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Is It Time to Upgrade Your Facility Lighting Solution?

They are on all day, everyday, but often the last thing on your mind until something goes wrong.

Your lighting solution is the unsung hero of your facility. Few other building components are as essential or utilized to ensuring regular operations run smoothly. Without your lights, all of your other systems become almost useless and the facility could be closed until you can get the lights back on.
 
But just like proper lighting can improve your facility operations, ineffective, inefficient or older lighting can have the opposite effect. In worst case scenarios, increasing your operating costs. Some decide to make use of Home Automation UK to reduce costs. Consider that lighting infrastructure usually degrades slowly, like a light bulb burning out over slowly time. You or your staff may not notice the subtle changes until something actually fails. Even if your lighting isn’t as old as the rest of your building’s infrastructure, you may still benefit from a retrofit or upgrade.
Consider these points to help shed light on whether or not it’s time for you to upgrade.
 
Age of your building
One of the most significant factors that can affect your decision to retrofit your lighting is the age of your building. 60 percent of commercial buildings in the U.S. were built before 1980 which represents a substantial chunk of real estate that’s over 30 years old. Even if your light fixtures themselves have been upgraded within the past few years, the wiring may be a different story. The entire system is only as strong and efficient as the weakest component of the circuit.
 
Cost
Your budget is likely to be the single most important factor when determining your upgrade and retrofit options. When it comes to lighting, there are two different cost-related things to consider. First is the initial cost – what will it take to purchase and install a new lighting solution? This can often be a substantial investment and may intimidate many facility managers. Many retail store owners lack the time or manpower properly research the potential true costs that could be lowered by energy rebates offered by their utility companies, giving up on the project when receiving the initial quote from a contractor.
 
However, equally as important as installation costs are long-term costs associated with your lighting solution. Recent increases in national commercial power average prices could spell financial headaches for those facility managers that have older lighting in their building. These raising energy costs and the initial investment of an upgrade can, in many instances, be off set by the long term energy savings of an upgraded system. The new system can pay for itself when compared to limping along with spot repairs and higher energy consumption of the existing infrastructure.
 
Future-proofing
As sustainability has become a customer expectation of the business they frequent, store mangers need to find ways to keep up to successfully and truthfully market their businesses as eco friendly. Greater energy efficiency being the trend, planning your lighting retrofit in such a way as to just meet minimum standards like ENERGY STAR guidelines may seem more cost-effective now, but you’ll just have to go through the process again in a few years when new regulations and guidelines are disseminated. It may seem like an unnecessary expense but investing now in a more efficient system, such as LED lighting, insulates you with the newest form of lighting technology what won’t be obsolete for some time to come. You’re actually saving yourself time, money and effort later on.
 
Other hidden expenses (and savings)
As lighting solutions become more technology advanced the bulbs themselves typically run at lower wattages which results in less heat generation. By simply switching to a newer technology in your lighting you can relieve the stress on other infrastructure in your buildings. Older technology like Halogen lamps generate many more times the heat as the newer LED replacement options.
 
Replacing older lamps with cooler burning technology lessens the burden on summertime HVAC systems working to keep the showroom or warehouse cool. This can not only lower the energy bill but extend the live of the environmental control infrastructure. On the flip side, it may be harder to heat the building in the winter, but the energy savings from the more efficient lighting more than offsets the increased energy consumption to run the heater.
 
Consider you long term goals when looking into your lighting infrastructure. It may be more than just replacing light bulbs as they burn out. Sticking with the status quo might just be draining from your bottom line with every turn of the electric meter at the back of your building.
 
Jef Spencer
HFA Operations
HFA Products Store

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