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Lighting Tips for Commercial Buildings

While it might seem surprising, lighting for commercial buildings commonly accounts for as much as 35 percent of business overhead. The good news for business owners trying to cut costs is that commercial lighting technology is moving forward every day and modern lighting can provide the same or better quality lighting for less while improving energy efficiency. Upgrading your building’s lighting can take some of the strain off your building’s electrical system, but in order to get the most benefit from your new lights, you have to plan carefully!

Know Your Goals

It’s one thing to say “we want new lights for our building.” But it’s another thing entirely to say “we want new lights because we believe they will improve employee morale and productivity!” Before you implement a new lighting plan, consider the specific goals you have in mind for your new lights. These could range from the aforementioned productivity and morale improvements to reducing your carbon footprint and reducing your overhead costs.

If possible, try to find lighting schemes you like in other buildings that you think would work well for your building—this can give you a better idea of the lighting design you’re after. And of course, feel free to talk to the lighting design experts at Kolb Electric—we can help create the perfect lighting design for your building!

For Best Results, Balance Your Lighting

There are three specific categories of lighting, each of which serves a different purpose in your building:

  • Accent lighting can be used to highlight a specific aspect of your building to create a focal point.
  • Task lighting provides just enough light in certain places to assist with specific tasks.
  • Ambient lighting is used for general illumination.

A good lighting design will layer these three types of lighting, starting with ambient lighting, then task and accent lighting. Each type will require a different fixture.

Your Light Fixtures Make a Difference

The type of light fixture you use for a certain type of lighting can make a big difference when it comes to the efficiency and effectiveness of your lighting. Light fixtures are generally broken down into three categories:

  • Direct light fixtures use mirrored and reflective surfaces to push as much light out of the fixture as possible while a diffuser helps guide the light so it illuminates the largest area possible.
  • Indirect light fixtures are often used for task lighting purposes and are designed to illuminate the ceiling and the top portion of walls.
  • Combination direct/indirect light fixtures make use of both lighting strategies to illuminate a space with minimal glare and improved visual comfort.
  • Fluorescent lights – seen in office buildings nationwide, fluorescent lights, which can be recessed or pendant, and commonly used to provide ambient light and can be direct, indirect, or combination.
  • LED lights – ideal for all types of lighting, including recessed lighting, wall sconces, track lighting, and more, LED lights are extremely energy efficient and last longer than any other type of light. Click here to learn more about commercial LED lighting »
  • Halogen lights – halogen lighting is becoming increasingly popular for businesses throughout Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC and is commonly used for accent lighting.

Types of Commercial Lights

Whatever your commercial lighting needs in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, DC, call the lighting design experts at Kolb Electric!

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