Let There Be light! – 5 Ways Your Business Can Benefit From New Lighting
As we move in to 2021 one thing is certain, and that is wholesale electricity prices are set to rise again.
The Guardian newspaper reports;
‘Plunging temperatures and a drop in wind turbine power generation have pushed UK electricity market prices to a new high and prompted the National Grid to put out an urgent call for suppliers to provide extra capacity. ‘Source Guardian newspaper energy analyst’
This means a subsequent rise in operational costs for businesses.
Many businesses generally, see ‘reducing our energy costs’ through one lens only, namely, utility switching.
We are big fans of switching your utility supplier to get the best deal BUT saving energy does not have to stop there.
One of the best and easiest ways to save on electricity costs is to look at your current lighting within your building. For some buildings, even for just office space, lighting can account for 30%-40% of total energy costs .If you run a factory or welding business where you have lighting on most of the week, your savings could be huge!
The following are 5 reasons why you might include new lighting in your planning for 2021.
An Easy Way To Save on Energy Costs
How much I hear you ask? Well, with the latest LED Lighting & Controls you can expect a minimum of a 70% saving on your old fluorescent lighting. Click here for a PDF of an Energy Savings Report we did for a small food manufacturing client/ANR – Probake.
You don’t just save on energy costs though! Maintenance costs for lighting (replacing & fitting) can be quite high for some buildings (think high bay Lights for warehouses etc).
Most quality LED Lighting is rated for 50,000 hrs of operational use as against 15,000 for the last line of fluorescents (T5s).
Aggregate maintenance savings and energy savings over 10 years and the cost of doing NOTHING is pretty high PLUS you effectively future proof your building.
Healthier & More Productive Staff
Staring at a computer screen with sub optimal light ( lux) levels can cause eye strain and headaches. You know the post lunch drowsy feeling? Well old style lighting often has pools of light alternating with dark areas on walls and ceilings — this is known as the cave effect and is notorious for enhancing that drowsiness.
Modern office lighting offers a much more uniform light spread called “wall and ceiling wash “ which is proven to make staff more alert – for longer. (Research Gate – click here for source )
However, an adequate lux level for some buildings and operations is critical. This includes storage areas which often have forklifts moving about to production areas with heavy machinery.
Compliance Note! Does your building have adequate emergency lighting and is it tested and recorded?
Lighting can play a vital role in your building compliance and health & safety towards your staff.
Even the most unappealing meeting room or break out area can look far more professional and inviting with new lighting! This can also be augmented and controlled for different functions with dimming controls or with two different types of lighting working in harmony.
You may have clients to impress on a first visit, a prospective employee to interview or a short seminar or workshop session. Modern lighting controls can manipulate lighting conditions to make a space multi-functional.
A carefully chosen lighting design and layout can accommodate and be flexible for all the above functions for your space!
Short Payback Periods – ROI
Many of the largest and most challenging lighting projects GH has completed, have been for the offices of Housing Associations. We have to be prepared and organised for technical specifications, product knowledge,- project management plan installation plan, testing and commissioning and handover.
Often though, the person we have to satisfy is the Financial Director. They endorse Lighting projects because of:
- Straightforward energy calculations on standard metrics- the appliance of science ( no guesswork)
- Payback periods are short. ( these can be phenomenally short for factories – our shortest was 6.5 months)
- ROI and BAU (business as usual) figures are attractive and included in our Energy Savings Schedule.
- We use YOUR billing information – not our “estimates”
- Carbon Trust Funding is available- No up front Capital Cost
- 100% write down for Tax purposes agreed by HMRC. (subject to conditions)
Better Compliance & Health & Safety
Part 2 Part L of the Building Regulations cover lighting in the workplace and the lux levels are given as a guidance. This can be a compliance issue if lux levels are insufficient for employees to perform their tasks – whether it be at a computer or working with heavy machinery on a factory floor or in storage and warehousing.
Emergency lighting also needs to adequate in case of a fire or power outage to evacuate the building safely.
They should be tested regularly and this should be recorded. This is a win win scenario.
Better compliance AND you save money!
To sum up, new lighting is an easy project to undertake and quick win for energy costs.
It helps future proof your building. You save money on operational and maintenance and your staff will thank you for it.
In one action you accomplish:
- Better H&S and compliance
- More productive and healthier staff
- 70% plus savings on current lighting costs
- Big savings on maintenance costs
- Reduce Co2 CO2 emissions (DP general comments- Use capital C capital O and small 2 by hovering over the number and pressing ctrl and = Also kWh is small k capital W small h the company is Greenhat Consulting and not Greenhat Consultancy)
- Future proof your building