Let’s say you’re the director of facilities for a local manufacturer or the business manager for a school district. By now, you’ve likely had a parade of salespeople knocking on your door to sell you a lighting retrofit. Each comes armed with a very similar pitch. Lighting technologies are the most advanced that they’ve ever been. ROIs are up and payback periods are down. And the most overused saying, lighting is your low hanging fruit.
In your job, you have to wade through all the gimmicky sales jargon and back of the envelope math to figure out what’s real and what’s a mirage. The difficulty is you wear many hats, and finding the time to learn the truth is challenging.
Having a clear understanding of your opportunity, along with a defined plan, will help streamline and simplify the process.
First, let’s be realistic. Just because a lighting retrofit reduces energy, doesn’t automatically mean it’s the highest and best use of your capital improvement dollars. As we have previously shared, you should start with a comprehensive facility audit. This will help to determine what projects, if any, you should focus on.
Assuming, lighting is a true cost-saving opportunity, you should understand what the current environment looks like. It is true that LED lighting efficiency is on the rise and costs have continued to decline. This has made retrofitting your facility more economical than ever before.
However, lighting is no longer as simple as swapping out a light bulb. Advancements in lighting solutions have required the industry to move away from simple one-to-one replacements, opting instead for structured and thoughtful design. This is where it becomes imperative that you work with the right lighting firm that understands your specific needs.
Many lighting firms still use antiquated methods for installing lighting. Worse yet, some firms attempt to sell you a solution you don’t need, simply to increase project costs. Ultimately, the lighting solution you choose should be unique and customized to your facility. It should incorporate the most efficient and effective design with products that maximize lumens and comfort for employees and guests of your facility.
Don’t be afraid to utilize a design-build process. Your energy advisor can work alongside you to create the right facility design and layout, and then solicit bids for the cost of the fixtures to ensure you receive a favorable market rate.
Opportunities for energy efficiency will continue to increase as technology improves. Surround yourself with a competent energy advisor that will ensure clear, transparent, and efficient energy solutions for you and your facility.