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Lighting Upgrades

National Commercial Lighting

Lighting represents approximately one-third of electricity use in commercial buildings. According to a Department of Energy (DOE) report entitled the “2010 U.S. Lighting Market Characterization”1 that details national energy usage from installed lamps in four sectors (residential buildings, commercial buildings, industrial buildings and outdoors), “lighting accounted for approximately 700 terawatt-hours (TWh), or roughly 19 percent of the country’s total electricity use” in 2010. But, what’s even more astonishing in relation to that figure is the fact that almost half of that energy use (349 TWh) can be attributed to the commercial sector which is dominated by fluorescent lighting.


Associated Renewable lighting upgrades and retrofits services provide a win-win situation for property owners and the environment. Generally, lighting accounts for 30% of energy use in commercial office buildings. We evaluate and audit the firm’s existing lighting systems and energy expenditures to provide a detailed description of projected ROI. The building’s occupants also benefit greatly from improved general & task lighting, optimized color rendering, and uniform visual acuity from their new lighting systems.


Lighting Infrastructure Developments

Over the last decade, there has been considerable effort in shifting commercial lighting installations from T12 to T8 and T5 fluorescent lamps, specifically within the commercial lighting sector. Additional lighting improvements allowed developments in LED (light-emitting diode) technology, which increased the efficacy of industrial and commercial lighting applications even further. LED commercial lights prove more efficient in recessed lighting than compact fluorescent bulbs since the latter wear out faster (due to trapped heat) when dimmed frequently in their recessed cans. Additionally, LEDs have become the industry’s ‘favorite child’ in the brood due to superior performance, lower wattage requirements to produce same brightness as CFLs, and higher cost savings from extended lighting lifespans. For the commercial sector, investing in LED technology has brought multiple benefits that translate into higher ROI figures, lower payback periods and reduced servicing costs.


Savings from lighting upgrades are sometimes easier to quantify when evaluating lighting upgrades such as switching from T12s to T8s, however economies realized from lighting controls that help to turn off or reduce lighting when not in use, are harder to calculate. A 2012 study on ‘Lighting Controls in Commercial Buildings’2 has established that savings from lighting controls are dependent on numerous factors including “application, site orientation and occupation, building design, interior reflectance, occupant behavior and, tuning and configuration during installation and commissioning”.


Since most commercial buildings in the U.S. are have fairly low installed capacity of lighting controls, lighting upgrades and retrofits present a huge opportunity for cost and energy usage reductions in the commercial sector. According to the study, different types of lighting controls will have different potentials for savings. For instance, “occupancy controls” will show the greatest potential when applied to organizations where occupancy varies throughout the day and “day-lighting controls” prove effective in environments with ample exposure to daylight.


Our Process

Associated Renewable’s commercial lighting team will evaluate and identify potential commercial lighting solutions and then certify that your buildings are able to incorporate these solutions easily. Depending on what choices are available our commercial lighting solutions team will quantify and propose a variety of choices to better suit your needs. For those who are in need of innovative commercial lighting solutions, our commercial lighting New York team will provide you the right commercial lighting solutions for you. We understand that one solution doesn’t fit all and therefore, customize each solution to your energy consumption needs.


1DOE says lighting is getting greener. (2012). Electrical Wholesaling, 93(2), 28.

2Williams, A., Atkinson, B., Garbesi, K., Page, E., & Rubinstein, F. (2012). Lighting Controls in Commercial Buildings. Leukos, 8(3), 161-180.



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