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Getting the Most from Every Lighting Retrofit

April 11, 2014 By Danielle Stewart

Danielle Stewart

Performing a lighting retrofit of your facility or building can be a major undertaking. It’s a little-known fact that the majority of energy-efficient lighting retrofits leave significant energy savings on the table. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Many businesses could actually cut their lighting electricity costs by as much as 70 percent with a comprehensive energy-efficient lighting retrofit.

To ensure building owners and lighting professionals maximize potential sources of energy savings, here is an overview of the six steps we have put together in order to maximize your energy lighting retrofit:

1. One-for-one Replacement:

Replacing your current fixtures is often the first step in any retrofit. Simply swapping out older metal halide and incandescent lights with more energy efficient LED and fluorescent lights will reduce your costs and energy consumption. But this is only the first step and leaves much more to be gained.

2. Comprehensive Layout and Specifications:

New lighting technologies may not yield their maximum benefit in an old layout. When you plan a retrofit, consider creating a new design that highlights the light quality available with new fixtures and that increases energy efficiency.

3. Adding Automatic Lighting Controls:

Businesses lose billions of dollars each year because people forget to turn out the lights. Integrating automatic lighting controls during a retrofit is an ideal way to save. Smart sensors that engage when someone enters a room and shut off after everyone departs could save a bundle.

4: Outdoor Lighting:

Don’t forget outdoor lighting when considering a retrofit. The benefits of an outdoor plan include a safer business environment, increased durability and efficiency of new fixtures, and the ability to show off business features, such as identifying signs, building aspects and landscaping.

5: Specialty Lighting:

High traffic areas in buildings tend to be the first area of concern when designing new lighting. Reception areas, offices, bathrooms and hallways deserve attention but so do stairwells, loading docks and storage rooms. These areas may need specialty fixtures that operate differently from standard lighting in order to meet safety requirements; however, they demand little maintenance.

6: Rebates and Incentives:

The total cost for a complete retrofit of commercial lighting might generate sticker shock at first, but don’t let that be a deterrent. Local utility companies and state governments frequently offer rebates to companies that update lighting and increase energy efficiency. The amounts will vary depending on location, but a rebate of 10 percent or more may be possible. Additionally, that initial investment will pay off over time with the notable reduction in energy costs that a lighting retrofit brings.

For an in-depth analysis of these topics, download the free eBook “6 Steps to Getting the Most from Every Lighting Retrofit”.  By following the steps outlined in this guide and performing a truly comprehensive retrofit, it’s possible that a facility could more than double their energy savings when compared to performing a simple one-for-one retrofit. 

Danielle Stewart is a media consultant for [P2] Precision Paragon. 



2 comments on “Getting the Most from Every Lighting Retrofit

  1. A good article. Would like to know what is the usual payback period for such upgrades. Usually people say it is 5 to 6 years, is this true?

  2. We pick the optimal projects for upgrades and carefully cost them out. Our biggest success was an 9 month paybackopn a 3000$ project. More typically we choose projects with 16 to 20 month paybacks. These are well worth it.

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