3 Money-Saving Tips for Relamping

March 21, 2017

Relamping can be an expensive process, but it doesn't need to break the bank.

Lighting changes and maintenance costs can spiral out of control if you do not have a strong plan for relamping. Here are a few tips to lighten the financial load of relamping your facility.

1) Group Relamping

At first consideration, performing spot relamping might seem like the more affordable choice, as you are only replacing lamps when they are needed. However, changing your approach to group relamping ultimately saves you more money.

Group relamping will cut down on labor time and cost because you are replacing lights in a single process. Any maintenance staff that is scheduled to perform group relamping will be prepared with the proper materials in advance and will more efficiently move from lamp to lamp with a plan in place. Moreover, group relamping typically takes place outside of working hours, further reducing labor time and workplace disruption, explains ENERGY STAR.

Group relamping also offers the opportunity to conduct other maintenance activities at the same time, such as inspecting and cleaning other lighting system components. In fact, most relamping services offer other forms of maintenance. Performing lamp changes simultaneously and including other services will significantly cut back the number of maintenance calls you make and the money you spend.

The quality of your lighting will also improve under a group relamping approach. According to ENERGY STAR, “Group relamping provides brighter and more uniform lighting because it gets rid of lamps before they are at the end of their lumen depreciation curve.”

Group relamping provides uniform lighting while reducing labor time and costs because light bulbs are changed simultaneously before they burn out.

Because relamping occurs on a large scale with this process, lighting is more consistent throughout a facility. Where spot relamping would render some lights stronger than others or put together incompatible lamps, group relamping provides even lighting, which can contribute to better occupant comfort and productivity.

2) Lifecycle Cost Analysis

If you are having difficulty selecting the right light bulbs for your facility, it might help to identify the costliness of your potential options. Thus, a lifecycle cost analysis might help you determine what lamps might be best for replacement.

Performing a lifecycle cost analysis can be helpful to identify the long- and short-term prospects of certain lighting systems. Penn State University identifies two common scenarios that often arise under these circumstances:

a)    The initial cost may be high but the energy costs will be low over its lifetime.
b)    The initial cost to buy a bulb or a system and the energy or maintenance costs may be low, but the useful life of such a bulb or system may be short.

Your response to these two scenarios – or perhaps one in between them – will likely depend on the disposable budget you have to put upfront. The longevity and energy efficiency of the more expensive bulbs will provide a more lucrative ROI but may not be feasible if you are unable to fully invest in the most energy-efficient bulbs. Seeing the actual numbers through a lifecycle cost analysis can help you make that decision.

3) Rebates

Rebates for new lamps can significantly reduce the cost of relamping. Typically, the most helpful rebates you can find for replacement are those that specifically provide money back on particular lamps.

Depending on your location, your utility and state or local government might provide lamp-specific rebates. Especially when you are replacing a large quantity of lamps in your facility, rebates can rack up significant savings for a task that is unavoidable for facility managers.

For more information about finding rebates, check out “Finding Rebates and Incentives for Lighting Upgrades.”

Justin Feit [email protected] is assistant editor of BUILDINGS.

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