Lighting can represent upwards of 40 percent of an organization’s electrical operating costs. Lighting can affect the productivity and mood of employees and patrons, as well as the atmosphere of the environment. Advanced lighting solutions, including high-efficiency LED lighting, lighting controls, occupancy sensors, dimmers, LED cooler lighting, and vending machine controls, represent long-term solutions to increase savings, maximize business operations, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

High-efficiency LED lighting

Light emitting diodes (LEDs) are the most environmentally friendly, versatile, longest-lasting, and energy efficient lighting products on the market. LEDs come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and can be used in hundreds of applications. The LED lighting market is expected to grow 45 percent every year through 2020, becoming a 63.1 billion industry and capturing 80 percent of the entire lighting market. LED lighting retrofits are one of the simplest and fastest ways to reduce energy costs, typically with a return on investment in under two years.

Businesses typically save up to 30 percent when retrofitting to LEDs from fluorescents. Savings may be greater when retrofitting from incandescent.

Additional advantages of LEDs include:

  • Not sensitive to low or high temperatures
  • Not sensitive to humidity
  • Turn on instantly
  • High durability

Lighting controls

Lighting control systems are a smart lighting network that allows each individual light bulb or lamp to communicate with each other to maximize energy savings. These systems automatically turn lighting systems on or off, depending on building occupancy levels, time of day, and more. Lighting controls, including occupancy sensors, timeclocks, and photocells, are hard-wired into the system, which are all controlled from single or multiple user-interface devices.

Occupancy sensors

Occupancy sensors, or vacancy sensors, use sensors to determine if a room or space is being occupied. If unoccupied, the sensor will turn off the lights in the space automatically. Occupancy sensors detect a presence based on PIR, ultrasonic, and dual-technology sensors, which can be mounted in various locations, including ceilings, walls, high-walls, corners, and workstations. Occupancy sensors are one of the most effective ways of reducing energy costs, offering savings ranging between 13-90 percent, depending on the location and room type.

LED cooler lighting

LED cooler lighting improves the light quality of food and beverage product display cases, increasing impulse purchases. LED cooler lighting emits considerably less heat than older technology, which reduces the amount of load on the refrigeration compressors. The less the refrigeration compressors need to work, the more energy is saved. On average, LED cooler lights can save up to 70 percent compared to fluorescent lighting.

Vending machine controls

Vending machine controls, or vending misers, are a type of occupancy sensor that connects to the controller on a vending machine. The device is mounted on the wall near the machine and senses foot traffic. If no traffic passes the area after a set period (e.g., after close of business), the miser will power down the vending machine. Once traffic resumes, the miser powers the machine again. For vending machines that do not require refrigeration, a vending miser can save up to 50% annually.

Other lighting controls may include:

  • Dimmers
  • Exterior photo eyes