If you feel that your commercial space needs an update, and yet your budget doesn’t allow the full overhaul, what do you do? You need an effective upgrade that takes effect immediately and it’s impossible not to notice? You give up? You need a new lighting scheme. Here are the principal considerations.
On the inside
Upgrading to contemporary interior lighting options won’t only reduce the electricity and maintenance costs, but also impact the employees’ morale and productivity. It’s often heard that bad lighting scheme draws the energy out of people, making us drowsy and depressed. We’re talking old lamps and aging fixtures in individual offices, common spaces like restrooms and reception areas, hallways, stairwells, landings, etc. If nothing has been done for more than 10 years, it’s time for an upgrade.
On the outside
If your office building has a parking garage you need to take care of the parking lighting, as well. landscape lighting is a whole different category, relying on building-mounted outdoor fixtures, lights that outline pathways, illuminate trees from below, stand as integral part of water features, etc. When it comes to commercial buildings, it’s only too easy to splurge everything on the interiors, however outdoor lighting also provides a huge opportunity for savings through CFL and LED replacements. Outdoor lighting is also related to security, as now you’ve got a chance to illuminate all the dark corners, niches, and gaps.
The difference between budget and cost effective LED options for your commercial needs can save your business thousands per year. By investing in longer-lasting LEDs for your task and ambient light, which have a higher light output and lower wattage, you can reduce your lighting bill by 50%. However, make sure you consult your electrician on this. In many places, Australia included, laws are changing to meet the latest energy-efficiency standards, as well as simplify maintenance procedures.
Choice of lamps
There was the time where T12 lamps were the staple of indoor fluorescent fixtures. However, if you switch to LED, the energy savings gained this way will easily recuperate the lighting renovation investment. Some of the lamps can be replaced with recessed can lights and track lights. However, make sure you don’t purchase a wrong replacement product for your application, or one with the wrong colour temperature and colour rendering index (CRI). If you don’t want to do second guessing, ask a professional. For example, this commercial electrician from Brisbane is experienced in installing sustainable commercial lighting according to the customer needs.
Type of fixtures
It was a common practice to outfit commercial spaces with fluorescent parabolic troffers. These fixtures that house rows of silver cubes direct all the light towards the floor, leaving walls dark and spaces semi-illuminated. If you replace parabolics with volumetric fixtures, you’ll be able to improve the brightness perception of the space, and keep the lux level on the task area, where it needs to be. If the ceiling allows it, consider indirect lighting, as well. It’s less invasive than direct lighting and, what is more, studies have shown that employees exposed to direct parabolic lighting have tendency to slip on productivity during the day.
Automated light controllers are an excellent way of saving on electricity, wasting not a second more than needed. Install occupancy sensors in places like rest rooms, stairwells, and private offices. Combined with daylight harvesting and dimming, they can also be used with success in open office spaces and conference rooms. Outdoor lighting also needs to be controlled. You can always use timers, that would switch the outdoor lights on and turn them off at the pre-set time, but if you’re using LED fixtures, you can use occupancy sensors, too, as LEDs have no problem with frequent switching.
The way you illuminate your business goes to great lengths in attracting customers and creating a safe place for people to come and go any time of day. with lighting consuming up to 20% of the energy in commercial spaces, you also have to think about suitability. Although the initial costs of a lighting renovation might seem unfair, energy savings, and more importantly, productivity gains make up for the cost of the investment.