Retrofitting your facility with automated lighting capabilities is one of the first measures companies undertake when attempting to reduce energy use. On the surface, automated lighting is easy, requires little downtime and produces immediate results. Unfortunately, problems can still arise, and Facilities Managers may not be leveraging the benefits of automated lighting to their fullest potential. To avoid these risks, Facilities Managers need to understand if automated lighting is cost-effective, how to reduce its expenses and a few steps for determining if it is an appropriate investment.
Is Automated Lighting Really Cost-Effective?
As explained by IoT For All, automated lighting is a type of automated demand response system that leverages information from sensors to change system controls. More simply, it comes on when someone is nearby. However, automating lighting can be much more complicated than using only motion sensors. Depending on the time of year, lighting systems may result in added expenses, which are caused by increased costs of electricity during summer months. The same pattern exists each day. As the day comes closer to the peak usage hours, energy increases result in higher energy costs. Ultimately, the lights could be still functioning when they are not necessarily needed, which will send your energy bills skyrocketing.
Automated Lighting Is an Easy, and Maybe Even Free, Way to Make Improvements
Let’s not mince facts. Automated lighting does save money. It eliminates the costs associated with lights left on unnecessarily. Furthermore, lighting systems are readily accessible, meaning retrofitting lighting systems with smart technology is often easier than changes made to more technical systems, such as the HVAC unit. Of course, some risk for disruption to guest and occupant environments exists, but lighting upgrades take less time to complete than other improvements. Depending on your location and type of the facility, ENERGY STAR-incentive programs may exist. For example, schools could apply for a green award for energy efficiency improvements based on asset type and prior years’ reimbursements. Since this varies widely by location and facility type, the best place to start is with the ENERGY STAR website.
How to Determine Whether Automated Lighting Systems Are a Worthy, High-Priority Investment
Deciding on investing in automated lighting systems is both simple and complex. Yes, you need an automated lighting system. However, you need a smart, automated lighting system. As explained by Buildings.com, intelligent automated systems must include the ability to integrate with all existing building systems and utilize a common user interface. They should use technology and strategies to add long-term value, including improved occupant comfort and increased productivity. Ultimately, the issue boils down to a single question; what happens when the light switches left on at night during vacancy hours in your facility? If the answer is nothing, it is time to invest.
Know How Automated Systems Will Affect Your Bottom Line With a Connected System and Experienced Servicer
Start with an easy-to-deploy change in operations, such as automated lighting, to begin your energy and facilities management overhaul. While risks may still exist, Facilities Managers can drive them into retreat through data. Find out how by contacting ENTOUCH online or calling 1-800-820-3511 today.