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What are the Benefits of a Lighting Retrofit?

All businesses have goals.

Some of the most common business goals are growth, stability, strong company culture, and impactful service.

But what about those more practical matters? How do you shrink costs while getting the most out of everything at your disposal? How do you make your business more efficient while also increasing productivity?

The problem arises, inevitably, with costs. There are just too many operating expenses and capital expenses, each demanding constant attention and each taking up valuable resources. 

But there is a way to address a good number of concerns with individual projects. There are a few business expenditures that fall into this category.

But the project we want to unpack is something that touches every physical space at your business, and affects everyone who works for or does business with your organization.

It’s your lighting.

Can a Lighting Retrofit Make a Big Difference?

Efficiency, productivity, and cost-effective operations. Those are some of the practical areas of our business we all want to improve. Those are some of the areas that a lighting retrofit will affect in a major way.

How is it possible that something as simple as upgrading your lights could make that much of a difference? Consider the following: 

  • Your lights make up as much as 25% of your total energy consumption.
  • Well-lit spaces help everyone feel better and work better.
  • Studies show that better lighting reduces crime in businesses.
  • Reduced maintenance time and expenses boost your balance sheet and keep things moving.

Let’s take a look at how a lighting retrofit actually benefits your business.

Improve the Work Environment for Employees

It’s no secret that morale is a key component in a strong company culture and that employees who feel better about their company are more productive and happier. 

So every year, thousands of organizations arrange (and pay) for parties, events, team-building exercises, and trips, all designed to foster good spirits and return folks to work with passion and excitement in their eyes.

But what about once your team is back in the office? How can a company help its people stay happy, healthy, and hardworking? One way is improving your employees’ workspace with better lighting.

“Light has an enormous effect on our physical and mental well-being,”

LED lights are bright, full of color, and not subject to flickering like old fluorescent bulbs often do. All of those elements make the light from LED fixtures much more pleasing to the eye, and much easier to work under for hours at a time. Even though our conscious minds almost never register complaints, our eyes and our brains can tell the difference between different levels of lighting quality.

In addition to better artificial light sources, lighting retrofits also take into account natural light. Studies have shown that people just feel better in sunlight than in artificial light. We enjoy the warmth and nourishment, not to mention the look and feel of the light. Again, this has a profound impact on a person’s overall happiness and stress levels.

“Natural light from both the morning and evening has been found to decrease depression and improve mood, energy, alertness and productivity.”

U.S. National Library of Medicine

Beyond comfort and the increased happiness and productivity that brings, lighting also plays a major role in workplace safety. Better quality light has been shown to cause significant reductions in complaints of discomfort by employees. 

When your employees’ eyes aren’t tired and weary from poor lighting, they’re much more aware of their surroundings and less likely to make mistakes. This is a crucial factor to consider in industrial, manufacturing, and other industries involving heavy or complicated equipment.

Improve the Experience for your Customers

Often when we think about improving customer experience, we begin to look at the way that our teams answer the phones, communicate with customers during the sale or service, and follow-up with customers to ensure they were pleased throughout the process.

These are all important to track and optimize. But for restaurants, retail businesses, hotels, hospitals, sports facilities, and more, the customer experience goes way beyond how our staff interacts with your customers.

If customers make reservations or call your facility before entering your brick and mortar facility, the experience begins.

But when a customer parks their vehicle at your business, the physical experience begins. If your parking lot is not well-lit, and your customers don’t feel safe, the bad experience has already started.

“Major study finds outdoor lighting cut crime by 39%”

LEDs Magazine

When they walk through your front doors and the business is not well-maintained or well-lit, the customer is mentally recording their experience. A great experience is what sets the best businesses apart, and often prompts customers to leave good reviews, or tell their friends.

Lighting starts in your parking lot, continues at your storefront sign, on the exterior of your building, and is in every room and space in your business. Great lighting is a great way to improve your customer experience.

“As an important component of a retail store’s atmospherics, lighting can affect the emotional responses that influence consumer shopping behavior.”

Nam Kyu Park, PhD & Cheryl A. Farr, PhD

Reduce Down Time and Maintenance

Lighting maintenance expenses drag down your bottom line, and time wasted working on the lights causes slowdowns and ripple effects in a department or building. Again, lighting retrofits address this problem.

In addition to their better lighting qualities, new LED lamps, bulbs, and fixtures are reliable and long-lived. Even the shortest lifespan for an LED is usually twice that of the longest-lasting fluorescent lights. Also, unlike fluorescents, LEDs do not require ballasts, reducing the number of components you need to worry about.

When the lights are working and shining bright, there’s no reason to have crews from a lighting contractor roaming the hallways with ladders and boxes of bulbs. Less disruption to your workplace, and fewer dollars out the door.

All in all, a great lighting retrofit is designed specifically to work in your environment. A good contractor will evaluate your current lights, study how you use your buildings and spaces, and create a new system that takes advantage of every possible element. A custom-fitted solution is the best way to make sure you’re getting 100% from your facilities.

Lower Energy Costs & Improve Efficiency

Of course, everyone has heard about how much more efficient new LED lights are. Everyone knows they consume a fraction of the energy of other bulbs. Everyone is aware they burn out far less often and are only becoming easier and cheaper to purchase and replace.

But did you know it’s possible to reduce your lighting energy consumption by as much as 85%?

Considering your lights may be using up to 25% of your total energy consumption, reducing your lights’ power drain is the most dramatic reason to undertake a lighting retrofit.

Frisco ISD was able to realize an average of an 80% reduction in lighting energy while enjoying an average of 177% increase in the lighting output at each project location. FSG helped Frisco ISD retrofit 29 gymnasiums, 5 field houses, an aquatic center, and 5 high school parking lots.

Frisco ISD image

Source: iStock

See the Case Study here: Frisco ISD Lighting Retrofit case study

But it’s not just about the lights themselves. It’s about how you use them. Flipping off switches every time you leave the room is a great way to save energy. But we all know how bad people are about leaving the lights on. So don’t leave it up to them. Use controls.

Lighting controls of all types are the factor that really makes a retrofit shine. Schedulers can set which lights turn on and when, great for exterior lights and areas of major operations. Daylight sensors keep their eyes open for the sun’s rays and dim or turn off redundant artificial lights. Occupancy sensors can replace switches, meaning the last person out of the meeting room doesn’t have to worry about getting the lights.

Qualify for Rebates & Incentives

Last–but certainly not least–is another way to make business owners and the accounting team even more happy with a lighting retrofit: rebates & incentives.

All around the country, utilities, manufacturers, and government agencies are working together to offer rebates and incentives to customers who install energy-efficient fixtures and other equipment. These rebates can end up paying for most, if not all, of your project.

FSG’s recent Holt Cat warehouse lighting retrofit qualified for a rebate of over $220,000, and a 3.37 year ROI.

Source: iStock

See the Case Study here: Holt Cat lighting retrofit case study

With rebates saving the financial day, it makes even more sense to change the way you think about the lights at your business.

Since rebates vary all over the country, it is best to consult with your lighting contractor and leverage their expertise to determine which rebates you qualify for,

Lighting the Way to Your Business Goals

Lighting retrofits provide so many benefits to so many key components of your company that they’re too good of an opportunity to pass up.

Contact FSG today at (512) 886-1258 if you would like more information about improving the lighting at your business! To see our other 150+ case studies, click here.

Lighting Guide

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