Is Your Lighting Hurting Your Bottom Line?

Warehouse workers evaluating lighting

Inflation has soared, especially in energy costs.  Labor pool difficulties continue.  All this and more add up to a challenging environment for turning a profit.  But is the lighting at your business making it even more of a challenge?  And are there investments you can make that will ease these problems now and for years to come?

Let’s review some potential lighting problems and moves you can make to eliminate them, and their drag on your bottom line.

Poorly Lit Manufacturing Can Reduce Productivity and Increase Rework

It’s just common sense that workers who see better will turn out better work, but this is far more complex than just turning up the light level. In fact, overly bright lighting is a big part of the problem in many facilities. This, plus glare, eyestrain, and lighting that is the wrong color, can all lead to lower productivity and diminished quality.

  • Most workplaces have lighting at least twice as bright as OSHA recommends. Instead of depending on high output overhead lighting, reduce overall brightness and use task and accent lighting. This gives workers softer illumination, and control over how much illumination to use.
  • Use lighting in the cool white range, with a color temperature of 4000 to 5000K. This is not only the best for detail work but works well with the circadian rhythm of workers and is available in a wide range of lighting options.
  • Eliminate other sources of glare. Glossy furniture, paint, flooring, fixtures, and equipment can all produce glare, and should be toned down.
  • Choose LED lighting if you haven’t already converted. It uses less energy and lasts longer than other types, allowing you to light the same area at a much lower overall cost.

Starkly Lit Hospitality Environments Can Kill the Vibe – and Your Profits

Lighting design is crucial to ambience, and not only do 91% of diners say ambience plays a role in their choice of restaurant, 20% say it is their top concern. You can be sure ambience and atmosphere are important to hotel guests and other customers across the spectrum of hospitality businesses. An unwelcoming environment can reduce the length of time guests stay, the dollars they spend, and the likelihood of repeat business.

  • Consider the color of light. The most welcoming range, especially in restaurants, is the warm white range of around 2500 to 3000K. This light is similar to candlelight in color, and you shouldn’t stray too much higher—where the light begins to resemble fluorescent tubes—or any lower. Below 2500, the light begins to be very yellow.
  • Consider the color of surroundings and lean toward indirect lighting. Lighter colors in a space allow you to use indirect lighting, which tends to seem far less harsh to the guest than the same wattage of direct lighting.
  • Work on eliminating glare and “industrial” lighting. One mistake that’s often made in hotels and motels is to use fluorescent ceiling lights or other fixtures that remind guests of office or industrial lighting. Replace these with LED indirect lights where possible.
  • Keep an eye out for highly reflective items that may produce harsh glare, from glossy menus to glass. Using indirect lighting reduces this problem as well.

Poor Office Lighting Can Make Your Employees Wish They Worked Remote Again

Office lighting is more complex than it seems, but a little attention can pay off handsomely.

  • Survey your facility and look for lights that are burned out or mismatched. The simple fact that the lighting looks shipshape can change a worker or customer’s subconscious perception.
  • Consider circadian rhythm. Light has an important role in our waking and sleeping cycles, and the wrong lighting can actually make your workers less productive and less likely to get satisfying sleep at home. Daylight is the best light for this purpose, so let natural light in where you can. Where it isn’t available, choose fixtures that are in the cool white or daylight range, which both have the same effect on circadian rhythm as daylight.
  • Take action to reduce glare. Consider what light is coming from where at what times and what surfaces it might be reflecting form. This is especially important in offices, where most workers already encounter eyestrain risk from screen use.

Could you use some advice on the what, why, and how of how you can improve your lighting and your bottom line? We have experts on hand who are ready to help. Get in touch with Thayer Energy Solutions at 815-282-1112 today, and together we’ll find the best options for your situation.