Part Six of a Series
By Martin Flusberg,
CEO Powerhouse Dynamics
There are numerous systems available that can control lighting in restaurants, and these can be an effective way to reduce costs. But these systems can be expensive, and may not be cost-effective in all cases. There are a variety of lower cost options to consider.
Most people are aware of Compact Fluorescent Lighting (CFL) by now. Not everyone likes the way they look, but they are dramatically cheaper to use than incandescents (using 75% less electricity), and are well worth the investment in parts of the restaurant that have incandescent lighting. (LED lighting is even more energy efficient, but prices are still a little high for LED lighting, EXCEPT for EXIT and OPEN/CLOSED signs, where they are definitely cost-effective).
If you have older “T12” standard fluorescent lights in your facility, replacing them with T8 lighting will pay for itself – particularly if there are utility rebates, as described later.
Of course, the most cost-effective option remains turning off the lights when not in use. To help with that, occupancy sensors may make sense in certain areas, such as offices and bathrooms. Motion Detectors on security lights can reduce energy costs – and have shown to be a better deterrent than flood lights left on all night. And, take maximum advantage of day lighting – in some cases many lights may not be needed at all during the brightest periods of the day.