High Bay Fluorescent Lighting Can Save Commercial/Industrial Property Owners 50% on Utility Bills

Denver electrical contractor Allstar Electrical Services says these modern warehouse lighting systems also save on building cooling costs and qualify for utility company rebates.

Saving energy and money is a high priority in these economic times for commercial and industrial property owners, and one of the best places to start is in lighting, says Gary Stone, founder of Allstar Electrical Services.

Simply replacing traditional halogen or high intensity discharge (HID) lighting systems with modern high bay fluorescent lighting in warehouses, distribution centers, factories, parking structures and even some retail operations can save 50% and more on monthly utility bills, plus garner business owners additional savings on air conditioning and utility company rebates.

“Our commercial and industrial customers are experiencing enough savings to pay for new high bay fluorescent lighting systems in as few as four years, and the savings continue for years to come,” says Stone. “The lighting is excellent, and the heat put off by the fluorescent tubes is far less than HID, resulting in less strain on the air conditioning system in the hot summer months. These high bay fluorescent systems also qualify for energy efficient rebates from Xcel Energy and most other utility companies that can significantly reduce the up-front cost.”

Property owners with large spaces and high ceilings, like warehouses, factories and distribution centers, have traditionally selected either halogen or HID lighting to meet the demands of full illumination required in these types of operations. Old-school fluorescent tubes, with magnetic ballasts, didn’t put out enough light for high-bay situations, and they required more maintenance.

Today’s fluorescent systems, however, with electronic ballasts, offer far less maintenance, as well as increased lighting output and a much warmer light color than in years past. Stone notes that a warehouse operation with 100 HID fixtures running 24/7 will pay upwards of $25,000 a year in electric costs; switching to a high bay fluorescent system will cut those costs in half. The reason for this is that HID lighting can draw up to 460 kilowatt hours of energy per fixture, but high bay fluorescent systems use only 224 kwh per fixture.

Moreover, the metal halide fixtures in HID systems can run temperatures as high as 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas the fluorescent high bay fixture lamps run at 95 degrees Fahrenheit, he adds.

“That’s a lot of heat to dissipate in a warehouse during the summer, so obviously there is more savings on utility bills because the AC won’t have to work so hard,” says Stone. “The whole environment is also more comfortable for the workers.”

On the commercial rebate side, Xcel Energy in Colorado is offering as much as $13 to $22 per qualifying fluorescent lamp and ballast, and from $85 to $210 for the fixtures housing these tubes,” Stone notes. Such rebates, he adds, obviously vary depending on the type of lighting system required, the energy savings, and whether the application is on new construction or a retrofit. Also, most rebates require preapproval from the utility company before purchase and installation.

“Our company has done a number of these installations and we are quite adept at all of the paperwork requirements,” says Stone. “We assist the business owner in every step of the process.”

Lighting represents roughly 40 percent of the energy consumption in the commercial/industrial building sector, according to the Consortium of Energy Efficiency (CEE), a nonprofit public benefits corporation whose members include utilities, statewide and regional market transformation administrators, environmental groups, research organizations and state energy offices in the U.S. and Canada, and manufacturers.

“People everywhere, including commercial and industrial property owners, have a tendency to focus their energy efficiency efforts on heating and cooling, but lighting alone is an enormous consumer of energy,” says Stone. “Once we show building owners the analysis of energy consumption and the savings for new lighting systems, they are amazed. Looking at the CEE’s numbers, a 50% reduction in lighting energy use will knock at least 20% off a building’s total utility bills every year. That’s a lot of savings.”

Allstar Electrical Services performs electrical construction and repair, including remodeling and retrofit electrical service for homeowners, commercial clients and property management companies. Utilizing only licensed electricians, the company offers everything from small repair services and electrical maintenance, to rewiring and expanding electrical capacity and complete turn-key electrical service for new construction.

For more information on the wide array of electrical services offered through Allstar Electrical Services, including the installation of high bay fluorescent lighting systems, visit http://www.allstarelectrical.com and call 303-399-7420.

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