Sustain’s LED task lighting trial cuts 99% off their original lighting costs

Published on in Energy and Efficiency .

By switching to individual LED task lighting from large overhead rafts and making use of the available natural light, Sustain have have managed to exceed their expectations in savings, cutting their lighting energy use by 99%. This change empowered staff to think about their own personal needs instead of defaulting to the “lights always on” model.

"When provided with a choice many staff members often opted not to use their light at all, choosing instead to work under natural light when possible"

Member of staff, Sustain Ltd

At their city centre offices the existing lighting fixtures, made up of 27 suspended rafts were draining almost 3kW of power when in use. Due to the teams varying lighting preferences, these would usually be left on throughout the day. Suggested as a possible solution and put forward by a member of staff, task lighting has allowed everyone to tailor the lighting to their own needs.

Before committing to the change and replacing all the lights in the office, first a quick business case was drawn up which persuaded the company directors to run a trial and provide the funding needed.

Before  (with raft lighting)                                                  After (task lighting)

The trial saw eight low energy lamps with LEDs installed in a single corner of the office for a total cost of around £100 (pictured above). Procured from IKEA the lights had the highest efficiency per pound spent and were supplied in minimal, recyclable packaging. The new fixtures meant a reduction in lighting power from 756W to 60W with a predicted drop in energy consumption of 95% (from around 1360kWh per year to 60kWh). This equates to a savings of £150 and 675 kg CO2, the same volume as four double decker buses.

Predicted energy savings for lighting

The test period, which ran from February to June exceeded all expectations. When provided with a choice many staff members often opted not to use their light at all, choosing instead to work under natural light when possible which resulted in a predicted drop in energy consumption by 99%. In addition, spot checks on lighting levels using Sustain’s light-meter showed that the achieved lighting levels were exceeding the recommended minimum.

As a leading independent resource and efficiency company, specialising in helping clients to reduce their energy bills as well as their carbon impact, it’s no surprise then that Sustain are treating sustainability as more than just a mission statement. It is a driving goal for their staff and as such opportunities for reducing carbon are actively sought within the company as well as out. The successful trial led to a review of their office’s lighting and a programme to drive down the associated emissions and bills.

“It was easy to adapt to the change, once you’re out of the autopilot of switching all the lights on first thing. I much prefer it now, daylighting is much nicer and gentler to work under”

Mathew Gitsham, Sustain Ltd

In the near future they plan to role task lights out across the whole office, with the addition of a few low-power uplighters. These will be used to maintain a welcoming working environment, ensuring background lighting levels don’t dip too low, while still drastically cutting the overall lighting energy bill.

Could your organisation benefit from trialling more efficient energy and resource management solutions? More ideas in the links below.

All images are curtesy of Sustain Ltd