After a building has realized the cost benefits of retrocommissioning and other low-cost energy strategies, what’s next? For many, the answer is to retrofit lighting systems. A recent Jones Lang LaSalle report notes that lighting accounts for up to 40 percent of total energy use at some office buildings. And the cost to upgrade lighting systems is less than the utility cost savings gained over just a few years’ time.
The benefits go beyond operational savings: Green buildings tend to see higher rents and occupancy rates than other buildings. Part of the reason may be that prospective tenants view features like lighting control systems as evidence that the building is keeping pace with new technologies.
As more owners undertake lighting retrofits, many learn that an integrated strategy is the best way to go. Lighting systems include lamps, ballasts, luminaries and controls, often from different suppliers, and may be installed by a contractor who is unaffiliated with any of the suppliers. If something does not work correctly, pinpointing the source of the problem can be very difficult. And if everything works but the anticipated energy savings do not come through, pinpointing the problem may be nearly impossible. Savvy owners are realizing that a coordinated solution from one supplier offers the greatest level of certainty that the system will perform as promised.