When was your last lightbulb moment?

Ours was back in 2013 when we decided to install energy efficient fluorescent lighting at our head offices in Leeds. At the time, it didn’t make sense for us to install LEDs; the balance between cost and efficiency made them only suitable in a few commercial environments. However, the energy efficiency levels of LEDs have been advancing at an exponential rate since then. Intelligent LED lighting is now TEN TIMES more energy efficient than traditional fluorescent fittings. 

Why isn’t everyone rushing to make the switch? Perhaps it sounds too good to be true? We have often found that the biggest barrier to implementation is simply a lack of information; public knowledge hasn’t accumulated as rapidly as the technology has developed, which is why we wanted to share the very latest figures with you.

If all we did was replace your light bulbs we would save up to 90% on your current energy costs and at the same time reduce your CO2 emissions by up to 90%. Furthermore, the lifespan of your lighting system would be 5-8 times longer than your previous fluorescent fittings, giving you significant maintenance cost savings as well.

Savings achieved in a recent lighting upgrade:

• 1400 58W Fluorescent fittings were swapped with 1400 LEDs

• The annual consumption falls from 1,048,320 kWh to 109,512 kWh

• The annual electricity costs fall from £98,542.08 to £10,940.13

• The annual maintenance costs are reduced by £22,435.90

This brings the total annual savings to £87,601 and the carbon savings at roughly 508 tonnes. Such figures are hard to ignore but it is also important to understand that to achieve these impressive figures requires more than a simple swap of the light bulb. One of the most important elements of our system that affects the savings is the level of intelligence applied via advanced controls.

The level of intelligence of your lighting system is almost as important as the quality and efficiency of your light fittings. We have worked tirelessly with specialist energy software developers to devise a system of intelligent wireless controls that create the optimum lighting for any environment. Our system can be used as a stand alone solution or integrated into an existing BMS.

How does it work?

If you light a warehouse, for example, that is in use 24 hours 7 days a week but only requires access to certain areas at certain times then you will see a significant saving by switching from fluorescent to LED, but these savings will be dramatically increased when you add controls; a sensor can be used to activate the lighting as and when it is needed, meaning it is drawing power for just a fraction of the original time. Furthermore, LEDs are cool to touch so a refrigerated warehouse may benefit from indirect savings by using less power to chill the warehouse.

Another feature of the intelligent LED systems is natural daylight harvesting. This makes clever use of dimmers and remote wireless sensors that enable LEDs located near to windows and other natural light sources to be dimmed accordingly, again increasing the savings.

The web-based software can be accessed remotely and even enables the user to run simulations of lighting solutions to check on the savings before implementing them.

Of course, lighting is just a small fraction of your energy profile but it is one that has the potential to make an instant positive impact. Lighting represents about 19% of all global electricity consumption but only a small percentage of lighting in commercial buildings is controlled by anything other than a simple on/off switch. Imagine the impact on our carbon footprint if every building’s lighting consumption were reduced by 90%?