Energy usage is a big expense for businesses, so looking for energy efficiencies is often a high priority. 

Lighting can account for a significant portion of energy consumption for many commercial buildings, but it is often something that gets overlooked. 

If you haven’t assessed your energy usage recently, you might not be aware of the various ways lighting is impacting your energy usage or the things you could be doing to improve this. 

The building

The size, layout and style of your commercial building can affect how lighting impacts your energy consumption. 

If your building doesn’t have many windows, has high ceilings, is facing a certain direction, or has lots of separate rooms or walls, these are all factors that can affect how much natural light gets into the building. 

If your building isn’t designed in a way that optimises use of natural light or directs it into the right spaces, it can result in your business using more artificial lighting, which bumps up energy consumption. 

To maximise natural lighting there are a number of measures you can take, from installing skylights to optimising the lighting layout. This is something to consider if you are wanting to make some energy saving upgrades or refurbishments.  

When planning the lighting design of your commercial building, you should always aim to embrace natural light as much as possible. 

Use of artificial lighting

For some, it could be the layout of the building that results in a reliance on artificial lighting, but it could also be an automatic action that your staff just aren’t thinking about. It is only natural to want as much light as possible, which can mean turning on a light before you even check if it’s needed. 

Lighting often impacts energy consumption so significantly, simply due to being left on for long periods of time. 

Businesses can make a number of lighting efficiencies without having to make a large financial investment or redesigning the lighting system. This can be done simply by turning off lights when not needed, or even removing excess lamps. However, installing automatic lighting or timer controls could be a good investment so you don’t have to worry about reminding staff to switch the lights off.  

Type of lighting

Businesses can gain significant energy savings by replacing the type of lighting used, as many of the more traditional bulbs are not the most efficient options. They produce heat as well as light, which wastes more energy. 

Switching to more efficient alternatives, such as LED lights, can help reduce energy bills as they use less energy than regular lighting. 

LED lights also emit less CO2 compared to halogens or fluorescent lights, and can last up to 25 times as long, which means less maintenance is required to change them over. 

The type of lighting you use can also be affecting your energy consumption in ways that you never realised. The heat generated from halogen lighting can impact the efficiency of your air conditioning system, which could cause you to increase your usage of this source of energy as well. 

Looking at the ways in which lighting is impacting the energy consumption of your business can help you make decisions to save you money and lower your overall energy usage.