Businesses urged to join the LED lighting revolution

The Climate Group launches a new campaign to convince more businesses to switch to connected LED lighting as the quickest way to cut building emissions

Businesses around the world are being urged to switch to LED lighting in a bid to cut their greenhouse gas emissions and energy bills, as part of a new campaign from The Climate Group.

Firms can realise millions of dollars in energy savings and immediately slash their climate impact by switching to connected LED lighting, the influential NGO argues, citing estimates from Signify – the company formerly known as Philips Lighting – that a global switch to LED technology could save 403 million tonnes of CO2 a year and save £94bn on energy bills.

Total annual emissions savings from LED lighting could prove equivalent to taking 265 million cars off the road.

“Improving energy efficiency belongs at the core of business strategy,” said Helen Clarkson, chief executive of The Climate Group. “Installing LED lighting immediately lowers energy costs while delivering on emissions goals. In this pivotal year for climate action, every successful, energy-smart company will make LEDs their first port of call.”

“Connected indoor LED lighting not only achieves unprecedented energy savings, it can facilitate many use cases enabled by Internet of Things,” said Derek Wright, global head of office systems and services at Signify. “Connected Lighting can do so much more enabling users to understand their space utilisation, improve performance, send high bandwidth data, help employees find spaces to work and much more. Businesses should not delay the roll-out to connected LED lighting in their buildings to ensure they take advantage of both immediate and future benefits.”


Psychology of LED lighting in retail

We often hear about the effect of retail store atmosphere on consumer decision-making. The often cited classic example is the wine store and music study; playing French music led to more French Wine sales where as playing German Music led to more German wine sales. This is a great example of research demonstrating cause and effect on consumer behaviour with statistical support to back up the claims.

Given the effect of music on store atmosphere; we can start to question what other aspects of the retail environment can be controlled to help consumers with a purchase decision? Lighting has often been thought of as task orientated and functional is now emerging as another potential variable of atmospheric influence that could shape the consumer experience.

John Flynn took the first step beyond lighting as merely a functional environmental factor and identified four attributes: bright/dim, uniform/non-uniform, central/perimeter, warm/cool light. These dimensions represented a movement beyond task performance. Lighting designers have used these attributes to get the ambiance right, for instance, non-uniform warm white lighting cast on perimeter surface areas can create a relaxed atmosphere.

For Flynn lighting was as much as an art as a science and it’s only recently that researchers have started to move towards an empiric understanding of how light makes us tick. On a fundamental level people are clearly drawn to light and so light can draw attention to products. Summers and Herbert (2001) found that more belts where picked up and touched with the addition of bright lighting than under dim display lighting. For Flynn lighting was as much as an art as a science and it’s only recently that researchers have started to move towards an empiric understanding of how light makes us tick.

We a literature scan to try and find out what the state of the research is with respect to lighting and consumer psychology and we can see this area of interest is just getting started. The majority of lighting implementations in retail design are still inferential and based around links between lighting and emotion or mood but people are starting to specifically research the direct link between lighting and retail psychology.

We did find a couple of interesting pieces of work worth talking about. First, a researcher looked at 57 clothing stores to understand if lighting played a role in evoking atmosphere and found that it was a significant factor. This might sound like an obvious conclusion but in an area lacking research, it means that other researchers have a foundation to build off. Other researchers have found that bright lights and cool colour temperature* are associated with comfort and spaciousness plus order perception. However, it looks like retailers need to be careful that they don’t go too bright as overly bright lighting can trigger anxiety and pressure in some consumers. We also need to remember these factors are highly context dependent as the preferred lighting level has been associated with the social situation in question and the type of activities, for instance, shopping, eating, socialising.

With respect to specific use cases for lighting studies, we found one particular study of note. Participants where encouraged to shop for different items and then try them in dressing rooms where the lighting direction had been manipulated. The researchers found that the lighting direction in the dressing room had a strong effect on facial shadowing and concluded that frontal lighting is generally preferred for self dressing room evaluations. For clothing retailers a consumers perspective on how the look in the dressing room has a direct impact on a purchase decision. This leaves lighting designers faced a choice between overhead and frontal lighting to opt for frontal lighting if they cannot use both.

Whilst the research of consumer psychology and lighting is only just getting going it’s an exciting time to be in this space. With the advent of ‘smart’ internet connected lighting control systems the lighting industry are certain to develop much more interest in the psychology of lighting. More robust research will help enable innovative product development to help retailers shape customer experience and optimise customer decision making.


Why offices should have LED lighting

As well as appearance, office lighting can have an impact on the way people work. Whether in an office, warehouse or retail environment, poor lighting can result in employees becoming tired and less productive.

4 key benefits of good lighting:

  1. Enhances well-being.
  2. Improves productivity.
  3. Reduces operating costs.
  4. Improves visual appearance.

Employee office wellbeing

The right office lighting is crucial. Poor lighting can have a negative impact on employee health, safety, and wellbeing. Eye strain has been reported as a leading cause of stress in the workplace. A study found 68% of office workers were concerned about the effects of the lighting on their physical health.

Business efficiency, marketing & performance expert, Andrew Jensen, said “Florescent lighting, especially, has a number of negative effects on employees, as it has been known to cause eye strain, and it is also cited as a trigger for migraine headaches. This harsh lighting also makes it more difficult for the eye to focus.”

Productivity and performance in the office

For a motivated and efficient workforce, lighting can have a major influence. Jones Lang LaSalle recently reported, “Revolutionary lighting technologies are resulting in significant gains in energy efficiency. But the biggest potential benefit from improving lighting in the workplace may be the effect it can have on productivity.” Smallbusiness.co.uk also reported a direct correlation between light levels and performance in the workplace. Referencing research, they summarise, “The right lighting can help regulate your employee’s body clock, boosting mental performance and helping your employees feel more alert and energetic. The better the light quality, the more pronounced this effect is.”

We replaced tired factory lighting at System U with new LED lighting units. In a factory environment, good lighting is imperative. The new LED light fittings are at least twice as bright, cost less than half to run and will outlast any other product available on the market. Their engineers have noticed a significant improvement.

“We have had feedback from our engineers in the workshop to say the LED lighting is a vast improvement and they are finding it much easier to work. The added bonus is that we are noticing a reduction in costs and energy consumption.”

Operating costs

We all want to keep operating costs to a minimum. How much are your office lights costing you to run? How often do you find you’re replacing light bulbs? Make a smart investment in better lighting for your office now, and save costs in the long run.

We installed LED Lights at Hambleton Primary School to replace their existing fluorescent strip lights.

“We sourced Airis Energy Solutions alongside the Green Business Fund/Carbon Trust to install a full school LED Smart Lighting system.  All our lighting was extremely outdated and was failing more frequently, at a significant cost each time.

The new lights were put in by Paul Davies, Airis’ Installation Manager, and this was a very efficient process, with all the old lighting being taken off-site afterwards.  It has siginificantly improved the appearance around school, has reduced our maintenance costs to 0, reduced our CO2 emissions and will reduce our energy consumption over time.

There is no capital outlay and the cost of the scheme is funded in part by a Carbon Trust Grant and the balance of the energy savings made.”

Visual appearance

Many interior designers are now turning to LED lighting in homes and businesses around the world. When carefully deployed, lighting can transform a room. There are many LED light fittings now available, to offer a nice stylish finish to any home or office environment.

LED lights provide brighter, natural quality lighting which lasts longer and helps reduce office overheads. If improved light levels and light quality can improve productivity and reduce running costs, LED lighting is, without doubt, a win-win solution for businesses everywhere.

Call Airis for a free, no obligation quotation on 01253 283050. We will visit your building and recommend the best lighting solution for you.

Visit our this page for our latest case studies.

How much you really save by switching to LED lights

Will LED Lights Save Money?

The most frequently asked question in lighting solutions is, “Will LED lights save money?” The answer is that LED lights consume around £80.00 of power over a 20+ year lifespan. CFL bulbs consume in excess of £120.00 over the same period and must be replaced every 5,000 hours. This gives LED lights the edge when it comes to net savings on both energy and lifespan.

How LED light bulbs save you money

The cost saving provided by LED lighting is due to two factors:

  1. LEDs require much less electricity to power than both traditional incandescent and halogen light bulbs, and energy efficient light bulbs (CFLs).
  2. They last much longer than their incandescent, halogen and CFL equivalents.

For example, a 60W halogen light bulb would be replaced with a 9W LED. That’s a reduction of 85% in electricity consumption. The LED bulb will also last for over 20,000 hours, as opposed to 2,000 hours for the halogen – ten times longer!

What about CFL bulbs? Using the same example, a 60W halogen equivalent would be an 11W CFL bulb, so the reduction in electricity consumption from CFL to LED would be 18%. A good quality CFL should last for around 8,000 hours, which is still less than half of the LED equivalent.

Calculate the cost savings of LED light bulbs

Now that we know why LED light bulbs are cheaper to run, we can now look at how you can calculate the amount of money you can expect to save by switching to LEDs.

The information you need to work this out is:

1. The wattage of your current light bulbs and spotlights.
2. The average length of time each light bulb is in use for per day.
3. Your current electricity rate per kilowatt hour (kWh, kW-h or kW h). The UK average at the time of writing is 14.71 pence p/kWh if paying by direct debit.
4. The cost of replacing each bulb with an LED equivalent.


What is LED Lighting?

LED stands for light-emitting diode which is a semiconductor light source. Originally appearing as a practical electronic component in the 1960s, they initially provided a very low-intensity light output but in recent years that has changed, LEDs can now offer an extremely bright light output and they are used in a wide range of domestic and commercial lighting. LEDs provide many advantages over traditional incandescent light sources including low energy consumption, much longer life, improved physical robustness when used in the right way (heat management and power using the correct power supply or driver), smaller size, and faster turn-on times. LED lighting also emits no UV, is flicker free and generally runs much cooler than traditional lighting.

LED lighting can be supplied with a single colour light output or colour changing light, usually referred to as RGB which stands for Red Green Blue, as it is a mix of these 3 primary light colours, which generates the vast range of colours you can generate from RGB LED lighting products such as strip lighting and panels. The single colour products, most commonly supplied in White light outputs can be supplied in various types of white. The most common white LED lighting colours are Warm White, which as the name suggests is a more traditional warm yellow light, Cool White which is a very Ice White and Daylight White which sits in between the Cool and Warm white options. Other common single colour LED lighting is Red, Green, and Blue but modern LED lighting is available across the visible, ultraviolet and infrared wavelengths.

The lighting industry is currently going through big changes thanks to LED lighting technology which has now come into its own. LED lighting is now the preferred choice of lighting for customers looking to save money in the medium to long term thanks to its reduced energy consumption and for commercial clients a reduction in maintenance costs. The market is becoming saturated with a vast selection of LED lighting products from suppliers across the globe so it makes sense to buy led lighting from a company with industry experience, that can offer the right balance of quality and price. As with all products, not all LED lighting is manufactured to the same quality level.