There are roughly 7 billion lighting fixtures in the U.S., most of which are not yet LED.
Lighting is one of the most labor intensive facility related maintenance activities in a warehouse.
Typically lighting accounts for 15-20% of total energy usage in a commercial building or warehouse, and can be reduced by up to 80%.
1 watt of electricity used by a luminaire = 3.412 BTUs per hour
Until the last 5-10 years, all lighting system were lamp based.  High Intensity Discharge (Metal Halide or High Pressure Sodium), Fluorescent, Halogen or Incandescent all use electricity to illuminate a filament or a gas in a sealed glass bulb or tube.  While some of these technologies are more efficient than others, they all produce a significant amount of heat, which is the wasted energy not converted to light.  The challenge in refrigerated warehouses and air conditioned spaces is that your refrigeration system has to cycle to extract that heat from the space the entire time the lights are on, and most of our customers have hundreds of inefficient lights.

For instance a 400 Watt Metal Halide High Bay lamp puts off 1,364 BTUs per hour vs. a 150 Watt LED High Bay puts off 511 BTUs/hr.  If you have 100 High Bay fixtures that burn for 18 hours per day, that’s 896 Million BTUs vs. 336 Million BTUs, or a difference of 560M BTUs in a single year that your refrigeration system has to keep up with and remove.  Fluorescent systems are not much better.


All of the inefficient lighting systems discussed above have multiple and varying failure points.  If you have any of the older inefficient lighting technologies in your building besides LED, you have yourself an inefficient system that requires continual maintenance.

  • The maintenance cost is comprised of labor, lifts and materials, which typically adds up to thousands of dollars per year.
  • Old HID lighting and even new fluorescent lighting both cycle on and off extremely fast, which is called flicker.  The human eye cannot detect flicker however the brain can, and it causes headaches, poor productivity and a sense of uncomfort.
  • Color Rendering Index (CRI) is also low on inefficient technologies, and does not allow colors to pop out as they do in sunlight.
  • These inefficient systems also consume vast amounts of electricity to produce light.
  • Generally 1/3 to 2/3 of that electricity is wasted, and the paid to the utility each and every month.
Replace all inefficient lights in all refrigerated warehouse spaces with LED fixtures and occupancy sensor controls.  Replace inefficient lights in shipping & receiving areas with LED fixtures and controls if it makes sense.
NOTE: All LED fixtures are not equal.  With over 3000 LED light fixture brands, most of whom have not been in business as long as their warranty, we perform a high level of due diligence to compare our suppliers and fixtures in terms of efficiency, quality, value and warranty.


  1. 100 HID (Metal Halide or High Pressure Sodium) 400 Watt High Bay Lights in Warehouse operating 20 hours per day (7,200 hrs/year)
    460 Watts (with Ballast) x 7,200 x $0.10 per kWh (average cost of commercial electricity across the U.S.)
    ((100 x 460) x 7200)/1000 x .10 = $33,120 annual electric cost
  2. 100 Fluorescent (4 Lamp T5 or 6 Lamp T8) 220 Watt High Bay Lights in Warehouse operating 20 hours per day
    220 Watts x 7,200 x $0.10 per kWh
    ((100 x 220) x 7200)/1000 x .10 = $15,840 annual electric cost
    Add Occupancy Sensors to turn off lights during non-occupied time (30% of operating hours) $10,455
  3. 100 LED 160 Watt High Bay Lights in Warehouse operating 20 hours per day
    160 Watts x 7,200 x $0.10 per kWh
    ((100 x 160) x 7200)/1000 x .10 = $11,520 annual electric cost
    Add Occupancy Sensors to turn off lights during non-occupied time (30% of operating hours) $7,600


Although the LED electricity savings is minimal, we must look at the life expectancy of all light sources, which drastically affects the lifecycle maintenance cost:

  1. HID lamps are 20,000 hours +/- (2.78 years operating 20 hours per day)
  2. Fluorescent lamps are 36,000 hours (5 year life expectancy)
  3. LED fixtures are 50,000 to 100,000 hours (6.9 to 13.8 years)


Our S.M.A.R.T. CEW turnkey process is to Save, Measure, Analyze, Replace and Transform.  Here’s how:

  • Collect existing lighting data and electric bills from customer
  • Design and compare 2-3 energy efficient LED lighting and controls upgrade packages suitable for your facility
  • Run energy calculations to identify the Investment, cost savings and Payback and create proposal best solution
  • Work with utility provider to secure available utility incentives for project
  • Installation and on-site Project Management to oversee project, pre and post data logging upon request
  • Reconcile project to include savings analysis and available utility incentive, and create efficiency report/case study

To start, schedule a 30 minute discussion with one of our Energy Analysts to determine if what we do is a fit for your facility.  We require very little information to create a proposal that will include:

  • the Investment/Payback model
  • amount of wasted energy
  • carbon emmissions reduced
  • annual cost savings
  • utility incentives that may be available

Specializing in commercial and industrial energy efficient lighting retrofits for over 10 years, we’ll help educate you and walk you through the process of choosing the correct lighting system for your facility, and oversee the project from stem to stern.

Click here to schedule a discovery call