Lighting your workplace for less
A good lighting system can improve efficiency, accuracy, safety and comfort – and cut your lighting energy costs.
Whether you’re in small office, large commercial building, or in an industrial site – any business can benefit from switching out their lights to more efficient LEDs, and introducing systems to help them run more efficiently.
Reasons to switch to LEDs
Upgrading to LED lighting can deliver around 40% to 70% reduction in energy use, and around 60% to 90% in combination with lighting controls.
Energy savings are directly related to cost savings – so switching to LEDS alone can save you up to 70% in lighting costs.
Longer lasting lights save on replacement costs - so the most efficient lighting is almost always the least expensive when you account for it over its lifespan.
LEDs come in dozens of shapes and sizes to suit business environments – including spots, tubes and floodlights.
LEDs are extremely durable, and can withstand shock, vibration and temperature change. They are made with sturdy components that break less easily than other lights.
If you have older fittings, such as T8 fluorescents, metal halide lamps or low voltage halogens, it can be an easy job to replace them with LEDs.
Compare common lighting options
LEDs are vastly more efficient, and longer lasting, than other common lighting options.
- LED lights – these last around 25,000 – 30,000 hours – so need to be replaced much less often than other bulbs.
- Incandescent bulbs – these bulbs use 85% more energy than LEDs. They also typically only last around 1000-2000 hours.
- Fluorescent tubes – these use 40-70% more energy than LEDs. They also only last around 8,000 – 12,000 hours.
Annual running costs of different lights
For a 2000m2 office building paying $0.15/kWh
- 1,500 $
High efficiency LEDs
- 6,000 $
Standard fluorescent bulbs
Get a lighting audit done
A lighting expert can assess your needs and recommend energy efficient lighting designs and lamps that are suitable for your site/office. Request a cost-benefit analysis of each option, including details about the return on your investment and ongoing maintenance costs.
Use natural light to your advantage
Great lighting design makes the most of natural daylight – while avoiding glare and overheating from the sun. Here’s how to welcome sunlight into your workplace:
Reduce glare by avoiding glossy finishes for walls, ceilings and furniture. Choose light fittings that diffuse light and fit windows with adjustable curtains or blinds.
Choose light colours for walls and ceilings. This maximises reflected light so you get more out of daylight – and it’s more pleasant to work in too.
If you have skylights, clean them, or replace translucent with clear glass to increase natural light.
Add in controls
Find the right lighting level
Making spaces brighter than they need to be is a waste of energy. Finding the right level of lighting is also important for comfort, and safety of staff – particularly if they are working during the night.
Measure your light levels
You can get a rough indication of light levels from a phone app. Or hire a quality lux meter for more accuracy – especially if you’re assessing stairwells or where machinery is used. They cost about $100 a day.
Take measurements at four or five different points in each space when there’s no natural light – it might be a night-time job.
Temperature and CRI
Colour temperature and colour rendering index (CRI) are scales for the type of light a lamp produces. Different types suit different work environments. They affect the safety, comfort and alertness of staff, so ask a lighting expert for advice.