Lighting Trends in Commercial Construction

Did you know that electricity is the number two operating expense for most businesses and other properties? It’s probably no surprise, whether you own a business or just pay your own home utility bill. What might be a surprise, though, is that lighting alone accounts for more than 38% of total electrical usage in the average commercial building, according to OSRAM Sylvania.

Little wonder, then, that commercial construction companies are “going green.” It isn’t just environmentally friendly. It’s also very cost-efficient!

At Leon Williams Contractors, we always want to provide our East Tennessee clients with the most cost-efficient options on the markets today. That means helping developers find the best materials to use in their buildings, to not only save money up front but in the long run.

So how do you decide what the best lighting options are for your commercial construction project? Here are a few trends showing up in the industry this year, according to “TED Magazine.”

  1. LED and Induction Fixtures: This year’s LIGHTFAIR show in Philadelphia in April introduced several new sustainable LED lighting options to the market. They’re more energy-efficient than existing fluorescent lights, and they last longer, so your maintenance costs will go down as well. Induction light sources are also a good option, although they’re still relatively new to the market. Induction fixtures are similar to fluorescent, cheaper than LED, and have no internal cathodes that fail.
  2. Retrofitting: Even if you don’t have a new commercial construction project you need to do, talk to us about having retrofitting done on your existing buildings. There are a bunch of new aftermarket products available now that don’t have to be integrated into the original wiring to work. For instance, Lutron makes an Energy TriPak energy control system that works completely wirelessly, via a wall switch.
  3. Controls: Newer energy codes like ASHRAE 90.1 require controls in new construction to regulate energy efficiency. If you’re going to replace the lighting in your building, it would save time and money to go ahead and add the controls at the same time, and bring your building into compliance with such codes.
  4. Outdoor Lighting: Those high-pressure sodium lights in your parking lot suck up a lot of energy, but the great news is there are lots of new ways to cut back on costs. New white lights and controls are more energy-efficient outdoors. You can also set a control that dims your outdoor lights after hours, and brightens again if someone pulls into the parking lot at night.

“Today’s Facility Manager” found that 22% of older American facilities have never gone through any type of lighting upgrade. If you’re a developer contemplating retrofits or energy-efficient new construction, talk to us about these trends and see if any of them will work for you.

Leon Williams Contractors has spent many years building its reputation in Maryville, Knoxville, Lenoir City, and the entire East Tennessee area as a qualified and reputable commercial contractor. We welcome your comments and feedback about our blog topics.

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