Older lighting installations can waste a great deal of energy and money, yet upgrades are often rejected or shelved due to cost. Paul Coggins, SVP of Zumtobel Group, explains how the company’s Lighting as a Service finance package can spread the cost and deliver savings from day one

Any building with a conventional (pre-LED) lighting installation is almost certainly wasting energy – and therefore money – because of the inherent inefficiencies of conventional lighting technologies compared to the latest offerings. And whilst most energy managers will be aware of this issue, they may struggle to get the capital investment in an environment that has aggressive requirements for return on investment (ROI).

An alternative approach is to take advantage of a finance package that allows a full lighting and controls solution to be installed, while the cost is spread over the lifetime of the fittings. Not only does this remove budgetary objections, it also ‘future proofs’ the lighting installation, making it easier to take advantage of future developments such as the Internet of Things, Li-Fi and human-centric lighting.

This is the basis of the Zumtobel Group Lighting as a Service lease purchase finance package.

The problem

Every day a conventional lighting system is operating it wastes energy and causes unnecessary extra costs through a combination of excessive electricity consumption, high failure rates and high maintenance costs.

This situation applies to the majority of lighting installations that are over five years old and using pre-LED lamp technologies and magnetic ballasts In such a system you will have a large number of inefficient luminaires, which very often cannot be controlled effectively in response to factors such as occupancy or daylight. This situation clearly uses more electricity than a modern LED-based system and will also generate higher maintenance costs.

Added to that, there is a good chance that the lighting quality is poor with insufficient lighting levels, inadequate colour rendering and poor uniformity of light distribution. All of these will contribute to a greater risk of errors and lower productivity by the workforce.

Yet despite all of the disadvantages of continuing to run an outdated lighting system, the company will very often be more focused on investing in core competencies than budgeting for energy-saving initiatives such as lighting renovation.

The solution

The Zumtobel Lighting as a Service lease purchase package has been developed to offer an attractive alternative. It enables you to switch to an advanced lighting solution with efficient LED luminaires and intelligent lighting control without paying any extra money. Instead, you use part of the cost savings achieved through increased efficiency to pay for the new lighting in fixed monthly sums, with any surplus reducing the overheads of your business and giving a boost to the bottom line. At the end of the agreement period you can choose whether to purchase the lighting system outright, or extend the service agreement.

There are also environmental benefits as an upgrade to a more efficient lighting system will inevitably reduce carbon emissions. If you are eligible for carbon tax this will also help to reduce your costs further.

To put this into context we can consider some examples.

One such example is a retail space that was using conventional lighting and opted for the Lighting as a Service lease purchase option to fund an upgrade. The cost of the lighting is being repaid over six years at £36,000 per annum, yielding first year savings of £41,000 based on reduced energy and maintenance costs.

A similar solution for an industrial space replaced sodium lighting with LED lighting and controls. Annual repayments are £17,000, with a first year saving of £30,000.

Clearly every project will be different but these two examples give an indication of the level of savings that can be achieved without the need for any capital expenditure.

All inclusive

A further benefit of the Zumtobel package is that it is all inclusive, with a turnkey service covering design, installation, commissioning, regular maintenance and repairs. This means that you no longer have to pay for time-consuming re-lamping or repairs to luminaires since all of these maintenance costs will be covered under your NOW! agreement.

Moreover, the Lighting as a Service agreement includes disassembly and disposal of old luminaires and lamps, ensuring they are disposed of in an environmentally responsible fashion.

Plus, by teaming up with an expert lighting partner you get a flexible, continuously managed lighting installation that keeps you up to speed with the latest developments and innovative concepts that go well beyond lighting. The service also ensures that your lighting control strategy is continually aligned to the way each space is used.

The Lighting as a Service process begins with a site visit to record key lighting data and evaluate any potential savings. Following the lighting audit we will produce a declaration of intent, a comprehensive specification and a detailed design schedule, along with projected financial savings.

There is nothing to lose from taking that first step and exploring the benefits of Lighting as a Service.