2 Primary Reasons for Exterior Lighting Upgrades

    October 28, 2019

    Vice President, Midwest Region at Fairbanks Energy Services

    Many commercial and industrial organizations have been upgrading their lighting as of late. Ever notice how one night a bright parking lot seems to pop up out of nowhere?  It’s happening all over the place. While exterior lighting is often an “add-on” for an energy efficiency project, we see this type of retrofit being prioritized across industries –manufacturing facilities, office park complexes, hospital entrances, schools, college campuses and more.

    Upgrading exterior lighting is not usually at the top of a facility manager’s to-do list. That said, there are multiple reasons why organizations install new exterior lighting. Some do it for financial savings, others for energy savings, to meet local codes and regulations, and some to take advantage of tax and/or utility incentives. Many are even doing it to ‘keep up with the Jones’. 

    Those are all great reasons to upgrade exterior lighting. However, those are not the top two reasons that organizations update outside fixtures. The top two reasons facility mangers upgrade the exterior lighting is 1. Safety, and 2. Security.

    Safety and security are critical to a company’s management of their facility, including exterior spaces. Light allows employees and customers to see ice on the ground and helps surveillance cameras detect motion and movement that might otherwise go unnoticed. Light ultimately helps to protect assets and reduce liability. Security personnel should be able to scan an area with complete visibility no matter the time of day – or night.

     

    Determine whether you need new exterior lighting

    You can do a quick assessment of your own facility before getting an energy audit done that further uncovers your opportunities for new lighting or energy savings. Ask yourself:

    • Have there been any reports of employee or customer dissatisfaction with the current lighting?
    • Can security comfortably perform their job duties?
    • Could you be concerned about potential law suits (unauthorized personnel on site, ice or weather-related concerns) or security breaches based on your type of business?
    • What kind of maintenance currently goes into your exterior lighting? If the fixtures have to be changed less often, does that free up time for other facility maintenance?
    • Are the fixtures LED?

    The answers to these questions can indicate whether your lighting is sufficient or in need of an exterior lighting retrofit.

     

    Benefits to upgrading exterior lighting to LED

    Just like for interior lighting projects, utilities will cover part of exterior lighting retrofits as well. This can very state to state, but these types of projects do qualify for incentive dollars and may provide tax benefits as well.

    One of the biggest benefits to installing improved exterior lighting, besides safety and security, is that they’re funded by their own energy savings. We often hear this from customers: being able to install upgraded equipment on site that pays for itself is the best kind of improvement available to facilities, and by undertaking this improvement, they realize immediate energy and financial savings.

    We’ve worked on hundreds of energy efficiency projects so we can answer your questions about financing or the process of starting an exterior lighting upgrade – just reach out.

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