The Hidden ROI of an LED Lighting Retrofit: Beyond Cost Savings

3 min read - Commercial

The energy and cost savings that industrial and commercial facilities see after an LED lighting retrofit are well documented. Trading in old fluorescents for efficient LEDs drastically cuts costs — often by as much as 50% — and typically provides payback with savings and rebates in just a few years. 

Beyond these advantages, there are several supplemental benefits that make the upgrade even more valuable. While some may be difficult to quantify, they nonetheless make a significant positive impact on organizations.

These benefits include:

Increased Safety

Practical safety measures are important in every facility, but perhaps none more so than in manufacturing, agricultural, and warehouse settings. LED lights are brighter — and cover more ground — than HID and other traditional lights. They also can be set at levels appropriate for every space with the right controls

When retrofitting to LED to provide better lighting in settings where heavy machinery is operated and/or forklifts are driven, you reduce the risk of serious injury or death. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 52 fatalities related to industrial truck and tractor operation in the United States in 2021.1 Proper lighting is a critical factor in preventing such tragedies.

Higher Productivity

There are numerous ways in which optimal facility lighting improves workplace productivity. VAC-CON Florida Lighting upgraded to Orion’s fixtures and employees reported being able to focus more on their work and be more cognizant of errors — which you can read all about here

Improved Morale

A survey of Wisconsin-based commercial and industrial facilities implementing more energy-efficient systems (including lighting) found that 74% of respondents reported happier employees as a result of improvements in lighting.2 Proper LED lighting makes employees more comfortable — no more glare, no more inadequate illumination, no more straining their eyes to see their work.

Colby Metal saw increased productivity and morale after Orion provided a retrofit using APOLLO® LED High Bay fixtures. Read the full report to learn all the positive outcomes that resulted from this project.

Increased Retention

Simply put: Safe, productive, and happy employees are more likely to remain on the job. A lot of factors are at play in employee retention, but providing a strategically well-lit atmosphere that illuminates their day and doesn’t detract from their tasks helps set the foundation for an exceptional workplace. 

Increased Customer Foot Traffic

Lighting that enhances the safety of customers contributes to their overall satisfaction with a business. High-quality exterior lighting attracts more customers to a business’s parking lot, while improved interior lighting has been shown to give retailers a 1.93% sales boost.

Reduced Maintenance

Most LED fixtures have a lifespan of 50,000 to 100,000 hours – that translates to roughly 5 to 11 years between replacements or maintenance. And because LED lights have such a long life span and can be brightened or dimmed based on the task at hand using controls, less maintenance is required, resulting in fewer work interruptions to replace or adjust the lights.

Once LEDs are installed, automation with lighting and controls reduces the “busywork” associated with managing the system. Entire lighting setups can be accessed and operated from one location by a single employee — or programmed to work without any human interaction.

Reduced Carbon Emissions

More efficient lighting reduces overall energy consumption, which in turn reduces the carbon footprint. By retrofitting to LEDs you not only benefit from cost savings and utility rebates, but you can also take pride in promoting a healthier world for future generations. 

Case Studies: Great Southern Industries reduced their annual CO2 emissions by 392 tons, while PanelTEK now saves the equivalent of 124 acres of U.S. forests annually as a result of their reduced emissions.

At Orion, we don’t just preach sustainability — we practice it, too. In 2022, our carbon reduction policies resulted in the equivalents of:

  • 96,672 acres of trees planted
  • 85,088 cars removed from the road
  • 43,493,073 gallons of gasoline saved

You can learn more about our dedication to a better future by reading our Sustainability report.

Retrofitting Your Facility

The obvious cost and energy-saving benefits and hidden advantages of LED lighting make an LED retrofit that much more appealing. If you have any questions or are considering a retrofit for your own facility, reach out to our team of LED experts today! 

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1U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities, TABLE A-5. Fatal occupational injuries by occupation and event or exposure, all United States, 2021, December 16, 2022.

2Nick P. Hall, Johna A. Roth, TecMarket Works, Non-Energy Benefits from Commercial and Industrial Energy Efficiency Programs: Energy Efficiency May Not be the Best Story, 2003.

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