These days, it’s important for small businesses to stand out from the competition and create a setting that will give their customers confidence in dealing with them. One easy way to do that is to improve outdoor lighting around your business.
Well-designed outdoor lighting makes a property more attractive and inviting and enhances customers’ and employees’ comfort and security.
But exterior lighting costs can quickly add up. Exterior lighting and street/parking lot lighting are fixtures that are generally on for a good part of the working day and are left on overnight when a business is not open. This lighting is often required to be designed to provide good illumination, clear visibility at the same time not be too disruptive to the community in which the business operates.
These challenges lead many businesses to work with their local utility to find options for installing functional, attractive lighting fixtures that won’t cost a fortune to operate. It is these challenges precisely why more and more utilities are recommending, and offering incentives, for businesses to upgrade their lighting to LED technology.
Exterior LEDs for small businesses make smart sense for many reasons, but most businesses do not need much more convincing after hearing about the four reasons below:
For many businesses, lighting is on around the clock â€“ whether the company is operating or not â€“ and because of this energy bills can quickly add up.
Many small businesses report seeing a reduction in energy costs in upwards of about 65% in just the first year after upgrading lighting to LED. While the significant reduction in energy costs is always attractive for small businesses, it’s still the upfront investment costs that detract some businesses from even looking into an upgrade. Many businesses don’t realize that their utility probably has an incentive program that can reduce the installation costs by up to 70% and with specially designed financing programs, businesses can pay off the investment in a matter of months without a change to their bottom line.
What maintenance? LED technology is made to last 20-25 times longer than traditional lighting. So while LED lights may cost more upfront, they last much longer than traditional bulbs which means businesses aren’t paying for more bulbs over the years and the costs to change those bulbs. For exterior lighting this often involves renting special equipment to reach tall poll lighting. Once an LED fixture is installed it will stay there, working perfectly normal, for years not months.
Exterior lighting for parking lots and alley ways, in its nature, is supposed to be bright, but traditional exterior lighting, if not installed properly, can create glare and shadows making safety a greater concern. The photo below shows before and after pictures of exterior spaces lit with traditional lighting vs LED lighting. LEDs provide greater illumination with less light, so exterior areas are lit better, employees and patrons feel safer, making a business more attractive to customers.
- Good Neighbor
Lighting for safety and security can face some tricky challenges, especially for small businesses often located in residential neighborhoods. Traditional fixtures use much more energy because the light is not directed in the place it needs to be. With LED lighting, only specific areas are lit, directing light to those areas that need it and not to the areas that don’t, i.e. the sky. With traditional light fixtures, at least 30 percent of the light coming out of the fixture is totally wasted. It is light going up to brighten the sky, and light coming out at nearly horizontal angles. Such light only causes glare and light trespass, doing nothing to light up the owner’s property, but doing a lot to offend neighbors. This wasted light is doing nothing to provide security, safety, or utility at night.
For small businesses looking to save money and become more competitive in today’s market, operating costs are the one line item that owners have the most control over. Investing in efficiency measures, especially lighting, can make the biggest impact on a business’ bottom line. To find out more about energy saving solutions for small businesses, visit our page on comprehensive measures.