Buying lighting is very similar to buying a car. Just like how a car has unseen costs such as insurance, maintenance, gas, and depreciation, lighting also have costs beyond just the sticker price. It’s important to know the different hidden costs associated with lighting, so you can make better purchasing decisions. Here we list and go over the 5 factors that contribute to your overall lighting cost.
1. LIGHTING ENERGY
The most obvious cost associated with lighting is lighting energy. It is estimated to make up approximately 70% of all lighting costs. Different types of light bulbs consume different amounts of energy and the type you use have a very big impact on your lighting energy bill. LEDs is the most efficient energy bulb type currently available. It uses 85% – 90% less energy than standard incandescent bulbs, so a retrofit to LEDs is guaranteed to save you money on energy.
2. HVAC ENERGY
HVAC energy costs are the costs of increased air conditioning usage as a result of incandescent lights. Apart from being energy inefficient, incandescent lights also emit significant heat, so in order to keep the space at an optimal temperature, AC usage need to be increased. At a glance this may seem like an insignificant cost, but it actually contributes to nearly 10% of all lighting costs. It can be easily resolved through a LED retrofit since LEDs don’t emit any heat. You can read about how North Face reduced their HVAC costs HERE.
3. LABOR COSTS
The second biggest cost of lighting is labor. As lights burn out or run into problems, electricians are often required to step in and fix the issue. The cost quickly adds up if burn outs are frequent and/or if the lighting requires special equipment to fix (outdoor signs, garages, high ceiling lights, etc.). Labor is estimated to contribute to 15% of lighting costs and is likely higher for older lighting technology such as incandescent and halogens. An LED retrofit significantly reduces labor costs because LEDs have extended warranties and a long-life span, meaning they require minimal service for an extended period of time. For other tips to reduce labor costs, check out our 3 Ways to Reduce Lighting Maintenance Expenses blog post.
As you can see, an LED Retrofit is a quick solution to reduce all aspects of lighting costs. Contact a Relight representative to learn how to get started.
Most of us know that a LED Retrofit will save companies tens of thousands of dollars in the long run. However, an all-inclusive retrofit can be expensive to implement, so we have picked out 5 locations to help you prioritize your retrofit strategy. These places are often public spaces that are both high usage and high consumption, so they will see the biggest savings and impact from the retrofit. They practically pay for themselves.
1. THE MAIN LOBBY
The main lobby of any building makes perfect sense for a retrofit as the lights are on almost 24/7. The main lobby also have higher ceilings, which contributes to maintenance costs since high ceiling lights are difficult to repair and replace. The main lobby is also the first impression of the building, so burned out bulbs not only cost your more money but also can damage the aesthetics and brand of your property.
Stairs are also a no brainer for a LED retrofit because of the hazards associated with ill lit stair wells. Upgrading to LEDs not only brightens up the stairs but also help you cut down costs of replacement since LEDs are packaged with 5 year warranties and a 10-year projected life span. Just be thankful you don’t have to set up another ladder near a stair case any time soon.
3. PARKING GARAGES
Similar to stairwells, parking garages must be well lit to ensure the safety of its users. Since many parking garages are underground or surround by heavy concrete, they must use lighting even during the day. Naturally, that high usage consumes a lot of energy and is prone for burnouts. Upgrading to LEDs can reduce energy consumption by up to 85% and significantly cut down maintenance costs associated with burnouts. LEDs also provide a better lighting than older lighting solutions, which will reduce the likelihood of accidents in garages.
4. OUTDOOR PARKING LOTS
Although outdoor parking lots don’t have the lights on 24/7, they are still on a significant amount of time; especially in those winter months. They also have pole lights that are difficult to replace, amounting to high labor and maintenance costs. A LED retrofit quickly alleviates the problems of labor costs, and the parking lot will see savings immediately.
5. WAREHOUSE LIGHTING
Similar to indoor parking garages, warehouse don’t have access to any natural light, so its light must be on for a great part of the day. It also incurs high maintenance and labor costs because of the height of its lights. Not only are replacements costly, they can also obstruct and interrupt every day operations since special equipment is often needed for service. For warehouses, an LED retrofit is both an energy solution and an operations solution.
Still have some questions about where to retrofit, how to retrofit, and rebate? Give us a shout and we will be more than happy to help you. Don’t worry information is free. CONTACT US.
Unexpected light bulb burnouts and failures can occur without notice. They can be quite a headache since it’s difficult to schedule repairs on such short notice. They also make it impossible to budget for facilities and even harder to keep that budget. We have three simple solutions to reduce your lighting maintenance problems:
1. SWITCH YOUR BULBS IN BULK
Switching in bulk means replacing an area’s lighting all at once. It is a proactive approach to reducing unplanned burnouts and subsequently unplanned repairs. By replacing an area’s lights all at once (and ideally with the same model), you ensure that the area’s lighting all have the same or similar lifespan, meaning they will likely burnout around the same time and require replacements around the same time. This practice greatly reduces the amount of times an area needs to be serviced, effectively reducing the need for hired help, generating savings for you.
2. RETROFIT YOUR LIGHTING TO LEDS
Retrofitting to LEDs is the best long-term solution for reducing maintenance costs. In addition to consuming substantially less energy than other types of light bulbs, LEDs also have a substantially longer lifespan. On average, a LED bulb lasts 50 times longer than an average incandescent bulb. Most LEDs also have 5-year manufacturer warranty and a projected 10-year lifespan, so a retrofit essentially eliminates service and repair costs for the next five years. See how LEDs compare to other types of lighting in our lighting hierarchy post.
3. JOIN A MAINTENANCE PROGRAM
A full LED retrofit may not be for everyone, so the next best thing is to join a lighting maintenance program with a team of professionals that have the knowledge and experience to keep your lights looking great. They also have the proper equipment to handle those hard to reach places. It’s a small price to pay for professional help; especially if your lighting plays a big part in your everyday business.
There are many ways to improve your lighting and cut down costs, and a call with a specialist can help you settle on the best option. Click HERE to contact Relight to book a free lighting audit and let us help you figure out what’s the right solution for you.
One question we get from our customers all the time is: What and where do I retrofit first?
Lighting costs are made up of a combination of energy costs, maintenance/repair costs, and other costs, so when you plan a retrofit you must also take these factors into consideration. Generally, the goal of a retrofit is to reduce lighting costs as fast as possible and there are three simple rules to go by when planning your retrofit.
1. ELIMINATE BULBS THAT ARE COSTING YOU THE MOST MONEY
Light bulbs can be ranked based on energy efficiency and life span. At the top of the hierarchy is LEDs, which consumes the least amount of energy and has the longest life span. Near the bottom are incandescent and halogen which use substantially more energy and fail far more often.
It’s generally a good idea to start your retrofit with the least efficient lighting. They are often easy to retrofit and bring immediate savings, meaning a shorter return on investment. Retrofitting incandescent and halogen lights not only reduce energy consumption (often up to 85%) but also drastically reduce ongoing maintenance costs since LEDs tend to last 50 times longer than standard incandescent lights. The logic is simple: start your retrofit with older and inefficient lighting.
2. FOCUS ON AREAS THAT HAVE LIGHTS ON 24/7
Although the type of light bulbs is a major factor in energy consumption, usage rates are just as significant. It’s more beneficial in the long term to retrofit semi-efficient light bulbs that are on 24/7 than inefficient light bulbs that are only on 8 hours a day, which is why common areas such as lobbies, stairwells, parking garages, and signages should be first in line for a retrofit.
Common areas must maintain light at all times, so they consume more energy and are more prone for bulb burnouts and fails. Establishing these areas as a priority, you can quickly cut down energy consumption and collect the savings.
3. WORK ON AREAS THAT ARE TROUBLESOME TO MAINTAIN
Do you have areas that require special equipment to maintain and service? Well, those areas should also be a priority for retrofits. Through retrofitting to LEDs, you can drastically reduce the amount of service and maintenance required because of LEDs’ long life span. It will not only save you money every year on repair costs but also the headache of looking for experts that have the right equipment and expertise to maintain those hard to reach lights.
Our client, Toys “R” Us Vancouver has a 72ft outdoor sign that can be seen from miles away and has been a landmark for metro Vancouver for generations. The sign has been a staple of the Toys “R” Us brand, but was costing them thousands of dollars in maintenance each year.
Every time they had a burnout, they needed to find a repair company that owned an 80ft lift. Needless to say, it was both tedious and very expensive. It also puts the saying “how many people does it take to change a lightbulb” into perspective. After retrofitting their sign with LEDs, their maintenance costs are way down and haven’t needed a repair since. Long story short, retrofitting can really save you headaches and money on those hard to reach areas.
These 3 rules are simple to follow, but sometimes you need a little expertise to help maximize your savings. Contact Relight for more information or to book a free assessment.