Upgrade Your Lighting

How Using Efficient Lighting Benefits Your Business

If your building relies on inefficient lighting, such as incandescent, halogen, HID, or T12 fluorescent, you’re missing out on significant savings. Updating your lighting can be a great first step when it comes to making your building an efficient one. Lighting makes up 17% of all electricity consumed in U.S. commercial buildings, meaning there’s plenty of opportunities to make your lighting more energy efficient.

The Perks of LED Lighting

With LED lighting, you can greatly reduce the electricity used by your commercial building with many light fixtures available to meet a wide variety of needs and applications. There are countless opportunities to make the switch to LED, including streetlights, parking garage lighting, and task lighting.

Upgrading to LEDs can improve your business and performance. LEDs:

  • Provide the same brightness as traditional bulbs but use 90% less energy
  • Last 15 times longer, which means big financial savings on operations and maintenance.
  • Produce very little heat compared to incandescent bulbs, which release 90% of their energy as heat, and CFLs, which release 80% of their energy as heat

LEDs also pack a serious punch for the environment. By 2027, widespread use of LEDs could reduce our nation’s electricity use equal to the annual electrical output of 44 large electric power plants, and lead to total savings of more than $30 billion.

Is it the Right Time to Upgrade?

It’s never a bad time to improve your commercial building’s energy efficiency, and LEDs make financial sense in most scenarios. Buildings in regions with high electricity costs and buildings with long operating hours will achieve the greatest return on investment. Here’s how your business can benefit:

  • Reduce operating expenses
  • Increase your company’s commitment to energy efficiency
  • Take advantage of utility rebates

LED Utility Rebates and Incentives

Utilities and other energy efficiency program sponsors offer incentives (e.g., mail-in rebates, buy-downs, and instant rebates) throughout the United States to promote ENERGY STAR certified bulbs and fixtures, decorative light strings, and ceiling and ventilating fans with light kits. Many of these programs specifically target commercial buildings and reach up to $249 in savings for LED light fixtures.

How to Get Started with a Vendor

Vendors can:

  • Provide a lighting specific audit for your building
  • Research and provide rebate information
  • Manage the rebate process
  • Oversee the installation of your lighting
  • Track your energy savings

How to Get Started DIY

DIYers, consider:

  • How the color quality, optical performance, dimmability, and the lifetime of the LED bulb may impact the cost of the bulbs
  • What the specific lighting needs of your commercial building are

Additional Resources

Certified Lighting Professional Locator
Find Lighting Certified professionals in your area.

Find a Lighting Designer
Locate a lighting designer to help meet your lighting needs.

U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)
Explore trends in commercial lighting.

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
Get an overview on LED lighting.

  • The ENERGY STAR label is used primarily within residential lighting. But there are a few commercial lighting categories where you should be sure to look for the ENERGY STAR:
    • Accent lights, including line-voltage directional track lights
    • Recessed, pendants, and surface-mount downlights
    • Under-cabinet task lighting
    • Desk lamps
  • To earn the ENERGY STAR, LED bulbs are tested by accredited labs to meet strict quality and efficiency standards. This third-party certification helps ensure that every ENERGY STAR certified light bulb will deliver the quality and efficiency you expect.

Find eligible commercial light fixtures

LEDs and Education

LEDs allow for dimming and color-tuning. Studies of K-12 schools have shown these features to contribute to an improved working environment for teachers and the students. In particular, children with autism spectrum disorder were shown to benefit from additional lighting cues to transition between certain activities.

LEDs and Foodservice

If your business serves food, heat from traditional lighting can impact food quality and freshness. Switching to LEDs can save you more than energy—it can save both product and money.