Why LED Lighting is the Right Solution for Commercial Fit-Outs
Corporate responsibility, regulation and changes in consumer attitudes are driving commercial property owners and developers to look for more sustainable ways to fit out their estates. This includes using environmentally friendly materials, energy-efficient systems and minimising waste. When it comes to sustainable lighting, the solution of choice has to be LED, here we explain why.
Sustainability not an option
As businesses will no doubt now be aware, the UK government has updated its 2050 net carbon zero emissions goal by adding a new interim target. By 2035, it now wants to reduce emissions by 78%, compared to 1990 levels. When it comes to fit-outs, this may mean businesses face increased regulation, possibly imposing similar requirements to the Ska and BREEAM standards.
Besides regulation, there is also market pressure. Consumers are increasingly concerned about a wide range of environmental issues, including climate change, the loss of natural environments, air and plastic pollution and waste. As a result, 56% of consumers now look at a company’s sustainability credentials before they commit to buying from them. What’s more, last year, over a quarter of UK consumers admitted to ditching a brand they were loyal to because of environmental concerns. Now armed with a new type of app that lets individuals see how their spending impacts the environment, consumers are empowered to choose the brands that are the greenest. Companies wanting to attract and retain this growing customer base will need to make sustainability improvements.
LEDs and sustainability
For commercial fit-outs, LEDs are the most sustainable way to light premises available today. Compared to traditional forms of lighting, they are vastly more energy-efficient. Incandescent and fluorescent bulbs, for example, waste up to 80% of the energy they consume, mainly because the poor design of the bulbs converts more energy into heat than light. Where lots of these bulbs are used, that heat can require air-conditioning to keep temperatures down, leading to even greater carbon emissions.
The design of LED bulbs, on the other hand, ensures that very little energy is wasted through heat transmission. As a result, energy consumption and carbon emissions can be reduced by up to 80% compared to incandescent bulbs, providing both environmental benefits and long-term savings in energy bills. As an example, when Carlsberg replaced fluorescent bulbs with LEDs during a fit-out of its logistics centre, power consumption was reduced by 650,000 kWh per year and CO2 emissions by around 400 tonnes.
Intelligent LED control systems
Another advantage for companies wanting to achieve net-zero emissions is the ability of LEDs to connect to and be managed by intelligent control systems that connect with daylight and motion sensors to automate the property’s lighting environment and reduce energy usage.
Daylight sensors, for instance, monitor how much natural daylight enters a space, enabling the system to intelligently adjust the brightness of individual bulbs to optimal levels while keeping energy usage to the absolute minimum required. With the use of occupancy sensors, power wastage is reduced as the system can turn lights on and off throughout the building depending on whether rooms, corridors or other spaces are in use. By reducing power consumption, the company automatically makes progress towards its net-zero targets.
Aside from environmental and cost benefits, intelligent LED systems can also bring improved outcomes in other ways. LED brightness, colour and colour temperature can be adjusted and automated to enable spaces (and even zones within spaces) to be lit for specific tasks or ambiences at different times. This gives businesses greater control and flexibility over how their spaces are used.
Other environmental benefits
LED bulbs and intelligent lighting control systems help the environment in a number of other ways. LED bulbs last far longer than any other form of luminaire, around 50,000 hours. For 9 to 5 businesses, this means a lifespan of around 17 years; vastly reducing the need to replace bulbs or carry out maintenance. As a result, the carbon footprint these activities generate is reduced, as is the number of bulbs needing to be recycled. Additionally, LEDs do not contain substances, like mercury, which can be hazardous to the environment and which are found in fluorescent bulbs.
Commercial property developers looking to achieve highly sustainable fit-outs will find that LED bulbs and control systems are the ideal choices when it comes to lighting. They are naturally more energy efficient, reduce energy consumption using intelligent controls, and need replacing far less frequently than other forms of lighting.
For more information about LED lighting, visit our Industrial and Commercial Lighting page.