

Always check the lumens per watt efficacy when comparing lighting options. A higher lumens/watt value indicates greater energy efficiency. Replacing old lighting with efficient technology significantly reduces electricity costs.

Take Advantage of Natural Light

Where possible, leverage natural daylight to augment or replace overhead lighting. Adding skylights and light tubes allows sunlight into inner building areas, reducing the need for artificial light. Performing a daylighting analysis can identify opportunities to introduce natural light while minimizing heat gain and glare.

Also consider wiring lighting zones on windows and skylights separately from zones away from daylight. Install photocells or occupancy sensors to dim or switch off artificial lighting when sufficient natural light is available. Using daylight effectively minimizes lighting energy expenditures.

Consider Retrofits & Lighting Controls

For existing buildings with older lighting systems, retrofit options can also yield major savings:

Additionally, consider dimmable ballasts and occupancy/vacancy sensors for more granular control over lighting. By adding intelligence and automation, lights operate only at the level required for a given time and space. Effective lighting controls are a key overhead lighting cost reduction strategy.

Maintain Lighting Efficiently

To sustain energy savings, establish a regular cleaning and maintenance program for lighting systems. Dirt accumulation and lamp/ballast failure can reduce system efficiency. A proactive maintenance plan helps ensure lights operate at peak performance.

Group lamp replacements together for labor savings and use lamp recycling programs. Coordinate maintenance with a lighting retrofit to maximize ROI. Finally, train staff to only light occupied areas and rely on daylight when possible. A little occupant education goes a long way.

Thoughtfully applying energy efficient technologies, natural light, controls, and maintenance best practices significantly reduces commercial overhead lighting costs. Start with an organized plan based on lighting requirements, and implement savings measures that deliver the best ROI. A well-designed lighting strategy saves energy and money for years to come.