Cutting your energy expenses while attracting and retaining customers is a real possibility. Increased sales can be the result of upgraded store lighting using LED and CFL lamps and fixtures. Slashing your energy expenses allows you to regain your investment quickly with lower electrical costs, rebates and financing options available in many states.
How Energy-Efficient Lighting Lowers Costs and Increases Sales
Improve your bottom line by replacing costly, energy-consuming incandescent lamps and halogens with low-voltage light-emitting diode (LED) and compact fluorescent lighting (CFL) lamps and fixtures. The replacement of outdated, inefficient technologies offers these advantages:
- Energy savings releases funds that can be used for improvements throughout the store.
- Customer comfort is increased, store ambiance is enhanced and the shopping experience is improved.
- Customers will become attracted to your store and encouraged to remain and make purchase decisions, and to return in the future.
- Your image as a successful retailer is boosted and your brand identity is reinforced.
The main complaint of upgrading is the initial cost, so you need to keep in mind that energy savings will start regaining your investment right away. Costs can also be made less severe in many states by various energy savings rebates and programs. The inconvenience of disposing CFLs, which are hazardous to landfills, originally concerned some retailers, but municipalities are now providing convenient disposal services.
Take Advantage of Other Energy–Saving Strategies
Introduce other cost-saving strategies at the time you are upgrading fixtures and lamps:
- Install central controls, dimming functions and sensors. You can increase or decrease the use of lights as needed to manage and reduce energy use.
- Incorporate daylight with skylights and by taking advantage of windows. Natural light is appealing and shows the true colors and textures of products better than any other type of lighting. Natural lighting reduces electrical costs by reducing the need for artificial lights, which can be summoned by photo sensors as daylight dims.
- Upgrade heating, ventilation and air conditioning to energy-efficient systems to reduce your costs even further.
Lighting Rebate and Incentive Programs are Available in Many States
There are rebates, incentives and financial options available to retailers who install energy-efficient lights and utilities. In California, there is an on-bill refinancing program (OBF) to help offset the initial cost of LED fixtures; South Carolina’s Rural Energy Savings Program rewards energy efficiency in the state; New York has a two-tiered plan offering an on-bill recovery loan program; Illinois offers various utility energy-savings programs; and there are pilot programs in other states to encourage the use of energy-efficient improvements.
Professional Help Makes Upgrading Easier
Some retailers feel overwhelmed by the time and effort required to research the energy savings programs available, the uncertainty of how to efficiently and economically upgrade to better lighting, concerns about whether to implement changes gradually or all at once and how to best enhance the lighting design.
Lighting contractors can offer invaluable advice, and an experienced lighting designer can take care of all the details. At the very least, take advantage of the sound counseling and advice from professionals. Lighting designers offer:
- Knowledge of lighting options that will start saving you money immediately
- Knowledge of the state lighting cost-recovery programs
- Knowledge of building codes, lighting standards and safety requirements
- Experience in supervising the orders and inspections of lighting supplies
- The ability to incorporate the architecture of the building, its size and its function in a pleasing, effective lighting design
- Knowledge of effective lighting both indoors and out
- An understanding of how color rendering and color temperatures can impact the mood of staff and customers and enhance the visibility and attractiveness of featured products
- Knowledge of the style of lighting and fixtures that appeal to your target market
Well-designed and updated retail store lighting provides numerous benefits. It can dramatically save energy costs, improve sales by attracting customers and stimulating sales, increase your market share and improve your bottom line. It’s a win-win.
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