Energy Savings or Improved Light Quality?
What’s more important, energy savings or improved light quality?
In talking with a friendly competitor at a conference he shared a story of a project that he had completed for a manufacturer earlier this year. They upgraded the lighting in their manufacturing facility to LED light fixtures. No lighting layout redesign, it was a simple one fixture for one fixture upgrade. The project had a simple payback of 3½ years with 80K higher rated fixtures, so the customer was looking forward to the cost savings for the next 15-18 years.
When the project was completed the reaction from the employees was very positive. They couldn’t believe how much better their work space was lit. After the first full 30 days, the QC Manager noticed that their wasted materials level for the month was very low. He then tracked it daily for the next month, and it was once again very low. From this data and speaking to the staff he determined that the increased light quality was so good that manufacturing errors and the material waste these errors caused were almost eliminated.
Additionally, this company realized payroll savings because the production efficiency was increased, and the staff no longer had to waste time cleaning up, storing and recycling the higher volume of wasted materials. There was now more space on the production floor because the bins for wasted material were no longer needed.
The bottom line is, the non-energy savings that were realized from improved light quality moved the simple payback from 3 ½ years to 90 days. And increased the lifetime savings from just under 400k to over 3.5 million.
For this manufacturer, the answer to the question above is easy.
Have a great day from Green Lighting Consulting!