The U.S. Department of Energy reports that lighting accounts for nearly 40 percent of all electrical use in U.S. commercial buildings. Small businesses invest a great deal of money in lighting each year. As a small business owner, not only do you invest in lighting fixtures and bulbs, but you must also pay those pesky energy bills to keep things lit up in the office. That puts a serious dent in potential profits.
But did you know that the right lighting also improves health, boosts productivity, incites creativity, and enhances mood? What if you could do all these things and still cut costs on your energy bill each month? By maximizing your lighting usage for optimal impact, you can do just that. Here are a few ways optimize lighting in your small business.
Take Advantage of Natural Lighting
Aside from the health benefits of exposure to natural lighting, natural light is a mood enhancer, is linked to boosting creativity, improves job performance, and, perhaps the biggest bonus of all, it’s free.
Small businesses can take greater advantage of natural lighting by moving work stations closer to windows for greater exposure, installing skylights (tubular skylights deliver impressive lighting results), and avoiding window dressings that inhibit natural light from shining through.
Consider LED Lighting
Fluorescent lights have been the standby in businesses for decades, despite the fact that many workers find them depressing and utterly artificial in appearance. LED (light-emitting diode) bulbs are more energy efficient, provide brighter light, and are more aesthetically pleasing than traditional fluorescent lights in your workspace. LED bulbs are also available in many different varieties to make switching even easier.
Avoid Wasteful Lighting Practices
With lighting occupying such a large percentage of your energy budget, it’s wise to look for new ways to make it less costly and more efficient.Energy Efficiency Pays recommends occupancy sensors that turn lights on and off depending on the occupancy of the room. These are especially effective for break rooms or conference rooms that aren’t used long term. While they aren’t the ideal solution for all areas of the business, they are an excellent choice for restrooms, storage closets, copy rooms, private offices, and copy rooms where lights are not necessary at all times and leaving them on is a common, wasteful problem.
Another great way to reduce wasteful lighting includes photo-sensors for exterior lighting. The lights turn on and off according to how dark it is. Finally, consider daylight controls that limit adjust the output of lighting by adjusting the brightness of the light according to preset levels.
Small changes you make in lighting affect many aspects of your business. From costs to mood, and even employee efficiency, lighting has a massive impact on your bottom line. Keep these great tips in mind as you come up with a plan to optimize lighting for your business.