Lighting 101 – An In-depth look at lighting costs

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.

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