Green Lighting Options For Your Business

The lighting in your business plays a major role in attracting customers and keeping your employees productive, but it can also put a major strain on the environment. New green lighting technologies give you more options for commercial lighting systems. Understanding what's available and the best way to apply the options can save you money and lessen your business's environmental impact:

Lighting Options

Standard incandescent and halogen lights aren't very energy efficient or cost effective. Fortunately, these options aren't widely used in commercial settings. The best options for businesses that are also environmentally friendly are:

  • Compact fluorescent lights (CFL)

  • LED

  • T8 fluorescent tubes

  • Reduced wattage high-intensity discharge lamps (HID)

Use compact fluorescent lights anywhere that you would normally use a regular incandescent. In most businesses, these have few applications.

LED lighting technology is still in its infancy, but you can replace old incandescent-style exit, open and advertising signs with LED versions for improved efficiency.

In large offices, retail spaces, or warehouses, where fluorescent lights provide lighting for large areas, switch to T8 fluorescents. Make sure the tubes are Energy Star rated to ensure the best efficiency. The ballasts, or lighting fixtures, should also be updated to newer energy star fixtures to ensure they use the least amount of energy possible.

HID lights are primarily used in warehouse settings or in businesses where high ceilings prevent fluorescent lights from providing enough light intensity. HID lights are also used in outdoor security lights and for accent lighting, such as when used to spotlight a product display. Reduced wattage metal halide HID spotlights use less energy, so you can use these to replace the standard HID lights in your business.

The Power of the Sun

Lighting a business for 24 hours a day is both expensive and it puts a strain on natural resources. Instead, use the process of "daylighting" to take advantage of available sunlight. This can be as simple as opening shades and lowering the electric light levels inside.

For a new build or remodel, consider adding skylights to allow more outdoor light in. You can also install a light sensitive lighting system, which will automatically dim the lights depending on how much sunlight the sensors detect. Using natural light to supplement your indoor lighting can lower your usage substantially.

Your contractor can keep you informed of the newest energy efficient lighting options that will work well for your business. A few changes now can have a big impact later.