Lighting is a critical component of every office. Depending on the type of business you operate, lighting accounts for 20% to 50% of electricity consumption. This means that significant cost savings can be achieved with energy-efficiency improvements. Due to continually improving equipment, lighting usually provides the highest return-on-investment of major upgrades.
What can you do about it?
Change out your T12 fluorescent tube lamps.
Changing out your tube lamps to T8 or T5 fluorescent or tubular LEDs are a great low-cost solution to reduce your office's electric bills and save energy. These types of lamps offer improved efficiency, higher intensity, and potentially longer life due to reduced degradation in light output over time. These lighting systems are constantly increasing in flexibility and are now applicable to a variety of task and accent lighting applications, as well as general lighting of larger spaces.
Install occupancy sensors and/or daylighting controls.
Occupancy or motion sensors are devices that turn lights and other equipment on or off in response to the presence (or absence) of people in a defined area. Some sensors also control lighting based on the amount of daylight available in their coverage area.
Use dimmable lights and switches.
Where possible, consider using dimmable LED or compact fluorescent bulbs. Some compact fluorescent and LED bulbs can be used with dimmer switches, which you can check on the bulb packaging.
Add task lighting.
Provide “task” lighting (over desks, conference rooms, craft tables, etc.) so that work activities can be done without illuminating entire rooms.
Choose lighter colors.
The reflectance of interior surfaces has an important bearing on lighting efficiency. Choose lighter colors for walls, ceilings, floors, and furniture. Dark colors absorb light and require higher lamp wattage for a given level of illumination. Light-colored surfaces should be kept clean to keep reflectance levels high.
Upgrade exit signs to energy efficient models.
Exit signs are an excellent, low-cost, low-labor opportunity to increase the energy efficiency and safety of your facility. Replacing incandescent exit signs that operate at about 40 watts per sign with an ENERGY STAR-qualified exit sign can increase the energy efficiency of your exit signs by 3 to 8 times!