Making The Most Of Your Capital Budget

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Capital budgeting is the planning process used to determine whether an organization’s long term investments such as new machinery, replacement of machinery, new plants, new products, and research development projects are worth the funding of cash through the firm’s capitalization structure.

How To Prioritize Projects

Capital budgeting is a difficult task for any business. Prioritizing projects is challenging and an upgrade could benefit any part of a building structure.  If you own a large building, it’s crucial to have adequate lighting for the safety, aesthetic and efficiency of your building. When it comes to prioritizing your next upgrade consider lighting as one of your options.

When To Start Planning

Planning can start when you feel comfortable with your budget and have a good idea of what you want the results to be. Once you have selected an area you wish to upgrade you can set a price point, look at contractors and look at different materials needed for your project.

Evaluating Quotes

When evaluating quotes, keep in mind that these are just estimates and can be too low or too high. Be cautious of quotes that seem too high or too low. Saving money is always great, but cutting corners to save costs could result in fees to fix the mistakes later on. Have a good idea of what the price should be at so you don’t get overcharged.

Choosing The Right Contractor

When it comes to choosing a contractor, you want to make sure they have a good reputation and customer reviews. You want to select someone easy to communicate with and who is open with you throughout the process.  It’s also essential to choose a contractor who has expertise working in the area you are trying to upgrade.

Relumination is committed to reducing overhead costs, saving electricity, minimizing facilities management expenses, and helping decrease environmental footprints. Consider us for your next interior or exterior lighting upgrade. Contact us to start planning for next year’s budgets.

Planning for a Simple Lighting Retrofit

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If your commercial lighting setup is old and out-of-date, consider a complete retrofit of the system. Retrofitting involves renovating the fixtures in specific premises to improve performance. When the undertaking is conducted well, you will notice better lighting input. Other potential benefits include reduced long-term energy costs, lower light pollution and Eco-friendliness. Here are essential guidelines for planning for your lighting retrofit.

Evaluate the Specific Needs

It is important to evaluate the required lighting output in your commercial premises. In simple terms, optimal lighting should provide sufficient and comfortable illumination. Therefore, during your retrofit, consider checking out your building and determining if there is enough lighting for optimal comfort. The best level of lighting will depend on the current and future use of individual spaces. If there are areas which are too dark, plan for increasing the overall lighting input. Some areas might be too bright for comfort. In this case, it is advisable to reduce light intensity or bulb temperature.

Consider Energy Waste

You should evaluate energy usage in your commercial spaces and identify potential sources of waste. It is not uncommon for businesses to spend more on electricity due to poor lighting decisions. Therefore, conduct an audit of your lighting setup. One of the common problems that result in energy wastage is poor choice of bulbs. Avoid older fixtures which use a lot of power and emit heat. You can reduce your total costs significantly by installing energy-saving options like LED.

Prepare a Budget

Lighting retrofits can be a little costly, depending on the scale of work. However, proper planning can reduce the burden on your business. When preparing for the project, you should determine if you are eligible for rebates, grants or tax incentives. These are established to encourage more businesses to opt for better lighting and reduce energy wastage. Take advantage of these benefits to minimize your expenses. It is also important to shop for suitable lighting products and understand the implication of the purchases.

Choose an Expert

Retrofitting your entire commercial lighting setup will require significant level of skills and experience. The renovation cannot be considered effective if you only replace your bulbs. Therefore, you will need to engage a specialist for the project. Choose a contractor capable of providing best value at a reasonable price. In addition, consider the level of service that they can provide. An ideal retro-fitter should provide comprehensive help, including conducting energy audits, handling photometric analysis and handling rebate research.

If you would like to learn more about improving your commercial lighting, contact us.

Top 3 Reasons to Upgrade Your Lighting

Business owners and building managers alike have been waging a war against lower-efficiency facility lighting for generations. Now, with LED lighting more accessible and affordable than ever, facility managers are faced with the question not only of replacing their out-of-date lighting systems, but the question of why they haven’t pulled the trigger on the energy-saving solution yet. With cost-saving effects, lower rates of failure and therefore lower maintenance costs, and better working conditions, business owners are going to want to strongly consider upgrading to energy-efficient LED lighting sooner rather than later.

Save Money on Utility Bills

It’s a well-known fact that LED light bulbs use considerably less energy than their fluorescent counterparts. These energy savings, when spread over an entire facility’s lighting system, could save thousands of dollars over the course of a year. Not only do these lamps save on the utility bill, but utility companies offer rebates simply for switching to LED systems. Business owners would be wise to consider these utility rebates in addition to energy bill savings.

Lower Rate of Failure

Not only do LED lights offer the obvious energy-efficient savings on utility bills, but they also offer energy efficient savings in terms of lower maintenance costs and labor requirements. LED lights last on average, years longer than traditional lighting and therefore present fewer needs for maintenance, replacement, and quality-control measures.

High Quality Lighting Equals Good Working Conditions

Lighting conditions and quality of work go hand-in-hand when it comes to commercial facilities. Business owners and building managers are wise to consider the best and most energy-efficient lighting solutions possible in order to provide safe and productive working conditions for their team. LED lights provide quiet, consistent lighting solutions, allowing employees to focus on the task at hand.

Overall, the energy-efficient benefits of LED have long outweighed their traditional lighting predecessors. So, as a business owner or building manager, the next question isn’t whether to make the switch but rather when is the best time? Contact us to make the switch today!

Choosing Quality LED Fixtures for Your Business

As with many business decisions, selecting the best LED fixtures for your business requires a careful weighing of cost against quality, value, and functionality. The wealth of choices and options available can seem overwhelming, and the decision hard to make without expertise in lighting. Here are some suggestions for examining your options.

How to Evaluate LED Fixtures

What should you look for when selecting LED fixtures? Keeping the lights on is, of course, essential, and is a significant cost of running your business, so you’ll want to know how to evaluate available options. Some aspects of LED fixtures to consider include:

  • Maintenance – LED fixtures have a dramatically longer lifespan than traditional incandescent or fluorescent lighting, at up to 250,000 hours. They also do not require ballasts, so you will see savings in the frequency of replacing bulbs as well as in not having to replace worn out ballasts. In addition, because LED lighting doesn’t “burn out” in the traditional sense, you won’t see sudden outages, but can schedule bulb replacement more flexibly.
  • Energy Consumption & Efficiency – It’s no secret that LED fixtures consume far less energy than traditional lighting. Understanding comparative energy consumption of traditional versus LED lighting can clarify potential savings.
  • Lighting Controls – Integrated lighting controls can be a key driver in lowering lighting expenses with features such as automated dimming and daylight and activity sensors. Lighting controls can provide substantial additional value in safety, ambience, and in employee and customer satisfaction.
  • Environmental Considerations – Do you have special environmental considerations for LED lighting? These could include high- or low-temperature spaces, indoor or outdoor settings, or moisture exposure. LED lighting, for example, is not cold-sensitive as fluorescent lighting can be.

What to Look for in Quality LED Fixtures

When you’re evaluating LED lighting solutions, here are some important specifications to note.

  • Lumens per Watt – Lumens measure how bright a bulb is, while watts show the power consumption of a bulb.  The measure of lumens per watt, indicates how efficient a bulb is.    Lumens per watt will vary depending on how a bulb makes light (incandescent, fluorescent, LED, etc.), the quality of materials used to make it, and how much energy is wasted as heat rather than light output. With traditional lighting, more watts = brighter light, so more electricity is needed to create brighter light. With LED lighting, the correlation is less direct. As an example, a 100w incandescent bulb has an efficiency of 16 lumens per watt, a 26w CFL bulb rates 61 lumens per watt, and a 22w LED bulb is most efficient at 73 lumens per watt.
  • Warranty – As with any smart business decision, be sure to consider warranties on parts and labor so you’re not left in the lurch if a problem arises.
  • L70 (LED Lifetime) Ratings – With traditional lighting, bulbs either emit light or don’t (they burn out). LED lighting will very slowly decrease in brightness over time. In general, it’s best to replace LED lighting when it has lost 30% of its brightness — that is, when it’s producing 70% of its original lumens. That 70% level is the L70 rating of an LED bulb.  For example, an LED bulb with an L70 or LED Lifetime rating of 50,000 hours means that it can be on for a minimum of 50,000 hours before it will have lost 30% of its brightness.
  • Correlated Color Temperature (CCT) – The visual temperature of lighting, measured in Kelvins,  indicates where the color of the light falls between cool, bluish-white and warm, golden light. Bright, cool light will generally be better suited to a warehouse or outdoor situation while warmer light will usually work best in a restaurant, hotel, or office.  Areas within a facility may also require different temperatures of light.
  • Motion Sensors – Motion sensors allow you to automate whether lights are on, and even how bright they are, depending on activity. You may want to have lighting that comes on automatically when someone enters a conference room or a particular warehouse area, for example. Because LED lighting doesn’t require warm-up time to come to full brightness, lights can come on quickly, as needed.
  • Dimming – Dimmable fixtures can be very useful in situations where constant light is needed but only active areas require the brightest light. Automatic and even manual dimming can dramatically reduce lighting costs by lowering usage in unneeded spaces.
  • Advanced Controls – various capabilities of a lighting control systems including, but not limited to, daylight harvesting, scheduling, task tuning, energy usage reporting, humidity/temperature monitoring. Advanced controls allow a broad or granular bird’s eye view allowing more specific controls for needs of the space.
  • Type of Fixture – The types of LED lighting fixtures available are nearly endless, and can be chosen and mounted to suit any need and environmental considerations. High bay lights can illuminate large warehouse areas, linear lighting can work well in aisles, troffer lights are common in offices and schools.

How to Compare Competitor Products

With so many options to consider when evaluating LED lighting choices, you will need to compare options carefully.

  • Credibility and Experience – Are the fixtures produced by a company with experience in the field and a solid reputation?
  • Value – The upfront cost should not be your only consideration. Cheaper LED lighting will often fail to achieve its stated L70 rating.
  • Up to Date – If you want to take advantage of the latest advances in integrated lighting control and automation, you’ll need to select compatible products.
  • Compliance – The Federal Energy Management Program has efficiency requirements for some commercial and industrial LED lighting. Other regulations may also be applicable. Ensure your lighting and contractor are knowledgeable and in compliance with such requirements.

The experienced team at Relumination is ready to help you choose the best LED lighting for your business, and apply our years of expertise and high standard of service from needs analysis through project completion, service, and support. Contact us today to see how we can work together for a brighter future for your business.

Reasons to Upgrade Facility Lighting

As a decision maker, you know that every decision you make for your business requires a thoughtful consideration of the costs and benefits involved. Here we will show that not only is a retrofit eco-friendly, safe, and cost effective in the long term, it is a great way to present a bright, clean, and contemporary look to everyone who enters your space.

Retrofitting will Save You Money

While the upfront cost of a retrofit may seem overwhelming, in the long term you will keep more of the profits you make because your overhead (lighting) will cost less. A cost benefit analysis of switching from fluorescent lighting to LED was done at Southwestern Oklahoma State University. They found that switching to LED would save them over $930,000 cumulatively over the course of 10 years.  The analysis shows that the savings in energy costs far outweighs the higher expense of the fixtures themselves. They also note that because LED generates far less heat, during warmer months and in warmer climates the cost of cooling is lowered.

Retrofitting Makes Your Space Safer

LED is solid state, which means there are no harmful gases to worry about. And because they are constructed from plastic, they won’t shatter into sharp shards of glass. And as previously stated they produce very little heat, so handling them after use will not burn bare skin. In addition, the light produced by LED is easier on the eyes and creates less lighting fatigue than fluorescent lights. As noted in the SWOSU analysis, this is due to their low emission of infrared light and zero emission of ultraviolet light.  All this adds up to a safer environment for your employees and customers.

Retrofitting is Better for the Environment

Less electricity used means less fossil fuels burned which means less carbon emissions. We all want to lower our carbon footprint and slow the rate of global climate change. While retrofitting your lighting may not be the most drastic green action you can make, it is among the lowest cost-of-entry steps you can take into a more carbon-neutral footprint.

Modern Fixtures for a Modern World

LEDs are bright, rich in color variety and send a message that your business is forward-thinking and environmentally conscious. When someone steps into your space, they should feel welcomed and safe. Bright, warm lighting is an excellent way to make your business more inviting. Cooler lights show a product’s true colors when on display. There are attractive solutions available for every need and purpose your business has.  And a well lit space makes people feel safer; they can see who they are with, what they are doing, and where they are more clearly.

In short, LED lighting technology is an easy win for everyone.

For more information on how to retrofit the lighting in your business contact us.


A Commercial Retrofit Is a Long Term Investment; Plan Carefully

Since most high-quality LED fixtures are rated for 250,000 hours or 20+ years of continuous 24 hour use, building owners considering a commercial lighting retrofit should realize that they are investing for the long-term.  A properly done LED retrofit requiring minimal or no maintenance will stay in place more than a decade.  Rather than relying only on the initial cost of fixtures and installation to evaluate return on investment, owners and managers should calculate the cost of ownership over the entire life of the project.

Of course, payback periods differ depending on what you are retrofitting.  For instance, changing from incandescent lighting to LED fixtures can result in a payback period less than a year.  On the other hand, retrofitting fluorescent tube fixtures with LED tubes takes a two-year payback while switching from fluorescent fixtures to LED tubes may provide a three-year payback.  Rebates and other incentives can lessen these payback periods.

Likewise, the quality of the site visit, the proposed layout, installation and customer service plan are more significant for LED retrofits than for metal halide or fluorescent retrofits requiring maintenance every 2-3 years.  While an LED retrofit doesn’t last forever, it comes close and deserves the extra care.

Considering LED’s longevity, it’s important to identify the right LED product for the project, such as LED color which varies from a very bright blue suitable for parking lots to a medium blue for an office setting and perhaps a warmer range for break areas.

Although return on investment accelerates when companies capitalize on funding opportunities, the funding process is often complex with many requirements including submitting the correct form at the right time and specific inspection criteria.  Choosing a company experienced in working with utilities and other funding agencies, really streamlines the funding process.  In addition, utilities often require that a participating contractor be in the loop to obtain funding for a building retrofit.

To optimize the return on a commercial lighting retrofit, building owners and managers should work with a partner who stays up-to-date with the latest advances in LED products and who is proficient in sourcing rebates. We’d like to share our expertise with you.  Please contact us for more information.


Reduce your Carbon Footprint with LED Lighting

With this winter’s extreme weather, it’s becoming more and more clear that we have to act fast to address the issue of climate change. As a business owner, you’re in a very special position when it comes to reducing your carbon footprint. Not only can this help save the environment, it will also save you money.

Here are some ways investing in LED lighting can help you reduce your carbon footprint and your business expenses:

LED lighting is 50-90% more efficient than conventional bulbs: LED lights use half as much to as little as only a tenth of the amount of energy that conventional lighting uses. This translates directly to a 50-90% saving on your energy expenditures. Not only is this a huge amount of money that very quickly allows your investment to pay for itself, less power needs to be generated for the same amount of lighting, resulting in lowered carbon emissions.

LED lighting lasts up to 15x longer than conventional lighting: How annoying is it when a light bulbs burns out? Not only are you paying for the time to fix it, but also for the tools/equipment need to fix it or the down time for the area that it may affect. LED lights last up to 250,000 hours – that’s 15x longer than the average HID bulb or fluorescent lamp. That’s 250,000 hours, 342 months, 20+ years that you can go without having to worry about lighting maintenance. By removing old technology and replacing with LED, this directly translates to lower carbon emissions not to mention better light, improve productivity and incredible energy savings.

LED lights turn on and off instantly: Unlike older technologies like HID or fluorescent, LED lights are instant on/off. With LED we no longer have any long warm-up or cool-down times. Nor do we need our HVAC to work as hard as it once was with these older technologies because LED does not emit any heat. We also now have the ability to implement more advanced lighting controls to not only maximize energy savings, but also to ensure the facility is running at optimal levels.

No matter what size your business is, improving your energy savings is a great investment, both in your company’s competitiveness and in the environment. Contact us today for a free estimate.

The Security Benefits of LED Lighting

The shorter days of fall and winter increase the hours of darkness around parking lots, schools, and outdoor public and business facilities. This darkness provides cover for criminal activities that would otherwise be difficult to conduct in broad daylight. Now is the time to improve your security lighting. Before defaulting to decades old lighting technologies, such as sodium or metal halide lamps, consider the benefits of new technology developments such as LED lighting.

Quality of Light

Unlike sodium lamps, which emit an orange-yellow light, LEDs provide a high quality white light that accurately renders colors. Sodium lamps were considered highly energy-efficient back in the 1980s and 1990s. However, LEDs far surpass them in efficiency today. On the other hand, metal halide lamps provide a nearly white light, but are less efficient than even sodium lamps.

Distribution of Light

Both sodium and metal halide lamps are inefficient in another sense because they are multi-directional lights. This means they waste a lot of light that’s directed away from the target area. While LED is unidirectional and therefore directs their full lighting capacity at the target area. This is one reason LED lighting appears brighter.

This brighter and higher quality light makes criminal activity more visible and acts as a better deterrent. Another benefit is that video surveillance systems would capture higher quality imagery of trespassers. This greatly facilitates the efforts of authorities in identifying the perpetrators.

Ability to Control

LEDs require no warm up time, which makes them ideal for use with motion sensors. When motion is detected, the LED light turns on instantly to full brightness. Timers will keep the light on for a preset delay period after motion is no longer sensed. This feature further reduces the energy consumption of this already efficient light. The sudden illumination also serves to startle any trespassers and draw the attention of people nearby.

Want to improve your security lighting and save money on increased energy efficiency? If so, then contact us for more information.

Time to Be “Smart” About Lighting Solutions

In the past several decades, the lighting industry has come a long way, going from incandescent and fluorescent lights to HIDs and LEDs. The 21st century has brought us a new approach to lighting – smart operation.

The power of smart lighting solutions is hard to underestimate. They allow you to save time, money, and effort while taking care of the environment.

IoT and Lighting

IoT (Internet of Things) is a network of devices that collect data from integrated sensors. Then special software processes the data to offer automated solutions to the users.

What does all that have to do with lighting?

1. Smart Light Switches

These switches work as regular switches do, but you can also control them remotely. Meaning, you can turn lights off and on whenever you are not in the building by using an app on your smartphone. You can also set up a schedule according to which the lights will go on throughout the day.

Coupled with motion sensors, these light switches can turn on and off when someone enters or leaves a facility.

2. Smart Bulbs

A smart dimmable bulb can dim without you having to install a dimmer switch. You can control the dimming remotely through an app.

Some of these bulbs can also change color and even play music. We’ll tell you why this seemingly useless feature may be important for a commercial facility later in the article.

Why Should You Consider Smart Lighting Solutions?

Changing a light bulb seems easier and cheaper than investing in an IoT-enabled lighting source. However, with time, you can see an impressive ROI.

  • Heightened Security – the ability to manipulate lights remotely can help you ward unwanted guests off your property. This is when the music-playing feature can come in handy.
  • Lower energy bills – remote operation and scheduling options allow you to reduce energy bills tremendously. An LED energy-star certified smart bulb consumes up to 90% less energy than a regular light bulb.
  • Saved money  LED smart lights can work up to 50,000 hours while an average light bulb can’t last longer than 2,000 hours.
  • Impressive convenience – the ability to control when and how your lights work remotely is highly convenient. For example, you can reduce the chances of workplace accidents by regulating the bulb’s brightness at the right time.

Lighting systems are a perfect tool for reaping key benefits of the IoT progress. They are already integrated all over any facility, be it a warehouse or a department store. When fitted with the right equipment, they can collect the necessary information and offer numerous benefits.

Stay on Top of the Latest Technologies with Smart Lighting Solutions

Millions of property owners have made the first steps to making their buildings smart by installing smart lighting solutions. In a few years, the trend is likely to turn into a standard.

Contact us today for more information about smart lighting solutions.

Enhance Security and Visibility When You Improve Your Parking Garage Lighting

How many times have you parked your vehicle in a parking garage and noticed that some of the fluorescent light bulbs were burned out? You not only noticed that the parking garage was dimly lit, but you realized it created a major security risk for anyone else who parked their vehicle in the parking garage. No one wants to be attacked and robbed in any location, but especially in a dimly lit parking garage.

This type of attack should alert everyone to all the risks and dangers surrounding poorly lit areas. While you may not have been in a position like this before, you may know someone you have or you may have seen a news story on an incident that took place. Have you noticed a difference between a poorly lit parking garage and one that has LED lighting? The difference is outstanding and can be quite dramatic.

Parking garages and parking lots can be complex environments to properly light. The majority of parking garages and parking lots will operate on a 24-hour basis. As a result of the parking garages and parking lots operating for an extensive period of time, the lighting in those areas will be exposed to some very harsh weather environments, along with some harsh environments in terms of vehicle traffic and foot traffic. Parking garages and parking lots should provide proper lighting so safety and visibility can be maintained at all times.

Thankfully, there is a better way to provide better lighting that will result in low energy consumption and low repair and maintenance costs. LED lighting continues to advance as the years go by, and the lighting provides a variety of benefits that many people and businesses may not be aware of. LED lighting can reduce maintenance costs significantly because LED lights can last up to 85,000 hours. LED lighting also has the ability to operate successfully in cold environments and hot environments.

When you improve the lighting in your parking garage and parking lot, you will be able to see your security cameras clearer than you have before because the lighting has been improved. Everyone who enters your parking garage or parking lot will feel safer when they enter your garage or parking lot.

For more information on how you can improve your parking garage lighting with LEDs, please do not hesitate to contact us today.