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Commercial Lighting Retrofits Part V: Exterior Lighting Retrofits

Posted by CLS Admin on December 02, 2013


At CLS Facility Services, we talk with building owners and managers every day. In the course of our conversations, we find that many owners and managers view lighting retrofits as primarily interior projects. Exterior retrofits, it turns out, are often overlooked.

We think that, in many respects, things should actually be reversed.

For proof, consider the primary interior lighting requirements at an office facility: traditionally, they’re Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Meanwhile, the primary exterior lighting requirements at that same office are Monday through Sunday, from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Exterior lighting is a seven-day, 11-hour proposition, while interior lighting is primarily five days, and 10 hours per day.

While the energy savings of an interior retrofit are significant, exterior lighting retrofits offer big energy savings as well, given the increased usage and importance of exterior lighting.  Accordingly, converting Metal Halide and High-Pressure Sodium technologies to LED and induction solutions offers superb benefits:

  • Energy savings ranging from 30-80%;
  • Significant improvement in the output, spread, forward through, and color uniformity of light;
  • Large maintenance savings, as LED and induction lighting offers 5-10 times the lifespan of HIDs. To put this in perspective, think about how much your company spends each year to bring in a lift to change out a handful of parking lot fixtures; the numbers add up quickly;
  • Increased security and safety due to more powerful lighting output.

Once again, utility rebates can play a large role in helping to offset the cost of exterior lighting retrofit projects. While many states no longer offer interior T8 retrofits, most utility companies offer more in-depth rebate opportunities for LED and exterior lighting projects.

Many companies may pursue exterior lighting retrofits to garner energy and maintenance savings;
yet the hidden benefit is the impressive aesthetic improvements that result from upgrading your exterior lighting.

We’d like to offer a few pointers when planning an exterior lighting retrofit project at your facility
or facilities:

  • Consider photo cells, which save energy by only illuminating light fixtures during
    dark conditions;
  • Pursue technologies with extended life spans and strong manufacturer warranties;
  • Retrofit all exterior lighting. Wall packs, flag lights, and ground-mounted fixtures consume loads of energy;
  • Pursue utility rebate opportunities to help offset the cost of these projects.

In our last installment on lighting retrofits, we’ll look beyond energy savings and offer perspective on the broad range of benefits that these projects offer.

Until then, please call us at 800-548-3542 to learn more about commercial lighting retrofits and national lighting services.


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