Illuminate Ways to Reduce Utility Bills with a Lighting Upgrade

Abstract: Manufacturers who have been considering upgrading their plant’s T12 fluorescent lights need to act soon. The U.S. Department of Energy pulled the plug last year on production of most T12 bulbs and ballasts — the most widely used fluorescent unit for the past 60 years. Another option is to invest in newer, energy-efficient T5 and T8 fluorescents. There are the up-front costs, but this article offers ways to offset them.

Illuminate ways to reduce utility bills with a lighting upgrade

If you’ve been considering upgrading your manufacturing plant’s T12 fluorescent lights, you need to act soon. The U.S. Department of Energy pulled the plug last year on production of most T12 bulbs and ballasts — the most widely used fluorescent unit for the past 60 years. Another option is to invest in newer, energy-efficient T5 and T8 fluorescents.

The federal mandate will make it increasingly difficult and expensive to find outdated T12 replacement equipment. Upgrading to modern T5 and T8 fluorescent lights will eliminate this hassle and can save you money because they cost less to operate and maintain than their predecessors. Smart technology, such as motion and occupancy sensors, triggers lights only when and where they’re needed, such as when a lift truck enters an aisle.

Many utilities also offer rebates for making the switch to high-efficiency lights and controls. Generally, these programs cover up to 30% of the upgrade’s cost. Application procedures and rebate requirements vary.

A comprehensive lighting audit will help you decide which system is best for your facility and budget. You might be able to retrofit your existing fluorescent fixtures to accommodate today’s efficient bulbs rather than start from scratch.