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A Better Way To “Leave the Lights On”

It’s one of the most famous lines in the hospitality business: “We’ll leave the light on for you.” The Dallas-based Motel 6 chain first used the slogan in 1986, and it has become a central part of their marketing campaigns ever since. While this award-winning closing line is the product of one brand, it is representative of the entire hospitality industry. Hotels, motels, and resorts are 24/7 operations. Guests are continually coming, going, and trying to get some rest. This means there is often little to no downtime for common spaces like the lobby. Leaving the light on is more than just a pleasantry, it’s an absolute necessity.

This begs an important question: just how much does it cost to keep all those lights on? The answer: a lot less than it used to.

For many full-service hotels, energy costs represent nearly 4-6% of their revenue. This is a significant expense that often rises to as high as 10% in winter months. Controlling energy efficiency is crucially important to a profitable hospitality business, and is historically difficult to achieve.

Until recently, property owners had very limited control over how much energy or how little energy they were using to keep public spaces lit. Even during periods where there was a low volume of customers, the choice to light a space was essentially a binary one that involved turning entire banks of lights off or on. That meant to save energy, an entire part of a space essentially had to be dark.

Not very inviting.

Advanced lighting controls have completely shifted this paradigm. Hotel and motel managers now have the option to incorporate features like dimming, motion sensing, daylight harvesting, time controls, and more into their public spaces. This represents a greater degree of control than ever before, and an essential shift in the “on” and “off” lighting paradigm.

For example, it is now possible to take a modern and efficient LED system and dim all the lights by 40% — and save more money than you would have in the past by turning half the lobby pitch black. This creates better experiences for guests and optimizes energy use where it matters most.

A comprehensive electrical and lighting strategy can be the difference between a profit and a loss. Hospitality businesses that are looking to upgrade their fixtures and lamps should focus on partnering with service providers who can find simple and effective public space lighting solutions.

FSG, Facility Solutions Group, has extensive experience finding, purchasing, and installing the most powerful commercial lighting solutions on the market. Our multidisciplinary team is well-equipped to perform an audit of your space and find opportunities to increase efficiency. To learn more about how we help businesses across the country, contact us today.

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