Real-World Lighting Retrofits

March 20, 2015

Learn how these five properties restored illumination.

Has the lighting at your facility become a sore sight? Upgrading your fixtures is still one of the easiest areas to secure energy savings.

Walk around your building and you'll spot plenty of opportunities to improve illumination and scale back electricity demand. Think about every troffer, can light, sconce, desk lamp, and track light. And don't forget about your exterior lighting for parking or architectural washes either.

These seven tips will start your project on the right foot and keep it on track. Then read about how facility managers around the country applied these lessons to their own lighting challenges. 

1. Evaluate Safety: Looks aren’t everything. Make sure new fixtures eliminate high contrast areas and provide even coverage to reduce dark spots.

2. Anticipate Maintenance Costs: Your utility bill doesn’t tell the whole story. Lighting fixtures also require upkeep for labor and replacement parts. Forecast these lifecycle expenses to calculate the total cost of ownership.

3. TRack Previous Expenses: Have two years of operating and maintenance costs available for your old fixtures. These numbers will help you project a true payback and validate manufacturer performance claims after the installation.

4. MEasure Current Light Levels: You need to quantitatively measure illumination rather than depending on what looks pleasing to the human eye. This will also give you an objective baseline for calculating ROI rather than modeled data.

5. TRy It Before You Buy It: There’s no reason you can’t retrofit a portion of your lamps before committing to a certain fixture for the entire installation. You can also use the opportunity to make tweaks to light levels.

6. SEe Sample Projects: Ask your manufacturer for installations you can visit in person. It’s helpful to see real applications before partnering with a vendor.

7. REad the Fine Print: Beyond energy and maintenance, look for key differences in the specifications. These include surge protection, vibration ratings, and warranty coverage.

With this advice in mind, take a stroll through these five properties that ran afoul of energy, safety, and functionality issues and learn about which fixtures were selected to restore illumination.

Warehouse Visibility Boosted by Integrated LEDs
Monsanto Production Facility  |  Grinnell, Iowa

Occupancy Sensors Conserve 1 Million kWh Annually
Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station  |  Niagara Falls, New York

Retail Parking Lights Save $10,000 Annually
280 Metro Center  |  Colma, California

Area LEDs Create Secure Parking for Employees
Aflac Support Center  |  Columbus, Georgia

College Auditorium Reduces Lighting Demands by 80%
Haywood Community College  |  Clyde, North Carolina

About the Author

Jennie Morton

A former BUILDINGS editor, Jennie Morton is a freelance writer specializing in commercial architecture, IoT and proptech.

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