How Commercial Lighting Control Systems Benefit Your Business
As a business owner, keeping expenses in line is one of the toughest parts of the job. One way to reduce monthly costs is to implement a more energy-efficient lighting control system.
Do you want to find out more about lighting and building control for your business and how you can take advantage of even more lighting benefits? All you need to do is continue reading.
What Is A Commercial Lighting Control System?
A controlled lighting system allows you to manually or automatically control the number of lights turned on at any given point and the intensity of the light. Lighting control panels come in many different shapes and sizes, but the main options are as follows:
- Basic lighting controls: A basic control system is an old-fashioned panel that uses an on/off switch. To save money on lighting, it’s essential to remember to flick a switch depending on your needs. Although they aren’t very advanced, basic controls can help your business cut energy costs as long as you install energy-efficient light bulbs.
- Dimmer switches: Dimmer switches are popular because they let you control the amount of light by sliding the dimmer back and forth. The reason it’s eco-friendly is that the lamp is neither fully on or off and doesn’t use as much power.
- Motion sensors: The best way to cut back on power usage is to use light only when it’s necessary. Motion sensors do this by springing into life when they detect movement and turn off again when a set amount of time passes. They’re perfect for outside use.
- Occupancy sensors: Your interior’s answer to motion sensors, these lights work in the same way – they detect movement and instantly illuminate the room. Businesses can take advantage of them by installing occupancy sensors in break rooms, conference rooms, and bathrooms.
- Networked system: Networked lighting control is by far the most advanced option of all the smart lighting control systems. By downloading an app or using the desktop version, the controller can monitor the company’s light usage remotely. If you want to tweak the usage for energy efficiency purposes, you only need to press a button on your device.
The Benefits Of A Commercial Lighting Control System
Now that you understand the options at your disposal, it’s time to pick one. But, to do that, it’s important to consider how LED lighting controls can impact your business. Here is a selection of the most common and well-liked benefits.
You already know about the impact on the business’s budget, but it’s worth reiterating. After all, a small or medium-sized company has to cut costs where possible to stay profitable. Aside from a 60% reduction in electricity overheads and a 30% drop in lighting costs, you’ll also save your company up to 40% in yearly utility bills. Why? The reasoning is two-fold.
Firstly, you can control every aspect of lighting on your premises, cutting back where necessary with a click of a button. Secondly, LED lights are 80% more energy efficient compared to incandescent bulbs. As a result, there’s no need to waste energy, or money on repairs and replacements as LEDs are long-term fixtures.
The golden rule of reducing overheads, where lighting is concerned, is straightforward. The less time your lights are on, the lower your electricity bill will be. Of course, there is more to lighting energy efficiency than money. For one thing, it eliminates the need to concentrate on a small part of running your company as you can program a schedule.
However, the best feature of improved energy efficiency is the way it ranks with customers. A whopping 56% of Americans won’t buy products from brands they believe to be unethical. Reducing your carbon footprint is just one way of showing you care about the environment and are an ethical business.
Easy To Use
All of the above is compounded by the fact that a lighting control panel is easy to use. Not only are the majority of panels manageable from any device, but they come with remote controls too. Wireless dimmer switches are also available to add even more convenience to your company’s set-up.
And, there’s no reason to fret about the installation process as part of our ‘Free Energy Audit‘ includes the implementation and arrangement of lighting technology.
You should also remember the impact lighting has on the company’s security. Safety is paramount as it prevents burglars from stealing equipment. Motion sensors on the exterior of the property will illuminate the dark areas of the premises and provide less protection for opportunists. Plus, you have access to lighting controls regardless of your location. So, whether you are on vacation or out of town, automatically lit buildings can deter your building from being targeted by thieves.
CCTV cameras are excellent deterrents, and studies also suggest thieves don’t target properties with outside lighting as it harms their anonymity.
How To Install Lighting Control Systems
An electrician will be necessary if you’re not a lighting expert. Still, there are some things you should be aware of to make sure the process goes smoothly.
Ask For Fixture Controllers
Smart lighting is a relatively new phenomenon, which means contractors aren’t always familiar with the likes of digital LED drivers and UL924 relays. Therefore, they might be inexperienced when it comes to wiring a controller, and that increases the chances of an error.
A fixture controller eliminates the confusion as the electrician has to connect the voltage power lines as they would normally and no extra wiring is necessary.
Provide Connection Drawings
To make their job even easier, electricians should also be given the connection drawings for the wiring. Again, this option is recommended because of some contractor’s lack of experience and skill with modern ballasts and drivers.
Request Detailed Documentation
Because some lighting contractors don’t have the necessary experience, you must ask for detailed documentation of the installation process. When you do this, you reduce the risk of hiring an electrical company that doesn’t have the skill to complete the job. For example, emergency lighting is more complicated to install.
By requesting information on how they plan to connect emergency fixtures, you will be able to spot inefficiencies.
Keep Detailed Records
It’s not rare for parts to turn up at different points throughout the installation process. Unfortunately, there is no way to connect certain lighting fixtures without the necessary elements, which means you should wait before pressing ahead. Of course, this increases the chances of losing or misplacing parts and setting back the project.
The good news is that there is a straightforward solution: detailed record keeping. When you check shipments against the job specifications and drawings, you ensure everything is ready to connect. Also, write down where everything is stored and label the separate parts so that they’re easy to find when the time comes.
Install Everything At Once
Connecting various elements at different points of the process is an upheaval. For access, a contractor will typically have to go through the ceiling to gain access. In a busy office environment, it can impact productivity and output, which is why you should get it over with asap.
Ask the contractor to pull everything through at the same time to limit the disruption to the business.
How Verde Solutions Helped MetroSouth Medical Center
Many businesses and institutions use an energy efficiency consultant to help develop their energy reduction plan and install the new lighting control system for them. Here’s an example of how this process works.
MetroSouth is an acute care hospital with over 281,256 square feet of private and semi-private rooms. Energy efficiency has always been a vital aspect of their strategy, and they immediately decided they needed a refurb of their lighting system. After contacting Verde Solutions, they asked us to craft and install an upgrade that would enhance their health and wellness environment.
To begin, we worked in collaboration with MetroSouth to create an off-balance-sheet financing plan for the replacements. The strategy allowed us to connect new and modern LED lighting in both the interior and exterior of their facility. To supplement energy and money savings, we also installed lighting controls and sensors so that MetroSouth could monitor and amend its energy usage.
As a result, they were able to benefit from our ability to eliminate unnecessary electricity in over 400 premises. MetroSouth Hospital also reduced their greenhouse gas emissions as we recycle more than 1,000 tons of waste. Plus, incentive rebates allowed MetroSouth to spend less on energy. One of our proudest achievements was not only to reduce monthly energy costs but to save on maintenance and repairs too. Our controls and sensors last throughout the fixtures’ lifecycle, so we provided them with a long-term solution.
We believe this project is an excellent example of how our holistic approach to energy offers a significant boost to businesses’ bottom line.
A commercial lighting control system is simple to use and easily integratable. Therefore, it can provide your business with an opportunity to save money, improve energy efficiency, and enhance security.
To learn more about our energy reduction plans and services, contact Verde Solutions today.
About Verde Solutions
Verde Solutions is full service, energy efficiency consultant firm founded on three main principles; Innovation, Sustainability, and Efficiency. At Verde, we create value for our clients and communities by providing innovative energy-efficient solutions. By reducing energy use and utilizing renewable energy, we lower costs and set a sustainable path for the future.