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Whether you are a small business working out of a modest space or a larger company operating in multiple buildings, lighting is a majority of the utility bill and can often make up 50 percent of the total costs. The very dynamic thing about energy management is, you can greatly impact its uses just by making some changes. From turning off lights when you are not around and using sensors, to making the switch to more energy-efficient light bulbs, this can create money to be reinvested in your business.
The business world is flooded with competition and as a business owner you have to spend your money wisely, and energy is one area that is often overlooked but one that can make a big impact. At Energy Network, we are here to lend a hand and guide your business to better energy management solutions. Join us in today’s post as we examine your options in lighting.
Cultivate Energy Management and Save Money
Though it is recurrently skipped over, lighting is of the most imperative features of your business in both performance and design. It keeps employees productive and customers shopping and with all the innovation in energy-saving tactics, it is environmentally and economically advantageous.
So, what is the big difference between energy-efficient lighting and traditional lighting?
Traditional incandescent bulbs imbibe energy and 90 percent of their energy is given off as heat, which is really just money that is wasted and could be reallocated elsewhere. As energy technology has evolved, there are newer light bulbs that provide the consumer with many options for different colors and watts.
Energy Management – Lighting
There are a host of lightbulbs that can be implemented for energy savings both in indoor and outdoor business settings that have revolutionized energy-savings and when combined with timers and dimmers, can save your business a good deal of money.
LEDs (light-emitting diodes) are probably the most trendy and most talked about lightbulb option for energy savings, and with good reason. These light bulbs are considered a solid-state type of lighting with semiconductors that adapt energy to light. LEDs have been widely used in traffic light and have since been developed for home and business purposes. Energy Star LEDs use only 20 to 25 percent of energy and can last anywhere from eight to 25 times longer than traditional incandescent lighting.
LEDs are a very convenient energy-efficient option because they come in a variety of colors with features such as dimmable and motion-sensored. They are a great alternative outdoor option because they can withstand cold temperatures while still being able to perform.
LEDs are more expensive but the benefits do outweigh the cost because they last longer and use very little energy.
CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) are the smaller version of the long tube fluorescents you typically see in stores or your garage at home. These light bulbs are the curly versions you see on shelves and use less energy than traditional incandescents, and you will begin to see energy savings in a week and they will pay themselves off in nine months or so, as they use roughly one-third of the energy that an incandescent does. CFLs come in a range of colors and tones, so they are not as abrasive as their early days.
A Quick Guide When Buying Light Bulbs
Now that we know the benefits of both CFLs and LEDs, there are a couple of things to look for when you go to switch out your business to make it more energy efficient.
- Have your old bulb with you.
To find the exact fit, bring an old incandescent bulb with you to ensure the right size. Some of the new light bulbs are heavier or bigger than traditional bulbs.
- Know the lingo.
CFLs and LEDs will list “lumens” on their packaging. Lumens indicate how bright a bulb is — the more lumens the more light your bulb will produce. 800 lumens is similar to a 60-watt incandescent.
- Read labels.
The lighting fact panel on the package will have a couple of different features compared to a traditional incandescent. It will list the light color, brightness, energy savings, energy use, and longevity.
- Learn about color and tone.
The color temperature indicates the tone the light emits. Warm light is around 2700 kelvins (K) and cool, bright light is around 3000K.
Features to Consider
Once you have an idea of what kind of bulb your business needs, there are features that can make your energy saving even greater.
A bulb with indoor/outdoor functions.
Many CFLs and LEDs can work both indoors and outdoors but are unable to get wet so they require protection from a fixture.
A bulb that is dimmable.
Be able to adjust the lighting in your business not only helps to save energy but it is a nice feature to have. There are specific bulbs for dimmers — most LEDs work with dimmers, while CFLs are more limited.
Functions with photocell.
Another great way to save energy is to use photocell, which turns lights off when natural daylight appears and turns them on when it gets dark.
Functions with a motion sensor.
A motion sensor is nice to have in bathrooms and areas that don’t always need lights running. This type of sensor will turn on lights when activity is sensed and then turn off when it ceases.
A bulb that works in an enclosed light fixture.
Heat is generated from light bulbs and can shorten the longevity and performance if it heats up too much, so always check the packaging to ensure that it can be used in enclosed features.
Lighting is a crucial part of a business and is a great place to begin implementing energy-saving practices with LEDs or CFLs. They function a bit differently than traditional incandescents, so be sure to read what to look for and the features they offer for the perfect bulb for your business.
For energy management solutions for your business, partner with us today!