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Replace lighting with energy efficient bulbs

Ease
4
Impact
3

One of the easiest and most cost effective things you can do is replace inefficient light bulbs with energy-efficient alternatives.

Here are the things you can do

You’ll save money on energy bills and maintenance costs because energy efficient lights have a longer life span and do not need to be replaced as often.

Energy efficient bulbs like compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light emitting diodes (LEDs) also emit less heat so you may find that you are also saving energy by reducing the air-cooling requirements in areas like underground car parks or hallways.

Some owners may be hesitant about a change in light quality but it's important to reassure them that lighting upgrades can be done without a loss in light quality and can even increase light quality in some cases. 

Do an audit

The first step is to complete a quick audit of the lighting installed throughout the common areas. Check with your strata manager or facilities manager to see if they can give you a lighting inventory for the building. 

Key issues

  • Some replacements will require you to first change the light fitting before you can change the light bulb - we will indicate where this is the case
  • Check that your replacement bulb is compatible with dimmers, timers or motion sensors because some lights cannot handle these requirements
  • Inefficient lighting like incandescent bulbs and low voltage halogens are being phased out in Australia so it makes sense to start installing more efficient lights
  • You’ll also need to consider the minimum levels of lighting required in different areas - not all alternatives will be suitable for your requirements

Costs

Once you have decided to replace inefficient light bulbs with energy efficient alternatives you’ll want to make the case for funding. Consider not only the upfront cost of the new bulbs but also:

  • The payback period given the energy savings
  • The maintenance savings if the new bulbs have a longer life

Our business case template can help you take it to the next level and make the case for a lighting upgrade. Check with your executive committee, strata manager or building manager to see if there is a long-term maintenance plan linked to your building’s sinking fund. The plan might tell you when the existing light bulbs are near the end of their lifespan. 

Compare the cost of a standard bulb with that of a new energy efficient bulb. There is often only a small difference and the additional cost can be met by the savings delivered by lower energy bills.

There are also situations where lights are located in spots that are difficult to access for maintenance purposes. These situations warrant the use of lights that with longer lifespans.