Energy management company Energy Action advises businesses to invest in energy-saving measures to reduce energy consumption and demand across their operations.
Given the continued rise in energy costs impacting businesses across Australia, investing in energy efficient lighting makes more sense than ever as energy is a significant controllable cost for a business.
Energy efficient lighting can bring in attractive ROI and help achieve significant energy savings in the workplace. The move towards increased lighting energy efficiency is predominantly driven by environmental awareness and the opportunity to improve lighting efficiencies. Energy Action sees an increase in the number of businesses looking to review their lighting use due to a rapid rise in electricity rates.
According to Edward Hanna, director of sustainability at Energy Action, by installing more efficient lighting in offices, businesses not only do their bit for the environment, it also helps them cut costs, enabling them to increase their profits.
Energy Action offers tips for businesses looking to retrofit energy efficient lighting
Think about the business needs
Australian Standards allow variance in the lighting levels depending on the task being performed. For instance, a corridor requires lower lighting than a workstation, office or cubicle while the main office area needs to be well lit at least 8 hours a day. However, rooms such as meeting and board rooms should only have lights on when in use.
Think about employees
Lighting, as a workplace feature, can have a significant impact on comfort and productivity. Effective office lighting produces a comfortable, productive environment with the design requiring more than just simple calculations of lighting levels. Businesses must also consider how the lighting will affect employees.
Make lighting part of interior design discussions
Early decisions such as ceiling height, window size, and placement of ofﬁces are all critical to the effect lighting will have on a space. Surface ﬁnish choices also have a significant impact on lighting design. The lighting design therefore, must be integrated into overall architectural design and interior layout discussions.
Invest in lighting controls
Optimising existing lighting control systems or investing in in-fixture occupancy sensors and daylight sensors can lower energy bills, especially in low traffic areas such as stairwells, meeting rooms, utility rooms and car parks. Most current energy efficient alternatives dim or turn off areas when not in use, without worries about long warm-up times.
Make informed decisions when choosing suppliers or technology
Suppliers and installers must be chosen on referrals, experience and reputation, not just price. Warranties, lead times and service expectations must be agreed upon before orders are placed. An independent lighting market consultant can also be brought into the project. It is important to assess and evaluate lighting and control technologies, and select solutions most suitable for the company in the long term.
Have light intensity that suits each individual work area’s needs
Optimising energy efficiency means delivering the right amount of light around the workspace, which can be achieved through the right combination of fittings, lamps and controls.
Ed Hanna also recommends maximising the use of natural daylight to make the office more energy efficient, which can be done for instance, by installing large windows in addition to using energy efficient lamps and control technology to save on energy costs.
Taking all of this into consideration will ensure that a lighting strategy will successfully reduce energy use, lower energy bills and decrease the carbon intensity of the business.