Spend $660 now and SAVE $300 each year... ROI = 45.5%
LED Lighting is now a cost-effective solution for many commercial applications
FOR EXTERIOR LIGHTS - The easiest and most cost-effective option is using only as many exterior lights as necessary and only operating them when they are needed. A simple photocell, time clock, or both can lead to significant savings. Photocells take the seasonal hassle out of resetting due to daylight savings time, since the lights come on when it starts to get dark rather than at a preset time like 5 or 6 pm which may be earlier than necessary in the summer. The time clock can still turn the lights off at any time you select. For mornings, the time clock and photocell can be set to work in reverse. When it comes to the bulbs for entrances, parking lots, and façade lighting, some of your office’s exterior lighting may still be incandescent. CFLs may work well as a replacement in some locations, however if you have larger pole-mounted lights in a parking lot, floodlights on your building, or an illuminated sign, there are other opportunities to cut your energy use.
Some outside area lighting uses mercury vapor lamps. Switching a mercury vapor fixture to high-pressure sodium (HPS)—typically used for street lighting—can cut the energy use in half. Color-corrected high-pressure sodium is also an option. Don’t overlook fluorescents since T-5 lamps can be very efficient as well. Metal halides are typically the top choice and preferred because of their “white” lighting, and metal halides are currently the most energy efficient of the "white light" sources. They produce light when an electric current flows through the gas within the lamp envelop, and they are about twice as efficient as mercury lamps. Use this light source at night when it is necessary to render colors closely to what they would appear in the daytime. As with all light sources, one should not use more wattage than is necessary for the application. A standard 175 watt metal halide bulb costs on average $25 and has a lifetime of 10,000 hours with an average annual operating cost of $84. The annual operating cost assumes a full dusk to dawn run time of 11 hours totaling 4,000 hours/yr. at $0.10 per kWh.
By comparison a mercury-vapor lamp costs $144 to operate per year, and an incandescent style bulb costs even more to operate since so much of the energy is dissipated in heat instead of light. Incandescent lights also have an average life of about 1,000 hours vs. the 10,000 for the recommended metal halide. The ballasts for a 175 watt metal halide light costs about $60 each, but the added upfront cost pays for itself within the first two years. Since each bulb lasts about 2 1/2 years running daily dusk to dawn.
The ROI Calculation factors in two $25 bulbs to generate the five year savings, plus one initial $60 ballast. The cost per light is $110 with $60 savings per year in electricity. The ROI Calculation factors in 6 light sources ($660) for a small office to cover the entrance, sign, façade, path, and two for parking, which would result in savings of $300 each year. Naturally, the savings are spread across multiple offices if there is more than one business per building.
- Great Prices and Selection on bulbs: Click Here.
- Metal Halide Ballasts: Click Here.
- What are the details on my options for energy exterior office lighting? Click Here
- Find a Qualified Electrician in your area: electriciansnetworks.com
FOR STAIR TOWERS...GO with LED Lights. Due to most building codes, you have no choice but to keep the lights on 24/7 in your fire stairwells. Therefore, you might as well use the most energy efficient lighting technology available today. LED lighting not only uses on average 80% less energy than conventional technologies, but also lasts 5 to 10 times longer. This means that your maintenance people or facility managers only need to change out the bulbs once every 8 to 10 years in the stair towers, compared to fluorescents, which could need changing 5 times or more over the same period. You save on energy as well as labor and tube replacement costs. The payback with LEDs typically comes in less than a year and half! Learn more about: Efficient Fire Stair Lighting.
For Specialty Auditing, go for a Lighting Energy Audit. Since the latest generation of LED Lights is one of the most cost effective retrofits, you can see paybacks on 24/7 areas like fire stairs within a year and half and other areas within three years: Lighting Audits.