8 Stats That Show Green Lighting Solutions Are Worth the Investment

By Torrin Greathouse | February 11, 2015

Whether you are a CEO, building manager, small business owner, or private citizen, sustainable green lighting can have real world benefits for you or your company. While there are many green lighting solutions on the market today, the potentially high cost of a lighting upgrade can be intimidating and may overshadow the numerous benefits of investing in this new technology.

Here are 8 incredible statistics that show why sustainable lighting is worth the investment.

 1. Reduced Energy Costs of up to 80%

One of the most significant benefits sustainable lighting offers is a huge reduction in energy costs. Electric lighting makes up about 20% of the energy usage of an average American home and about 40% of the average business. When Pennsylvania Power & Light completed building upgrades, including an installation of sustainable daylighting devices, they reported a 69% decline in energy costs. This however, is the reduction from lighting alone. Replacing heat-generating electric bulbs can also reduce HVAC costs, creating savings that the U.S. Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program estimated to be between 75-80%. Incorporating sustainable lighting solutions such as LEDs, daylighting devices, and adaptive window treatments can significantly reduce energy costs.

2. Increased Retail Sales of 40%

Many retail chains that have incorporated sustainable lighting, particularly daylighting, have found that this higher quality light actually improves sales. In 2005, a study done by the Heschong Mahone Group showed that an average non-skylit store in a chain was likely to see a 40% increase in sales with the addition of skylights. This higher quality light is actually proven to increase customer loyalty, leading to more long term sales.

3. Health Benefits

Higher quality light, such as that provided by daylighting, has been shown to have significant health benefits. A University of Pittsburgh Medical Center study showed that patients in bright, naturally illuminated rooms experienced less stress and pain and consumed 22% less analgesic medicine. The patients in these rooms were also released from the hospital 20% sooner. Additionally, this method of lighting can offset the causes of Seasonal Affective Disorder, and it has been shown to have 50% effectiveness in reducing symptoms.

4. Improved Employee Mood and Morale

Studies show that lighting can have an immense effect on a person's mood. Better quality light leads to a more positive mood, while poor lighting can lead to negativity and fatigue. When furniture manufacturers Herman Miller interviewed their employees about their recent move to a sustainably lit facility, 20% reported improved feelings about their workplace, while 60% said they considered their new workplace healthier.

5. Reduced Absenteeism

Many companies who have incorporated sustainable lighting into their facilities have found that this actually encourages employees to come to work. VeriFone, a subsidiary of Hewlett-Packard, found that when it upgraded its facility to include a series of roof skylights and other energy-efficient features, absenteeism dropped by 45%. Another sustainable lighting adopter, Pennsylvania Power & Light, reported that after completing building upgrades to use more daylight, employee absenteeism dropped by 25%.

6. Increased Productivity

After incorporating sustainable lighting solutions, numerous companies have reported large increases in productivity. Carnegie Mellon University’s Intelligent Workplace design studio found that while improved lighting could significantly decrease the energy and operating costs for a typical workplace, the resulting gains in productivity were worth far more--as much as $14 million. Statistics show that halving energy costs typically saves $1 per square foot per year, while boosting productivity by 5%, which saves a total of more than $10 per square foot.

7. Fewer Workers Compensation Suits

The superior lighting conditions provided by sustainable lighting devices have been linked to improved worker safety. Due to the improved visibility and ability to make out fine detail under full spectrum light, sustainable lighting methods are often tied to a reduction in lawsuits related to workplace injuries. In the first three years after Prince Street Technologies moved into a daylit facility, workers compensation cases dropped from 20 per year to less than one.

8. Fast Return on Investment

The rapid return on investment (ROI) of sustainable lighting devices may be more important than any other benefit. While there is a large variety of sustainable solutions on the market, most of them share remarkably short ROIs. Energy Star statistics show the LEDs have an ROI of 4.1 years, and many daylighting products offer similar ROI time frames. Uniquely, Ciralight SunTrackers have an average ROI of 2.5-3.5 years in energy savings alone. When all the possible cost savings are factored in (such as increased sales, increased productivity, etc. listed above), the ROI can, in fact, be much faster. One report stated that between lower energy costs, reduced absenteeism, and increased productivity, Pennsylvania Power & Light's sustainable lighting retrofit paid for itself not in the 4.1 years estimated, but in just 69 days.

To find out more about the benefits of investing in Ciralight SunTrackers, contact our sales team today.

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