Lighting the Way to a More Sustainable Future

In this article Debbie-Sue Farrell, Head of Wellbeing and Marketing Manager at Tamlite Lighting, explains how small changes to office lighting can make a big difference when it comes to reducing energy costs and carbon emissions.

There is no getting away from the on-going energy crisis. Rising wholesale prices, gas shortages, and energy suppliers ceasing to trade have all played a role in creating a perfect storm. Sadly, there is no end in sight with energy bills predicted to remain high for months to come.

Of course, the energy crisis is taking place against the urgent need to decarbonise the built environment. It has become clear that urgent action needs to be taken in this area, with the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warning it's 'now or never' if we want to limit global warming to 1.5C.

The built environment is a major contributor to climate change, with operational carbon emissions from all buildings making up around 17% of the UK’s total emissions. As a result, the pressure to reduce carbon emissions from buildings is growing, and the price of inaction is clear.

There has never been a better time for business owners and office managers to review their existing core building systems and implement more cost-effective measures that save energy and reduce carbon emissions as part of their wider sustainability efforts. Times have changed, time for a change?

Taking control of lighting

Lighting remains one of these most fundamental building services, yet it is here that small changes can make a big difference. The ability of LED technology to reduce energy consumption by two-thirds or more, as well as greatly increase product lifespans, is universally accepted. However, what is less understood are the actual savings that can be made and the overall ROI – in many cases, replacing outdated lighting with modern LED systems has generated savings of between 60% to 80%, and this should be seen as a key component of any decarbonisation plan.

Designing a lighting scheme with intelligent lighting control adds a level of flexibility and cost saving that is vital. We won’t reach net zero without lighting controls. For example, reducing light levels outside task areas, adding PIR sensors to ensure that lights are not used when the room is unoccupied by dimming or switching off the fittings. Daylight dimming reduces the output of the luminaires when natural light levels increase.

Companies who move in this direction can also be buoyed by the realisation that they are also helping to ensure the wellbeing of their employees by creating a healthier environment to boost alertness, productivity, and comfort. With Generation Z workers also seeking employers who can demonstrate strong environmental, social and governance (ESG) commitments, the business case for investing in cost effective lighting upgrades grows.

Retrofitting offices with modern, efficient lighting systems could be seen by many as a complex and time-consuming affair. Yet engaging with a lighting specialist who can provide expert guidance and offer a simple solution saves money and aligns with sustainability goals, all within budget.

No business can afford to pay the price of inaction when it comes to energy, and lighting is the perfect place to make positive changes.

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