When you’re ready to upgrade to LED lights for your business, it’s important to create a rollout plan and timeline that minimizes disruption to your employees and customers. Upgrading to LED lights is an effective way for small businesses to reduce operating expenses and increase profitability, but an improperly timed rollout can cause unnecessary downtime and stress.
5 Steps to Upgrade to LED Lights
Here’s how to upgrade to LED lights and stick to business as usual (only brighter!).
LED Light Upgrade Step 1 - Conduct a quick energy audit to identify your needs.
According to ENERGY STAR, businesses just like yours are spending $60 billion annually on energy. Before starting your upgrade project, it can be helpful to get a sense of your current energy costs - both monthly utility bills and hard costs like replacement bulbs and new fixtures. An energy audit can help you identify your current costs and opportunities for savings.
You can conduct an audit on your own, or bring in a partner to help you uncover all the hidden energy savings across your business. During the audit process, you will:
- Gather facts about your current energy costs.
- Review these findings to discover potential savings.
- Measure potential cost savings.
- Create a plan to achieve these savings.
With your energy audit in hand, you’re ready to look more closely at each area of your business to determine the right lighting upgrades to make.
LED Light Upgrade Step 2 - Take inventory of all the lights your business uses.
This sounds like a huge task, but it’s important to get a feel for the types of lights you need and areas you’ll be lighting. Task lighting is very different from wide-beam lighting used warehouses and parking structures, for example.
It can be helpful to walk through each physical space in your business and take note of the current types of lighting being used:
- Ambient lighting: Also called general lighting, this is the lighting used to illuminate large spaces and provide visibility to move safely through the space.
- Accent lighting: Accent lighting creates a focal point and draws attention to a specific area. In a retail space, this could be lighting a specific display table. In a restaurant, it could be lighting a piece of artwork or an intimate seating area.
- Task lighting: Task lighting is meant to direct light toward a specific task. This could mean lighting a specific workspace for an employee or providing brighter light at a cash register.
You should also note what types of lighting would be beneficial to add. If you notice shadows in a warehouse space, for example, it’s a good idea to eliminate these with a different type of bulb that casts a wider beam or by adding another fixture.
LED Light Upgrade Step 3 - Determine if LED lights are right for your business.
It used to be that LED lights were limited to specific fixtures and uses. That’s no longer the case, and more than 60% of businesses have already upgraded to LED. Business owners see dramatic cost savings, revenue growth, health benefits and risk mitigation benefits as a result of upgrading.
When you’re considering if LED lights are right for your business, ask yourself these questions:
- Would reducing operating expenses, especially energy costs, increase profitability?
- Are there multiple types of commercial lights and fixtures across your physical locations?
- Do customers visit your location (retail, restaurants, schools, etc.)?
- Is your parking structure well lit for customers and employees?
- Are sustainability and corporate social responsibility key initiatives for your business?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, LED lighting could be the upgrade you’re looking for. Typically, LED lights are the top choice for businesses who are ready to upgrade.
LED lights are becoming the most popular type of commercial lighting because of how universal they are. LED lights are available in a wide range of lamp styles and fixtures. This means you can implement energy saving LED lights across your physical location while still providing all 3 types of lighting: ambient, accent and task.
To see how LED lights can be used by specific industries such as retail, restaurants, education and government buildings, read this Guide to Commercial LED Lighting.
LED Light Upgrade Step 4 - Review your LED upgrade options.
Now that you’re ready to make the switch to LED lights and start saving, it’s time to decide how you’ll upgrade. You can purchase all new fixtures and bulbs for every area of your business outright, but this can be extremely expensive. Not to mention the job of selecting the right fixtures and maintaining them will also fall on you.
Many businesses choose to lease commercial LED lights because they can instantly realize all the cost-saving benefits of these lights. Many of these upgrades also qualify for grants and incentive programs that make the switch even more affordable.
Lighting-as-a-Service (LaaS) allows businesses to upgrade with zero capital investment and no interruption to their business. The LaaS provider covers all upfront costs to upgrade, including the design, manufacturing and installations. Partnering with an LaaS provider could save you 70% or more on your annual energy costs.
Find out if working with a LaaS partner is the best option for your upgrade plan. Review your options in this Guide to Commercial LED Lighting.
LED Light Upgrade Step 5 - Create an installation plan.
Installing LED lights across your business is a large task. It can be complicated if you try to do it on your own, and downtime is extremely likely as you work through lighting each space one-by-one.
Working with a professional commercial lighting partner simplifies this process so you can focus on running your business. A LaaS provider will create a rollout plan that includes minimal disruption to your business and manage all the manufacturing and installation details.
An ideal LaaS partner will also cover ongoing maintenance of your lighting system, bringing downtime down to zero. Although LED lights last longer than any other type of commercial lighting, if a replacement or maintenance is needed, your partner will manage all the details.
Ready to flip the switch on your LED light upgrade? Cost savings, energy efficiency and a safer environment for your team and customers is just around the corner. Get started today.