warehouse lighting2

Commercial Energy Efficient Lighting: Saving IRL’s Warehouse Thousands in Electricity Bills

Businesses across the UK can save thousands in electricity bills if they switch to energy efficient lighting. Typical commercial lighting is outdated and inefficient, causing offices and warehouses to waste thousands of pounds each year. New intelligent commercial energy efficient lighting schemes cut electricity usage by up to 80%, save on maintenance costs, reduce carbon footprints, and create a safer, better working environment.

About IRL: A Leading Industrial Flooring Company

The IRL Group are award winning experts in epoxy resin flooring systems and applications techniques. Comprehensively certified, IRL provide industrial flooring, painting, and roofing to numerous sectors across the UK, from airports and railways, to shopping centres and factories, to military bases and hospitals. 

Based in Leicestershire, IRL have been repeatedly recognised by the Industry’s Resin Floor Association (FeRFA) for their outstanding quality of work and training, and continue to expand to uphold their sterling reputation with every new job they perform. 

The Challenge: Improving IRL’s Commercial Lighting Setup

Large commercial and industrial properties cost thousands of pounds each year to light - in fact, according to the Carbon Trust, up to 40% of a building’s electricity use is accounted for by lighting. Warehouses in particular need to be lit properly for ease of navigation and health and safety requirements, yet due to old-fashioned inefficient lamps and light fixtures, it is cheaper and easier to leave lights on at full brightness permanently than to switch them on and off, but this still wastes huge amounts of energy and money.

In this sense, IRL’s warehouse and office lighting didn’t differ from the typical commercial lighting setup. Employees would come in in the morning, switch on all of the lights, and leave them on for the rest of the day. The lights would be on in every area of the warehouse, even in places where employees rarely went into.

This needed to be overhauled completely. To do this, we needed to conduct a thorough assessment of IRL’s lighting setup to calculate their current spending on electricity to devise a personalised new lighting scheme that would suit IRL and receive ratification by the Carbon Trust. This scheme would also set out the savings and ROI IRL would gain from investing in the new lighting.

The lights, light fittings, and lighting controls would all need replacing as part of the new scheme as traditional lamps only give around 20,000 hours of light, old fittings often consume extra energy and are badly positioned, and a lack of controls to automate the lighting inside of the warehouse according to levels of daylight and variable occupancy rates also wastes energy.

This would mean rewiring the warehouse to relocate lights to provide more efficient and effective illumination, installing new lamps and fittings, and relocating and fitting new lighting controls. It would also be essential that all of this work was completed alongside a functioning warehouse and office without disrupting the IRL employees in their day to day work.

The Solution: An Energy Saving Scheme for IRL’s Warehouse and Offices

Commercial properties have high energy usage rates due to their nature of operations, yet this energy usage is exacerbated by inefficient lighting schemes. Unlike old-fashioned wasteful lights and fittings, modern energy saving lighting solutions use efficient light sources, intelligent control systems, and efficient fittings to cut commercial energy use, improve the quality of the light, and save thousands of pounds each year.

To create a new energy efficient lighting scheme for the IRL Group, we performed a comprehensive assessment to calculate their current lighting running costs and to analyse how the lighting setup of IRL’s warehouse could be improved. This included counting the number of light fittings, and asking IRL for their operational hours and days throughout an average working year, and for their current spend per unit on electricity. Added together, these factors calculated the annual cost of their lighting installation. 

Working with this information, we then went on to design a new, optimally efficient lighting scheme to save IRL on their electricity costs. This involved taking dimensions of the building and deducing occupancy rates in the different areas of the premises. A personalised lighting scheme was then developed, which then was approved by IRL and the Carbon Trust, allowing for us to go ahead with installing their new energy saving commercial lighting scheme.

Firstly, we rewired the commercial premises so that the new lighting was more strategically positioned to provide better coverage throughout the warehouse. This would make the best use of the new fittings and lighting that we would then go on to install.

The old inefficient lights were replaced with energy efficient lamps, each with up to 80,000 hours of life. These brighter, more reliable lamps improved light quality, and unlike the old fashioned lights, the new energy efficient lamps have intelligent fittings that switch off the lamp if it’s defective, meaning that when there is a problem with the lamp or it begins to die, there is no longer the issue of flickering lamps giving low level light and still wasting energy.

We also installed lighting controls for different areas. As many areas of the warehouse were deemed to have low occupancy rates that did not require permanent lighting - such as the kitchen, with only 30% occupancy - we decided that occupancy and absence detection sensors would be an ideal way of controlling the lighting levels here. These sensors would mean that lights would not be left on 100% of the time in areas that only had low occupancy. In some areas of the warehouse, there were rarely used storage aisles, so occupancy sensors were fitted here that would light up said aisles if someone walked past the detector to access an aisle, and keep the lights on for however long the employee was there for, but then switch the lights off once they leave. 

Daylight dimming functions would also be installed in areas where natural light was significant during the day, meaning that lights would automatically dim or switch off when then daylight increased, but consistently ensure the correct lighting levels are provided. Vast amounts of energy are saved with these various solutions. 

The Results: The New Commercial Energy Efficient Lighting Scheme Saves Thousands for IRL

The results of IRL’s new commercial energy efficient lighting scheme have been huge. Before the lights were changed, IRL was spending £2527.59 a year on lighting alone. With the new energy saving lighting, fittings, and controls, IRL’s annual lighting cost was reduced to £403.13 - saving the company £2124.46 each year.

IRL will also save on maintenance costs on top of their annual electricity bills. As the lifespan of modern energy saving lighting is so drastically long, previous maintenance costs such as hiring lifts to change expired lamps can now be nearly eliminated. Disposal costs and control is also now virtually eliminated as an issue, as the new lamps last between 50,000 and 100,000 hours.

As well as saving money, IRL have received a commercial lighting scheme that provides much better quality light with increased reliability. This has not only improved the working environment, but will also improve the safety of the warehouse and aid with tasks that involve issues such as colour recognition, as the brighter lighting and better coverage will help employees to see more clearly.

IRL has achieved a huge saving and improvement to their lighting and reduced their carbon footprint thanks to our commercial energy efficient lighting scheme, and we can provide the same and even greater savings to companies with larger commercial premises and longer working hours. There are many funding options for businesses interested in saving energy, including government funded tax schemes such as the Enhanced Capital Allowances (ECA).

Thanks to our professional and experienced team, the installation of IRL’s new lighting scheme was finished on time and with little disruption to the IRL employees. We are confident in our workmanship, so our work comes with a twelve month warranty. We also notify all customers when their retest date comes around, for which we give a five year period.