Are you in the dark about modern commercial lighting? Turn on to today’s style of energy efficiency in buildings.

Key Takeaways:

  • Inefficient lighting harms a business’s bottom line and the environment
  • The energy efficiency of buildings is under scrutiny in Florida, with greener, smarter lighting a priority
  • Embracing lighting efficiency can generate significant financial returns
  • A lack of light – particularly the natural kind – can have a negative impact on employee efficiency and mood

Energy efficiency through smarter lighting is one of several electrical trends buzzing in 2023, but it’s more than a passing fad. It’s becoming both an expected norm by workers and a regulatory hot topic for state officials. Commercial sites of all designs can reap big financial benefits when they optimize their lighting, and the perks don’t stop with utility bills.

The physical, mental, and emotional well-being of staff can all be improved just by reconsidering the energy efficiency of buildings. Seems like an exaggeration? Read this guide to discover why you should care about the energy efficiency of buildings, especially your own.

“Our lights go on and off. That’s efficient enough.”

Well, yes, but also no. Every flick of that switch contributes to a national and global problem: massive carbon dioxide emissions. Did you know that commercial buildings guzzle 35 percent of all electricity consumed in the U.S. while producing 826 million metric tons of CO2?

Many businesses don’t even know how much energy they’re wasting. You can start estimating how much your site squanders by conducting an energy audit to see how efficient your lighting, heating, and cooling systems really are.

Energy efficiency in buildings is of concern at the highest levels. Article 163.08(b) of last year’s Statutes states that any building using energy conservation strategies may be eligible for several loans, incentives, rebates, and grants. Those businesses still coughing through the smoke of their hundreds of fluorescent bulbs don’t get diddley and are deemed part of the problem.

It really is lights out for traditional fluorescent bulbs that can’t compete with more efficient and environmentally friendly LEDs. Since the latter can also help your business save cash day to day, it’s time to get familiar with them.

LEDs can dramatically improve energy efficiency in buildings

What’s not to love about LEDs? They generate more savings by generating less heat, using less energy, and are easier to maintain. How much it will cost to add all the LED bulbs your site needs depends on area size, where you’d like the bulbs placed, and how old the building is.

Upgrading lighting is less labor-intensive for some buildings than others. Sometimes, the LEDs will fit right into your existing fixtures, but older sites usually require some level of lighting retrofit. This has more pros than cons. The only real drawback is that it gets more expensive to retrofit lights in older sites when the fixtures must be replaced alongside buying new bulbs.

The ongoing ROI of LEDs is impressive, even when offset by the initial investment. Don’t forget – you could be eligible for some financial assistance from the Sunshine State! You won’t need to replace LEDs as often either, with bulbs capable of running 30 times longer than an incandescent and three to five times longer than a fluorescent.

You’ll need to speak to experienced electrical professionals if you’re interested in adding LEDs. They can help you choose the proper lighting levels for your workplace and how many bulbs you’ll need.

Taking control of lighting efficiency

Today’s commercial lighting controls give people unprecedented power over how intense their lighting is – making changes to your office lights can now even be achieved remotely! More importantly, these controls can also allow lighting systems to act independently and make intelligent energy-saving decisions.

By installing an occupancy sensor, your lighting system will know if that room is currently occupied. If it isn’t, it turns the lights down or off. Controls can also sense the amount of natural light that’s already in a room and adjust their intensity accordingly.

Lighting controls are also becoming mandatory in commercial spaces under the 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). This is a secret tome visible only to electrical wizards, so take our word for it. OK, you can see it too, but that costs money, and we’re trying to save you cash here.

Lighting control sensors use various means to operate, ranging from radar and cameras to ultrasonic echolocation and infrared for thermal readings. Since it’s technology, it’s simultaneously cool and prone to doing the opposite of what it’s meant to.

Sensors need to be strategically placed to minimize the possibility of false positives, which can leave occupied rooms dark or empty rooms lit. Speaking to electrical pros will ensure sensors are positioned in optimal spots, and nobody has to light a match for that Zoom call.

Use Mother Nature’s Light Bulb

Here in Florida, we can usually count on sunshine. Letting it into your commercial space can brighten up rooms and boost employee well-being, and it’s most likely something your staff is craving. The Harvard Business Review reported that access to natural light is the one thing office workers want above all others!

Natural light is also free, so sunny sites will burn less artificial lighting energy and save more money. It only takes a few aesthetic changes to start pocketing those daylight dollars:

  • Consider more glass doors and glass walls/partitions to distribute natural light.
  • Keep glass clear of obstructions (this includes your windows).
  • Move as many desks and workstations as possible close to natural light.

We hope this blog has given you some bright ideas. Your next lightbulb moment should be contacting Universal Electrical Services to come and review your current lighting system!

Let UES optimize your lighting efficiency

Our experts at Universal Electrical can help your business install LEDs or retrofit existing fixtures so you can make the most of your energy budget and create a responsible, people-friendly workplace. Just contact us with any questions or for a free quote!