Simply defined, smart lighting is lighting technology designed for energy efficiency. This can include everything from the light bulbs to light fixtures, to switches or electronic controls that adjust lighting automatically.
When systems fail or equipment breaks, there are often far-reaching implications. For a manufacturer, it could mean that a production line is shut down. A restaurant may not be able to prepare food. Or a senior living center may have to make provision for patients that are sensitive to temperature swings.
Businesses are frequently on the receiving end of solicitations for services sold by one party and delivered by another. One example is lighting contractors .
Triple net leases are often used by property owners. This type of lease specifies that the tenant is responsible for maintenance and that the owner of the property is responsible for capital improvements. This sounds like a reasonable approach to take, so what could go wrong?
Over the past 40 years, our team of commercial electrical technicians has worked with apartment complexes of all sizes and conditions. We have encountered situations where maintenance staff has spent four hours trying to diagnose and repair a non-operational HVAV unit, without any success.
Some of the greatest lessons are learned through the experience of other people. As commercial electrical contractors , we have heard some horror stories about contractor encounters gone bad. Based on some of the stories that our clients have shared with us, developed the following set of questions you might want to ask before hiring your next contractor:
For many businesses, ‘operating efficiency’ is a goal that the company is continuously chasing. Many times, the focus is increasing employee productivity and output so that a significant impact can be made on the bottom line. Many businesses are unaware of or overlook utility expense reduction to boost the bottom line. Electricity costs are seen as an ongoing expense and something that must be paid for a business to function. However, there are many optimization strategies that can be implemented to significantly lower your electricity bill each month.
Consider the following scenario: A vicious ice storm is looming. Jim’s boss Cindy says she can’t afford downtime from an extended power outage and tasks Jim with finding a solution. Armed with the Internet, Jim searches for a rental generator . The closest generator he finds is 4 hours away and even if he could pick it up, he can’t find an electrician to help hook it up.
While Jim had managed the facility for years, backup power was never a priority for the previous owners. The plant was already operating at maximum capacity, so they couldn’t make up for lost time with additional shifts. Regardless of what happens with this storm, Jim knows he needs a better plan to deal with any type of future power outage.
Jim’s situation is very common. Many businesses think of backup power as an all-or-nothing scenario. Permanently installed generators are cost prohibitive so they settle for nothing instead. Today, facility managers and building owners have more choices, providing them with the reassurance of having backup power at a fraction of the cost.
At this point most everyone we visit with is well aware of energy saving components of LED lighting. As the costs and efficiency of the bulbs and fixtures themselves continue to improve, the length of time for a facility to recoup the investment in lighting has gotten shorter. Still, the investment level for many facilities is still quite a significant upfront investment.
While there are companies who are willing to step in and finance the lighting retrofit to LED, there are certainly additional costs to be considered any time capital is borrowed. Borrowing money to finance lighting projects simply isn’t an option for all businesses, for those companies which it makes sense, there are no shortage of lighting companies available to provide this funding source.
Many of our Oklahoma clients who have decided to make the investment in high efficiency LED lighting have shared with us how they wished they had done it much sooner. The timing from one business to the next will vary and has to fit in with the overall business plan, but there are other benefits to capture than just the energy savings.
According to ENERGY STAR®, 35% of an average building’s electricity is consumed by lighting. Many types of lighting used before the modern LED fixtures also produce heat, which requires offsetting air conditioning during peak summer hours. We have seen many of our Oklahoma City area commercial clients invest in high efficiency LED lighting saving them time, energy, and money.
In addition to direct savings from month-to-month utility costs, the reduced costs associated with lighting maintenance can be a large savings for many large commercial or industrial facilities. Warehouse lighting often requires lifts to access and time to change them, it can be a real inconvenience to address during normal working hours.
Small and medium sized businesses without dedicated maintenance staff often rely on local electrical contractors to help with their interior and exterior lighting, whether it be changing ballasts for fluorescent lighting and replacing parking lot lighting.
In addition to saving on their electricity bill and removing the pains associated with lighting maintenance, OG&E customers also have a variety of rebate incentives they can translate into some very cost effective projects with quick payback periods. In fact, these rebates can pay for as much as half of the cost of the lighting upgrades in larger commercial and industrial facilities, and as much as 80% in many small and medium business environments.
OG&E will again partner with CLEAResult in 2017 to administer the rebates, working with local contractors and local distributors to perform the lighting retrofits.