Based on financial metrics alone it is a tough business case to make with 3- 4 year paybacks, depending on hours of operation and price paid for power, being common.

However, the BC begins to make more sense when other factors and metrics are considered including

  1. Staff health, safety and well being
  • Upgrading the lights to an LED solution will increase the level, quality and uniformity of light together with an improvement in the colour temperature to a day light colour.

These changes will improve the visual acuity of staff which will mitigate the impact of work-place incidents that can be attributed to in adequate lighting.

Further, an increase in visual acuity underpins the accuracy and efficiency of staff performing task critical activities

  • A common day light, full spectrum colour temperature will improve, particularly for staff working night shift, their sense of health and well-being. The latter have a potential positive impact on staff absenteeism and churn
  • Upgrading the lights demonstrates to staff that a business has prioritised CAPX so as to ensure that they have a safe work environment
  1. Operational Excellence
  • Glass and mercury will be eliminated from the environment (i.e. mitigates the risk that in the event a light is broken that glass or mercury contaminates customer product)
  • Upgrading the lighting to an LED solution will eliminate the incidence of unscheduled maintenance and any potential business interruption associated with servicing failed lights.
  • An instantly on, always available, high quality and level of light improves the visual acuity of staff which improves their accuracy and efficiency and performing task critical activities
  • Improved visual acuity will improve the accuracy of staff performing task critical activities which ultimately improves the quality of product and or services provided to customers.
  • Similarly, the improvement in visual acuity can enhance the productivity of staff the benefit of which goes straight to the bottom line
  1. Reduction in CO2 footprint
  • The reduction in kWh consumed by lighting has a direct and proportionate reduction in CO2 emissions with every kWh saved reducing your businesses carbon footprint. Total annual savings from the lighting initiative could be substantial.
  • The CO2 savings from the initiative are very tangible and a demonstrable internal and external example of your businesses commitment to reducing its CO2 footprint which is demonstrable
  1. Operational Savings and Improved Profitability
  • The upgrade of the lighting to an LED solution will deliver power savings. These savings can be evidenced by pre and post installation metering of power consumption
  • The power savings are essentially a savings annuity and go straight to your businesses bottom line
  • Significant maintenance savings can also be achieved with a typical T5 having multiple failure points. These include both the 4-6 tubes and the ballast.  The T5 tubes have, in theory, an average service life of 21,000 hours and the ballast 50-60,000 hours.  However there is a great deal in variability in service life between manufacturers products and many fail in advance of these stated service life metrics
  • Where the T5 solution has been specified to dim management of the solution becomes problematic with any tube replaced on failure requiring a burn in time of 100 hours. This is clearly not practicable to postpone dimming existing tubes for 100 hours every time a new tube is installed, however the implications of not dimming the new tube is that it significantly reduces its service life


Other Factors to Consider

Lighting Controls

The equipment investment will vary depending on your requirements.  For example luminaire can be fitted with lighting control modules that will deliver energy savings by dimming when there is sufficient day light or switching lights off when an area is not occupied however this comes at an additional cost.

Before deciding on a dimming option it is therefore important to ensure that the marginal ROI provided by the lighting controls is greater than the project ROI without the dimming option.

Engagement Model

Turn key lighting solutions are recommended and are a feature of The Lighting Practice engagement model.

A turn key lighting solution means that every aspect of provisioning a solution, from the design, specification, procurement, installation and commissioning,  is the responsibility of the vendor and therefore provides certainty of both operational and financial outcomes for the customer


There is not a market value for the legacy lights and wherever possible the aluminium, glass, and mercury is recycled.

Post Implementation Review and Commissioning

  • Project Commissioning (i.e. luminaire and controls installed per the lighting plan)
  • Project review and verification
  • That the projected business case outcomes have been achieved
  • Commissioning of an M&V report, prepared by an independent practioner per IPMVP (i.e. to verify that the projected energy savings have been achieved)
  • LUX reading, employing a calibrated LUX meter, prepared by an independent third party to verify the predicted LUX levels have been achieved and also to ensure compliance with AS/NZS 1680.1 & .2.4:1997
  • Production of a Case Study including:
  • Measurement and verification of energy savings
  • Economic analysis
  • Canvasing stakeholder for feedback on both lighting outcomes and installation and commissioning process
  • Written project summary
  • Photos (before and after)
  • Produce a project folder
  • Updates to your site ‘As Builts’ where changes to electrical circuits, installation of lighting controls and or location of luminaire has occurred
  • COC from electrical subcontractor that installed the specified luminaire and controls
  • Data sheets for each of the luminaire installed
  • Data sheets for installed lighting control solution
  • Lighting control instruction manual and settings
  • Statutory Declaration of Conformity (SDoC) for each of the luminaire installed
  • Warranty documents for each of the luminaire installed
  • Contact details of vendor staff responsible for performing warranty obligations
  • Lighting Plans

Typical out-of-scope considerations are:

  • Emergency lighting
  • Assessment of existing wiring and electrical components for compliance
  • Re positioning lights (i.e. unless specified lights are replaced on a one for one basis)


Soft Metrics to consider when developing your lighting business case

Example of LED Upgrade Cost benefit Part 1