You want to feel safe on your property by eliminating dark areas and illuminating your building and grounds with good lighting. How do you provide safety with lighting but at the same time not increase energy costs?
These two qualities are not exclusive to one another. Your lighting can provide much-needed safety without substantially adding to the bottom line if you perform a light audit both on the inside and outside of your building.
Take these steps to provide safety and energy efficiency.
• Turn lights off when not needed. Pay special attention to copy rooms, break rooms, individual offices, hallways, and restrooms.
• One way to decrease energy use is to install lighting occupancy sensors that automatically turn lights on or off. These sensors work well in the areas mentioned above as well as conference rooms or other places not occupied continuously.
• Replace incandescent lamps with compact fluorescent lamps where appropriate.
• Take advantage of natural daylight by dimming electric lighting on sunny days and adjusting blinds & window coverings to let in the sunshine.
• Replace incandescent “Exit” signs with LED signs. LEDs use about 1/10 the wattage and last 50 times longer than incandescent lights.
• Make sure outdoor lighting is off during the daytime.
• Replace burnt-out bulbs with higher efficiency bulbs.
• Consider photocells that turn on automatically at dusk and turn off at dawn with no manual adjusting needed.
• If your outside lights are on timers, make sure you regulate them to come on later as the days get longer and go off earlier with the sunrise. You can save several hours of lighting expense with this small adjustment.
• Let Nature do its job of lighting up walkways by adding solar lights.
• If your exterior lights have protective covers, rid them of dirt and cobwebs that might be blocking the lights. Make sure the covers are tightly connected as well.
• Replace low-pressure sodium parking lot lights with low wattage induction lamps using fixtures that direct light down.
Most of these changes cost little to nothing monetarily except for a switch of habits. For the adjustments that do cost money, the energy saved far outlasts the initial investment.
Three added bonuses:
1) You’re doing your part to conserve energy and help the environment;
2) You’re keeping your employees and yourself safe;
3) You’re decreasing the chances of your property being vandalized.
Now that’s news to brighten anyone’s day!