With the evolution of LED, we live in an age where light is subject to fast-paced change, and luminaire efficiency increases all the time. Change should also be on the agenda for successful businesses, says Darren Riva.
11 April 2017 | Darren Riva
Legally binding energy efficiency targets are becoming increasingly onerous for companies. What's more, recent studies are showing a direct link between improved employee performance and the quality of light within the workspace.
The challenge for FM decision-makers is two-fold - finding the capital to replace existing, outdated legacy lighting, and ensuring that any replacement solution meets business needs now and in future. So rather than regarding lighting as an annual cost-drain, FM professionals are aligning with the new idea of lighting as a service. This means paying for the installation, maintenance and management of lighting, entering into a contract whereby the supplier guarantees the performance of the lighting solution.
A 'lighting as a service' model protects customers from any loss in asset value because the basis of the service is not about simply selling luminaries but about guaranteeing lighting performance. The service enables customers to benefit from LED technology - and from future developments - without the hassle of owning and operating the lighting.
The future-proofing advantages of lighting as a service are critical. Without such a model in place, every new technological advancement would require significant capital expenditure. Lighting as a service provides buyers with the necessary consultative expertise to enable them to stay a step ahead. Additionally, any FM decision-maker will surely welcome the prospect of dealing with just one supplier contact (safe in the knowledge that the system is monitored and maintained in the background) rather than having to deal with multiple maintenance, management and sales personnel.
Doing nothing is expensive; electricity is getting more expensive every year, as are maintenance costs. Every day an obsolete lighting system is operating it causes unnecessary extra costs through excessive electricity use, high failure rates and maintenance costs.
Smarter and connected
Certainly, the cost-savings delivered by today's LED lighting systems will interest any FM. But undertaking to buy lighting as a service rather than a commodity moves the conversation way beyond simple savings.
Everything associated with lighting - design, installation and commissioning through to maintenance - will be handled by the provider, so businesses can focus on core tasks. Once installed, transparent remote monitoring helps businesses to achieve the agreed aims for illuminance and energy efficiency and - with expert guidance - to identify opportunities to adapt and enhance use patterns.
The most advanced suppliers understand the biological effect of light on the human body and will work with businesses to design a solution that motivates employees and serves to enhance the company's reputation and brand image. Adjusting lighting to customer needs and implementing new functions isn't a one-off task performed when installing the lighting - it continues throughout operations.
An efficient lighting system also means lower energy use and CO2 emissions, leading to an improved environmental balance and lower CO2 certificate costs.
Time to switch
Moving to lighting as a service can lead to savings from day one. As technology advances, ever more businesses and professionals will see the advantages of the 'as a service' approach - not only on an organisation's bottom line, but also on productivity and business intelligence. It's time to switch.
Darren Riva is Northern European sales director at Zumtobel Group Services