Retail and Office facilities often have long hours as well, with as much as 16 to 20 hours a day. They as well offer one of the best return on investments for lighting retrofits. Until a few years ago, if you needed to light an office or a retail store you only had a few choices: T-12 fluorescent or 90w halogen floods. These have been the main types of lighting used in these facilities for decades. With such long hours, bulbs and ballasts have to be constantly changed since the average life of a bulb is from 10,000 hours for fluorescents and 2,000 hours for typical floods. This results in huge maintenance costs as the owner is constantly buying bulbs and ballasts and having to pay someone to change them out.
In this economy, facility managers are constantly watching operating costs and in most cases report directly to the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) or COO (Chief Operating Officer.) With products being imported at rates lower than ever, businesses all over the US have to watch their operating costs closely.
Lighting is considered necessary and sometimes overlooked or just accepted as a non-negotiable expense. What we actually pay for is “Energy” not ”light”. For example, if you have two light sources and both use the same amount of electricity but one puts out significantly more light than the other, your two bills would be identical. Meaning, even though one is giving you a lot less light than the other, you are still using the same amount of electricity, in turn you would be paying the same amount.
This is the case in most facilities whose lighting system is 10-15 years old. Lighting wanes over time, meaning in the first year your fixtures will put out more light than in their 10th year. However, as the lights depreciate over time, you keep spending the same amount in electricity or even more each year as the fixtures become more and more inefficient.
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