In the light of recent economic events, business owners are scrambling to reduce overhead and expenses. Taking a hard look at operating expenses can give your business the runway you need to survive a financial crisis.
Converting to commercial LED lighting can save your business money overnight. The benefits of LED lighting are proven, significant, and long-lasting.
As you examine the options, focus on cost-savings, environmental benefits, and customer/employee impact of converting to a healthier and safer lighting option. Look to other companies like yours that have made the transition with remarkable results.
Can LED Lighting Save Your Business Money?
The answer is a resounding “yes” for a wide range of businesses — retail locations, restaurants, auto dealerships, hotels and schools, to name a few. These types of businesses reduce their energy expenses by 60% on average.
If you’re considering making the switch, here are 7 key steps to ensure your LED lighting upgrade is seamless.
#1 Understand the Basics and Benefits of LED Technology
First, separate facts from fiction and hype. This comprehensive free guide provides an overview of how LED lights can make a difference for your business. The many benefits — for both large multi-location businesses and single-location properties include:
- Cost savings
- Better for the environment
- Increased sales
- Happier customers and employees
- Safer work spaces
Want to understand more about the basics of LED? Grab a copy of our guide.
#2 Evaluate the Savings Potential of LED
Next, take a look at the savings potential of upgrading your current lighting system. LED lights typically use 25 to 80 percent less energy than traditional alternatives, resulting in an estimated $30 billion in energy savings by 2030.
For individual business owners, this can translate into tens of thousands of dollars in savings per year.
Begin with an assessment of how you’re currently lighting your business and what you’re spending every year. Utilize a simple calculator like this one.
#3 Get Everyone On-Board with a Lighting Upgrade
Major changes often require buy-in from multiple people in your company. If you work for a large organization, your facilities, financial, and human resources team all need to be on board with the decision. Small and mid-sized businesses should engage financial advisors and employees along the way.
If done well, a switch to LED lighting can be viewed as a major capital improvement that will benefit all stakeholders for years to come.
Your conversion plan should include how you will deploy the savings to protect and grow your business. Every dollar (or thousand dollars) you save can be repurposed for marketing, employee wages, or other major projects.
#4 Choose the Right LED Lighting Partner
This may be the most important decision you make as you evaluate your options. Unlike buying furniture or fixtures, purchasing a LED lighting system requires an in-depth understanding of wide range of options. Your provider should deliver a commitment to long-term maintenance, consulting and financial benefit analysis.
Think “beyond the bulb” and engage a supplier that is:
- Experienced — especially in your specific industry
- Customer- and service-oriented
- Willing to assume the upfront cost of an upgrade. In the Lighting-as-a-Service (LAAS) model, these costs are spread out over time allowing you to reap the financial rewards instantly.
- Efficient. You want to ensure that the installation and maintenance don’t require massive business interruptions.
#5 Ask Relevant Questions During Your Consultation
Referring back to #1, analyze how each of those core benefits apply to your own business. For example, will LED lighting enable your employees to be more productive and feel safer in parking structures and common areas? What will that mean to overall satisfaction levels and work hours? Better lighting might boost sales because your storefront and products look more appealing.
The right partner can help you assess each of these benefits, focus on those that are most important to you, and propose solutions that meet those objectives.
Many options are available today for commercial LED lighting — size, color, placement, and controls. Never hesitate to ask about alternatives and the pros and cons of each. Visit other businesses like yours that have converted to LED lighting and get a sense of which solutions apply to your own business.
Maintenance is also important, so be sure you develop a thorough understanding of the timing and process for repairs and upgrades. Some Lighting-as-a-Service providers, like FES, provide free maintenance for a fixed number of years.
#6 Develop a Realistic Plan and Timeline for Your Lighting Installation
Again, here is where choosing the right partner comes into play. Work with them on a transition plan that causes minimal disruption to your business. Use this as an opportunity to educate and engage your team members and customers along the way. The more they understand why you’re upgrading to LED lighting, the more positive they’ll feel about the decision.
#7 Analyze Cost Savings and Environmental Impact and Share the Good News
At the onset of the project, establish critical KPIs (performance indicators) with your partner and management team.
Every six months, look carefully at your energy savings and talk openly about results and opportunities for improvement. New developments in LED are ongoing as this form of lighting becomes mainstream. Keep on top of new trends and consider upgrades.
Share progress with your business stakeholders — including how you’ve applied savings to other projects. You can even use your LED initiatives as a PR opportunity. Today’s employees and customers want to know how the businesses they frequent are contributing to sustainability. New business and the ability to attract talent can be the direct benefits of a conversion to LED lighting. Close to 70 percent of consumers are willing to spend more with brands that have proven sustainability efforts.
Future-Proof Your Business with Energy-Efficient Lighting
LED lighting is no longer a nice to have option. Incandescent and fluorescent lighting will ultimately become obsolete. Business owners are no longer thinking in terms of “if” but more in terms of “when,” “how” and “who is the best partner/advisor as we take this critical step toward savings, satisfaction, and sustainability.
If your business needs to reduce costs, find out if a LED lighting upgrade can save your business money.