How low-energy lighting saves money and improves productivity

Investing in low-energy lighting doesn’t just cut costs, this savvy move can support a variety of organisational objectives, including making carbon savings (great for ESG metrics) and improving workforce wellbeing and productivity.

There are many reasons to invest in workspace lighting. A significant one for many businesses is the scope for saving money on energy bills, especially given the big rises in unit cost that we’ve seen in the past few years. Additionally, though, with Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) factors becoming increasingly important to individuals and organisations alike – informing the latter’s choices when it comes to suppliers and partners, and the former’s when it comes to employment offers – lighting’s scope to reduce a workplace’s carbon footprint is proving ever more relevant.

Benefits to low-energy lighting

But there are other reasons to review workspace lighting, also. Creating the right environment for office staff will lead to improved comfort and wellbeing, and increased productivity – and light levels and quality are a key part of this, especially if work is screen-based. In the retail environment, the right lighting can improve flow through a store and drive sales, in manufacturing it’s essential for quality checking, while in the hospitality sector the practical needs of the staff and creating a wow-factor for customers should both be considered within a new lighting scheme.

Aside from the energy-saving nature of the lighting itself, and its optimal layout, the addition of intelligent controls – designed to personalise the lighting levels at workstations, adapt to changing natural light levels, or make energy savings by switching lights off when the space is empty – can also help your investment in a new low-energy lighting scheme support business objectives more fully. In addition, smart functionality enables the collection of energy use and space utilisation data, to inform facility management decisions.

Maximising cost savings with quality lighting

While many organisations will look at the capital outlay as a marker of financial shrewdness, it pays dividends to also review the energy savings, and consider the lifecycle costing, also. Get this right, and it might be that the initial expenditure to be exceeded by the benefits over time, which include lower energy usage and improved productivity.

However, there must also be consideration for the quality of the lighting being installed. Lower-cost LED lighting may seem like a great investment, with its shorter payback period, but when you drill down into the ramifications of making this choice, it looks less appealing. With older forms of lighting – halogen, fluorescent, even incandescent bulbs – it was easy to switch a lamp here or replace a bulb there. With LED lighting if the chip fails, the unit needs to be replaced, and given the pace at which the market is moving, this year’s designs might not be available next year, meaning that if matching fittings are required, the whole system might need to be replaced more quickly than expected.

Warranties, too, must be given due consideration. A fitting that has a year’s payback period, and a one-year warranty, is cost neutral. It could well be that the savings made may need to be reinvested into the lighting every year, cancelling out the positive financial impact of the energy savings. However, when you consider that a product with a three-year payback period might have a 10-year warranty (which allows seven years of true savings), the financial benefit is clear. It could well be that the more expensive lighting offers better value, in line with the old wisdom ‘buy cheap, buy twice’.

To find out more about our low-energy lighting offering, and how Aura can help you drive the best possible energy and cost savings, alongside an uplift in wellbeing and productivity for staff, please get in touch. If you’d like to book an in-person visit to our lighting partner Lutron’s Experience Centre (just a five minute walk from our office) click here, or for a virtual visit please click here.

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