lights_leds_heroLighting can be your highest business energy cost – and your greatest opportunity for savings. Reducing heat output from your lighting can also reduce your air conditioning costs. Without proper lighting, productivity, safety, security and overall aesthetics can be compromised. Good lighting design contributes to employee comfort and health, which in turn can result in greater productivity. Check out Energy Trust of Oregon’s Guide to business lighting.

Indoor Lighting:
If you do only one single “green” thing, do this: replace all of your old incandescent light bulbs with modern LEDs. We recommend LEDs since they do not contain mercury (which needs special recycling), come on immediately (no warm up period), last 25 times longer and use 75-85% less energy than incandescents.

Fluorescent lighting also comes in more efficient versions: Replace your existing T12 fluorescent lamps and magnetic ballasts with T8 fluorescent lamps and electronic ballasts. They reduce up to 40% of the energy costs, lower maintenance costs, increase the system’s life and improve the quality of light. Or check out the new LED retrofit kits for existing fluorescent lighting to save even more.

Outdoor Lighting:
Replace outdoor incandescent, mercury vapor and high-pressure sodium lamps. LED fixtures are quickly becoming today’s preferred option for outdoor lighting, because they offer instant to full brightness even in cold temperatures, a long service life, minimal light trespass and flexible control options such as continuous dimming. T5HO fluorescent and electronic HID (metal halide) continue to be appropriate for many applications. All of these technologies offer good color quality and superior performance compared to older technologies.

Want even more savings?
• Install occupant sensors in less-frequented spaces – sensors and computer-based dimming controls can provide up to 80% savings
• Turn off lights when not in use – with reminder notes at switches and thermostats
• Use task lighting when appropriate
• Replace lamps before they lose effectiveness
• Remove lamps that are not needed
• Use LEDs (light emitting diodes) for exit signs
• Switch to LED holiday lights
• Only light occupied areas of your building during cleaning
• Improve interior surfaces’ reflectance
• Use timers or photocells for outdoor security and parking area lighting
• Install dual switches and dimmers

Check out Energy Trust of Oregon’s incentives for upgrading the lighting in your business buildings and be an Energy Hero!