FES View: Making Smart Energy Easy

Gabriela Anez-Lobon
By Gabriela Anez-Lobon on March 03, 2020

Commercial LED Lighting: Boosting Bottom Lines for Retail Businesses

Retail business owners face a silent bandit that's stealing their profits – inefficient commercial lights. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that retail buildings consume $20 billion in energy each year, most of which is attributed to lighting.

Depending on the quantity and types of commercial lighting installed, business owners often waste thousands of dollars each year. These are precious operating funds that can be better invested in other areas.

Does Commercial LED Lighting Make Sense for Your Business?

FES recently created an energy savings calculator to help business owners project the benefits they can receive by switching to LED lighting. Retail businesses typically save between 60-80% on energy costs when they upgrade.

In addition to reducing operating expenses, LED lighting delivers numerous other benefits. LED lights are not only better quality; they're also non-toxic, reduce carbon footprints, and render more vibrant color. Because LED uses less energy, it's also better for the environment.

Older lighting technology, such as high-pressure sodium or metal halide, requires substantially more energy to produce the same amount of light that a commercial LED lighting system needs.

For example: If you own a retail plaza that has one hundred poles with 1,000W Metal halide bulbs, and your neighboring competitor has an identical property that uses commercial LED lights, their poles only require 200W to produce the same lighting levels or better. That means they're spending 80% less on their energy costs than you are.

If you’re concerned with business profitability, LED lighting is an easy solution.

3 Obstacles that Prevent Business Owners from Upgrading to LED

If LED lighting makes so much sense, why hasn't everyone upgraded? We find that there are three main challenges and misconceptions which often stand in the way of lighting retrofits.

  • Obstacle 1: The biggest obstacle that prevents business owners from making the switch to LED lighting is often the upfront cost. When you consider buying new fixtures, hiring an installation provider, and ongoing maintenance - the price adds up quickly. A commercial LED lighting system for a retail plaza can cost anywhere from $200,000 and above.
  • Obstacle 2: The second biggest obstacle is time. Business owners wear many different hats and simply don't have the bandwidth to organize a complete lighting upgrade. It can be overwhelming to assess the different types of technology and fixtures. Not to mention trying to find the best partner to handle the installation. Ultimately, facilitating these efforts can prove too cumbersome to manage, causing you to give up before even trying.
  • Obstacle 3: The third biggest obstacle is prioritization. When you're the captain of a ship, you have a lot of factors vying for your attention. Traditionally, the focus goes to generating profits, keeping customers happy and dealing with daily issues. It's not surprising that lighting rarely makes it to the top of the list.

Learn how to overcome these obstacles in this guide: Everything You Need to Know About LED Lighting for Your Business.

guide to commercial led lighting


Lighting-as-a-Service: Commercial LED Lighting at Zero Capital Cost

Lighting-as-a-Service (LaaS) is an emerging model that enables businesses to switch to commercial LED lighting at no capital cost. As opposed to investing funds upfront for your new lighting system, a Lighting-as-a-Service provider will foot the initial costs of your upgrade. This allows you to start saving money as soon as the new lights turn on, and apply a portion of your savings to your LaaS solution.

LaaS providers often add value in other ways. Future Energy Solutions, for instance, provides 15-years of free maintenance to all of our lighting-as-a-service customers. We've financed over $80M in lighting upgrades for hundreds of business owners across the country.

This innovative solution can empower your businesses to make smarter investments, create healthier workspaces, and implement more sustainable business practices.

If you're ready for your power bills to stop breaking the bank, check out our energy savings calculator. It's a free tool we created to help you project how much a commercial LED lighting system can save your business.



Published by Gabriela Anez-Lobon March 3, 2020
Gabriela Anez-Lobon