LED Retrofits: 6 Key Benefits For Businesses

LED retrofits are the latest trends in both commercial lighting solutions today. If you are thinking about retrofitting your current property with LED lighting for your upcoming facility but remain unsure about it, you have come to the right place. This article will tackle LED retrofits and their benefits. We will also look at the things you need to consider regarding this particular lighting solution.

Let’s start by first understanding LED retrofits. Retrofit simply means conversion. It is the act of adding a new component to an existing property. So when we say LED retrofits, we are talking about LED lights replacing conventional lights. Today, LED retrofits have become prominent as more and more people are switching to better lighting solutions.

Benefits of LED Retrofits

We have talked about LED lights being better than traditional lights, but what exactly are the advantages of LED lights? Why are people shifting to LED? Let’s discuss the benefits of LED retrofits in-depth below:

  • It is cost- and energy-efficient.

One of the main advantages of LED lighting solution is that it is significantly cost-efficient. It dramatically reduces your energy consumption, essentially decreasing energy costs. Your savings can be somewhere between 25% to a whopping 90% when you switch from traditional lights to LED lights. The more LED retrofits you install, the bigger the savings you get. Of course, if you are a commercial building owner, it is a no-brainer to make the switch.

Comprehensive LED retrofits even guarantee more significant cost reductions. If you install components like daylight sensors and occupancy sensors, having LED lights is even more cost-efficient in the long run. Daylight sensors detect natural light and dim or turn off artificial lights when they are redundant. Meanwhile, occupancy sensors make light switches a thing of the past. These sensors can automatically turn the lights off when space has wholly been vacated.

Let’s look at some figures to prove the point. In the Keyon One Office Center parking lot case study, switching to LED lights yielded 78% savings in energy costs.

Here’s a rundown of other studies and their respective energy-saving contributions:

In a commercial facility, energy costs make up the majority of the operating costs over its lifetime. If you are going to be smart about running a commercial property, switching to a LED lighting solution is the way to go. LED lights offer a higher and faster return of investment (ROI) than traditional lights ever could.

  • It is environment-friendly.

Since LED lights reduce energy consumption, they are environment-friendly. If you care about leaving as little carbon footprint as possible, LED retrofits definitely make a sound choice. LED lights have little to no environmental impact, as they do not contain any harmful chemicals like mercury. They are far safer for the planet than traditional lights.

Customers nowadays are smart. They care about whether the companies they support are observing sustainable practices in their conduct of business. It is an added perk that you can attract more customers when you express your care for the environment by employing sustainable solutions in your business, such as the use of LED lights.

  • It is low-maintenance.

LED lights are inherently low-maintenance. You do not even have to repair or replace them frequently, depending on how much you use them. They are reliable, easy, and not costly to maintain. With this modern lighting solution, you need not worry about maintenance downtime and disappointing your customers.

In fact, it has been proven to reduce maintenance costs dramatically, too. In the McKee Group outdoor storage facility case study, the shift to LED lights incurred $7,486 in annual maintenance cost reductions. In the Franklin Institute parking garage case study, it yielded $7,674 in annual maintenance cost reductions. The Keyon One Office Center parking lot case study generated $1,178 in annual maintenance cost reductions.

  • It is safer.

We have talked about LED lights being safe for the environment, but did you know that generally, it creates a safer facility, too? A LED lighting solution is higher-quality than a traditional lighting system, so it dramatically reduces the potential lighting-related incidents that may occur. As such, it puts everyone at ease while they are on your property. Most notably, your employees can be more productive. Better lighting has been proven to increase productivity by as much as 5%.

LED lights are brighter than traditional lights, so they create better visibility, too. As such, they help lower cases of break-ins and other criminal activities at night.

  • It creates a better ambiance.

LED lights improve the ambiance because they offer ample and vibrant lighting. As we have already mentioned earlier, this lighting solution helps boost workplace productivity. They do not flicker over time as most traditional lights do. They are much more pleasing to the eyes, so anyone can work for a prolonged period without feeling labored.

The good thing about LED retrofits is that they can detect natural light, particularly daylight sensors. Your employees would not have to work with all the lights turned on an entire day, even when the sun is still out. Accordingly, natural light makes people feel better than artificial light. Essentially, that better feeling also contributes to increased productivity.

  • It qualifies for incentives.

The pressure to combat climate change is significantly increasing over time, which is why even federal and local governments are doing their part to help save the environment. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 incentivizes business owners with a tax deduction of $0.6 per sq. ft. when installing energy-efficient lighting. Moreover, business owners can qualify for bonus depreciation if their original lighting system is 20 years old or less.

Yes, you can earn incentives and rebates for simply choosing a better lighting system for your facility! In the Neumann University campus lighting case study, the switch to LED lights generated $24,000 in rebates; in the Upper Chichester Gymnasium case study, it generated $2,160 in rebates; and in the McKee Group outdoor storage facility case study, it generated $1,880 in rebates.

What are the Things to Consider During LED Retrofits

Once you have finally decided to switch and retrofit your facility with LED lights, you need to consider a few significant factors. Here are some of the things you need to know when retrofitting with LED lights:

  • Know the difference between fixtures and luminaires.

If you only want to retrofit your luminaires and keep your existing fixtures, be mindful to select compatible options. Pick LED lights that are compatible with your existing fixtures to avoid any hassle. However, you have nothing to worry about if you are retrofitting your entire lighting system, all fixtures and luminaires included.

  • Manage expectations carefully.

We have discussed that generally, LED lights have a longer lifespan than traditional lights. Keep in mind that it all depends on your usage. Some accompanying components might need replacements before the actual lights do, so it is best to plan and set aside an extra budget for these unexpected maintenance works.

Summary

Running commercial facilities is not an easy task. The daily and scheduled maintenance alone can be overwhelming, not to mention the overhead costs that go into it. One of the best ways to ease your burden is to improve your facility’s lighting solution through LED retrofits. LED lights are far better than traditional lights and come with many economic, environmental, and even social benefits. To find out more about retrofitting your facility with LED lights, don’t hesitate to find and consult a Power Partner MN member contractor here.

Diversity and Inclusion: How Power Partner MN Empowers Women and Minorities To Join the Trades

A common sight in any construction or skilled trades is the predominantly white male staff working on site. Despite that, more companies are now heading towards diversity and inclusion in their labor force.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 87.85% of electricians are white, while women and other races constitute the remaining more or less 20% of the total employed in the trades. The only areas where women outnumber the number of employed men are usually in clerical and administrative duties.

Times are changing, however, with the rise of diversity and inclusion in the workplace advocating for a more inclusive workforce.

In the U.S., the Civil Rights Act of 1964 paved the way for companies to be more lenient when choosing employees. From labor unions to private contractors, there is now a push to include more women and minorities, particularly in the trades, where men dominate the jobs.

How the Demographics in the U.S. Workplace and Business Is Changing

A welcoming change in the trades industry is the arrival of minority-owned businesses and contractors employing a more diverse pool of skilled workers.

While construction and trades are typically a job for the male population, women are also now taking on the duties.

We are now seeing more women providing construction and electrical services. They are making their mark as reliable contractors and electricians.

In 2020, 3.1% of employed electricians are women. When compared ten years ago, in 2010, only 1.5% of electricians are women. Within a decade, women electricians have doubled in numbers. Increasingly, more women are joining the electrical field, making it a viable career option for them.

Five Women Share What It’s Like To Work in the Electrical Industry

Traditional gender roles are becoming less rigid nowadays. Power Partner MN, for instance, shows how women are also able to take on the job of becoming an electrician or managing a contracting firm.

Here are some working women with different stories, telling their experience in the electrical industry. They are a great example that women can have the same job opportunities as men, a testament to the rising diversity and inclusion in the trades.

Laura Karow, Gunnar Electric

After graduating from high school, Laura decided to go to trade school to become an electrician. Laura was lucky enough to grow up with a father who was an electrician, so she knew about the trade.

Laura remarks, “I always knew it was a fun thing to do. I never thought that, as a woman, I never even thought about being an electrician. I wish I knew in middle school how many women there actually are that are electricians, and how much great of a career that is.”

Sarah Nowicki, Local 343 Apprentice

The response that Sarah gets when people find out about her career is that they are shocked. Men and women are both proud, with encouraging words such as, ‘Way to go! Good job!’.

Especially men that have daughters, they would approach her to talk to their daughter. Maybe their daughter wants to be an electrician, letting their daughters know that she can do anything.

“I think people are impressed”, Sarah proudly states.

Kayla Berg, Local 343 Apprentice

Kayla finds it cool coming together and building something that affects people’s lives greatly. In the four years that she has been in a school doing her job, she has seen children growing up, bettering their future, their lives, and choosing their career.

“Whether it’s technology-based or hopefully hands-on as we do”, she implies to the future generation when it comes to picking a job.

Mai Chang, Presidential Electric

The electrical industry is something that Mai has never thought she would be getting involved in. But as she has learned about the industry through her significant other, she has really seen what great opportunity there is for girls and women out there.

Mai adds, “I think it’s really interesting because I don’t see a lot of girls or women really wanting to look in this kind of work. Once you give it an opportunity or be open-minded to learning the various positions and job types that the industry can offer, it will be something you are going to love and be passionate about.”

Gabriella Brune, Local 292 Apprentice

For Gabriella, she says she has had more opportunities in the electrical industry than she ever had before in any job market.

Gabriella has jumped around a lot, and being an electrician is a second career for her. She wakes up at five in the morning as her job starts at around six. Once they are on the site with other workers, they all form a circle and do stretching. This form of exercise, she amusingly quips as a ‘construction yoga’.

“The work culture in the trades is much healthier”, Gabriella declares. She has learned how to use tools, electrical theory, and wiring for residential and industrial projects. As an electrician, she has seen how successful companies put safety above anything else.

Gabriella proudly claims, “It is kind of magical what we can do. It’s being able to put all these wires up and put all this equipment together and just turn it on, and watch it all bloom into life, is beautiful”.

What Is the Impact of Having a More Diverse Skilled Personnel?

As more women and minorities are joining the trades, what does this mean for companies? There are several benefits for both the contractor and the person willing to join the trades. Diversity and inclusion in the workplace can lead to the following affirmative changes.

  • Creates a more positive working culture in accepting people from various backgrounds.
  • Address the labor shortage issue of a firm.
  • Uplifting the morale of minorities and women working in the trades.

The job outlook for electricians, for instance, will grow 8% from 2019 to 2029, a faster than average rate for demand in the skilled position. Owing to the increasing demand, having a diverse workforce can deal with the labor shortage of skilled trades.

Representing the women and the minority in an otherwise white-male-dominated workforce empowers the staff. Breaking barriers in the trades gives them a sense of pride in the work that they do.

Advancing Diversity in the Electrical Workforce

Different industries are now embracing diversity and inclusion in their skilled labor. Aside from construction, the electrical industry is also where one can have a fulfilling career.

Promoting diversity and inclusion in the electrical field gains respect for the contractor. It becomes a status that makes them preferred by clients and even the opportunity to bid and be awarded government contracts. Conversely, the women and minority staff are also proud of choosing a skill or trade regardless of the initial perception of their abilities.

Like the women featured here, Power Partner MN encourages more minorities and women to join the trades. Being in the electrical industry opens up several opportunities for them to thrive in their chosen field.

There are apprenticeship programs that one can join if they choose to join the trades.

If you or someone you know is interested in the trades, Power Partner MN can link them to apprenticeship programs where one can enroll. The firm has affiliations with the following education partners:

Power Partner MN helps connect apprentices to contractors for proper job training so that they too can become certified and skilled electricians in the state of Minnesota.