Take the ‘LEEP’

The time for LED lighting is now!

By Tony Broughton

How often have you heard people talking about lighting in the past several years? The many articles and information available can be overwhelming. Hopefully this will help:

Why Upgrade Now?

Energy savings and improved lighting uniformity are the motivating reasons behind many LED retrofits. The reason is simple: the energy use in commercial buildings, for example, represents about 19% or more of their expenditures and it climbs even higher for those operating 7 days a week. There are additional considerations that could help make your lighting retrofit savings even more enticing. Immediate benefits include:

  1. Energy savings
  2. Lighting maintenance savings
  3. Potential utility rebates
  4. Improved light quality
  5. Safer environment
  6. Reduced operating costs
  7. Sustainability with reduced carbon emissions

Melrose Village after 08Both interior and exterior LED fixtures have decreased in cost in recent years, making the payback period very attractive. Along with this, there is a potential for multiple energy rebate options in most states for converting to energy-efficient lighting products. Waiting to complete a retrofit could actually cost you more money in the long run.

Lighting controls continue to gain ground in the industry and have become a great addition in helping to reduce your energy spending, while also having fixture level control from a smartphone or computer. Lighting controls, which are often overlooked, can yield an additional energy savings of 30% to 50% over non-controlled areas, when used correctly. When controls are paired with a lighting retrofit, that number can grow substantially.

Lighting control systems provide multiple options:         

  • Occupancy sensors: detect sound or motion to determine whether a space is occupied and they either dim or turn off lights accordingly.
  • Motion sensors: turn lights on for a short time in response to movement. No need to manually turn lights on or off.
  • Dimmers: allow users to adjust the brightness of your lighting to fit individual needs.
  • Light sensors: dim or turn off when daylight is detected.
  • Time clock controls: schedule when lights go on/off or set lighting levels for different times of day.

Award-Winning Results

The LEEP Campaign (Lighting Energy Efficiency in Parking) was created to support commercial parking facility owners and managers through technical guidance and resources for the application of proven high-efficiency lighting systems to maximize the opportunity for savings. LEEP participants on average save more than 60% to 90% in energy costs compared to their previous installations. In 2017, 15 organizations were recognized for achieving exceptional energy reductions in parking facilities through high-efficiency lighting and controls.

Two examples of 2017 LEEP award-winners include:

Brixmor Property Group

The company was awarded in two categories: Highest Annual Energy Savings in a Retrofit Single Parking Lot; and Highest Percentage Energy Savings in a Retrofit at a Single Parking Lot.

Brixmor submitted three parking facilities for consideration with one saving an amazing 711,000 kWh per year and another achieving 91% in energy savings that will result in a simple payback period of 1.8 years. Overall, Brixmor retrofitted 1.8 million square feet of parking space in 2017 and is saving 1.5 million kWh across the three facilities — equivalent to approximately $150,000 savings per year.

Kimco Realty Corporation

Kimco was awarded in three categories: Largest Number of Facility Upgrades; Largest Area of Facility Upgrades; and Largest Portfolio-Wide Annual Absolute Energy Savings.

In 2017, Kimco completed retrofits using new lighting and controls for 58 additional parking facilities across 17.5 million square feet, contributing to its overall total of 304 retrofits since 2012. With an average savings over 40% compared to the original energy usage, Kimco realizes an annual energy savings of 15 million kWh annually from the 304 sites. This is equivalent to $1.6 million in electricity cost savings.

Wynnewood 2Find the Right Partner

Finding the right partner to help you with your lighting requirements is probably one of the single most important decisions you will have to make. Here are some key services to consider:

  • National account pricing: If the vendor has a high volume of national account lighting sales, it is able to negotiate with the lighting manufacturers to get the best pricing available.
  • A complete staff of lighting design engineers who use photometric design to plan a lighting system based on your current needs or requirements for both interior and exterior applications.
  • Rebate management team to assist you with finding, monitoring and payout of rebates for customers.
  • Lighting surveys and audits to provide photometric options, budget estimates and return on investment reports based on existing lighting conditions.
  • Extended warranty programs negotiated with manufacturers.
  • Full turnkey lighting programs from start to finish.

— As vice president of national accounts at On-Site Lighting & Survey, Tony Broughton is responsible for the account management teams for several of the largest real estate property management companies in the country and for building new national account programs. On-Site Lighting is a Buffalo, Minnesota-based single-source lighting partner with the highest quality results from idea to design to installation. For more information, email sales@onsitelighting.com.

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