The end of daylight savings is one of those things that seems to always catch me off-guard.
Yes, this blissful gift of an extra hour is one of the things I’m always pleasantly surprised by the night before. However, that pleasant surprise is almost always replaced with the disappointing realization that I’m going to have to go to Google and find out how to change the clocks on my microwave and stove again.
For businesses, this gift of an extra hour of coffee sipping on Sunday morning can be more costly. Along with microwaves in the breakrooms, businesses have to make sure clocks on servers, employee time clocks, and many other devices are synced with the new time and are up and running for Monday morning.
For the most part, these systems are automated and have built-in tables for adjusting their clocks for daylight savings, however, one of the most important clocks to adjust is one that tends to be manual and is also the one that is most commonly forgotten— the exterior lighting time clock!
If your business has a manual time clock for your exterior lighting, my guess is that, unless you’re really good, it doesn’t get changed until Tuesday morning after everyone walks to their cars in the dark on Monday night.
Let this article serve as your reminder to change your exterior lighting time-clocks on Friday night before you leave for the weekend, so it’s one less thing to do on Tuesday!
Here are five other things you can do this week to get your facility ready for the next four months of extended darkness in the evening hours.
1. Check Your Exterior Lighting After Dinner
Take an evening this week to come back up to the office after dinner and check the exterior lighting. Make sure you don’t have any outages or damaged fixtures that could compromise your facility or employee’s safety. It’s an easy step to take that doesn’t even require you to get out of the car—usually, just a quick drive through the parking lot will let you know if you need to have the lighting looked at or worked on. Make a note of how many fixtures aren’t working and then, when you get to the office the next day, talk to your team about the best way to get these fixtures back on-line.
2. Check Your Sidewalks and Parking Lots for Trip Hazards
We’ve just wrapped up the summer where the heat and rain can damage parking lots and sidewalks. In the daylight hours, these hazards can be seen easily, but with it getting darker earlier, more employees and customers will be walking across these surfaces in the dark. The risk of these small cracks or trip hazards becoming big claims increases tremendously in these darker months! Take the time this week to identify them and make a plan to fix them.
3. Is Your Sign Bright Enough?
The lighting in your sign is going to be working harder for your business over the next few months than it has over the last few months. Make sure your sign is good working order and is bright enough to attract the customers you want after the sun goes down!
4. Do You Really Need Those Water Sprinklers?
Since you’re already checking your clocks and timers, now would be a great time to re-evaluate your watering schedule on your businesses irrigation system. It’s a good practice to keep—change your watering schedule with the time change. Less water is needed in the winter—more is needed in the summer. By adjusting your watering schedule now, you can save money on water, while also reducing the risk of slip and falls in the darker evening hours as employees and customers are going in and out of your facility.
5. Make an LED Lighting Upgrade Plan
While you’re looking at your lighting this week and thinking about how to prepare your facility for extended operations during these darker months, consider going ahead and not just fixing the lighting, but upgrading it too! LED costs less to operate, lasts longer, and offers you more options for control that make time changes easier to manage! Switching to LED isn’t that hard either. Fixtures of just about any shape, size, color, etc… can be found and procured, and because of the reliability and warranties available, financing the projects is easy too! So go ahead, get a lighting analysis done this week and see what it would cost—or wouldn’t cost—to upgrade to LED!
Let us enjoy our extra hour of sleep this Sunday. I know I will! But before Sunday, take a few moments to get your business ready for the extra darkness that comes with that extra hour—- or, better yet, let FSG help you get your business ready!
FSG can do a parking lot drive-by and report outages, a lighting analysis, or a full-blown upgrade project for you to get you ready for the fall and winter months. At FSG, our goal is to help you find more efficient ways to run your facility so you can put more money and energy back into your business.