6 ways retailers can save money with modern lighting solutions

If retailers can find new lighting solutions to save money on their energy bills, they’re not the only ones who will benefit. Using less energy is obviously also good news for the planet, with sustainability sure to be at the top of our list of priorities in the coming years. This win-win situation makes it well worth taking a few minutes of your time to read this quick money-saving guide.  

  1. Make the move to LED

We’ve been banging this drum for a while now, for good reason. LEDs are a cost-effective solution for retailers who are looking to illuminate their stores and car parks efficiently. While LEDs are good for the bottom line, the savings you make won’t compromise the quality of lighting. A 10-watt LED, for example, can be as bright as a 100-watt incandescent bulb, sometimes brighter.

It’s true that the price of a LED module and luminaire is usually more than that of a traditional halogen or fluorescent bulb, but that’s only half the story. LEDs are up to 80 percent more energy-efficient than traditional incandescent lamps and 65 percent more efficient than halogen lamps, enabling you to save big money on those spiralling energy bills.

Better still, LEDs work out considerably cheaper for your business in the long run since they have a much longer lifespan. LEDs can shine for anything from 50,000 to 100,000 hours. This goes way further than the lifespan of traditional lighting sources which are predicted to fail somewhere between 1,000 and 30,000 hours. By switching to LED, retailers can cut their costs by more than 75 percent over a 25-year period.

  1. Let nature play its part

Not all buildings in your business will benefit from natural daylight, but many will. When it’s sunny outside and light is flooding into your store, the need for bright illumination inside diminishes.

The majority of supermarkets, for example, don’t currently try to adapt to natural lighting levels at all. Whatever the time of the day or the season, the lights are dazzling away, consuming valuable energy unnecessarily. They have ‘a one size fits all seasons’ approach to their lighting and are not taking advantage of the opportunity to save energy and money. This opportunity comes in the form of the modern range of dimmers and sensors that give you much more control with your lighting than you’re used to.

Lighting accounts for around 20% of the energy costs of an average supermarket and that figure highlights the savings that could be made with a bit of thoughtful planning.

  1. Plug into the Internet of things

The introduction of the Internet of Things (IoT) is opening up exciting new possibilities to programme workplace lighting and make significant electricity savings by dimming the lights when appropriate. Using this technology, lighting can change subtly throughout the day to match natural sunlight and to complement our human circadian rhythm. The consistently changing nature of the lights has the potential to save retailers thousands.

Take motion sensors, for example. How annoying is it when employees forget to switch the lights off before leaving work? (We know from our own experiences how easily it’s done.) The simple, and relatively inexpensive, solution to this problem is motion sensors. So, when the last person leaves a designated area, the lights will automatically go out too.

  1. Follow the strategy of marginal gains

The theory of marginal gains was made famous by the ultra-successful GB cycling supremo, Dave Brailsford. He believed that if you strived for even the tiniest improvements in every aspect of a discipline, then they will all add up to make a significant difference. As a retailer, by focusing on a series of easily actionable measures, you’ll be surprised at how simple actions can cut your electricity bills.

Involve the staff and make it a team effort. Each individual can play a significant role in helping to reduce wastage with little effort on their part. Introduce energy-efficient best practices into your store without compromising your customer service or safety standards. Even things as simple as putting stickers above light switches can serve as a reminder to turn lights off in areas like stock rooms, offices, corridors and stairwells when they’re not being used.

  1. Regular maintenance more than pays for itself

While it might seem counter-intuitive to try and save money by spending it, investing in regular maintenance for your lighting systems has been proven to be good for the bottom line.

Of course, the remote monitoring that is now a feature of modern lighting solutions will reduce the need for the intensive maintenance support that has been traditionally required. That means all you’ll really need to worry about now are the basics such as making sure the timers are set to match trading hours, especially after the clocks have gone forward or back, replacing faulty fittings and keeping those motion sensors clean.

  1. Follow the leaders

Whatever size your business is, you can pick up some useful tips on saving money on your electricity bills by following the example of some of the leading lights in the retail industry.

Sainsbury’s, for example, are showing what can be done. 90% of Sainsbury’s real estate, including stores and distribution centres have already made the switch to LED. They began their LED programme in 2013 and they’re now looking into the retrofit of old LED technology with new. Upgrading its lighting alone is expected to cut Sainsbury’s total energy use by 58%. Primark is also looking to cut energy costs by fitting more LED luminaires in stores.

Currys, which has 300 stores across the UK, is another retailer looking to make changes to reduce the amount it pays on electricity. Among other measures, it will be switching off every other ceiling light within its stores as well as switching to LEDs as quickly as possible.

If you’d like to find out how the experts at Phi Lighting could help your retail business save money on your lighting, just get in touch with a member of our friendly team today.