This is the third post in a series designed to help facility managers build a case for spending money on lighting upgrades.

Combining lighting upgrades with other capital projects can show greater return-on-investment (ROI) and strengthen the case. Here are some tips for maximizing energy savings and minimizing disruption:

Bundle up

Thinking about a simple lighting system upgrade? Or one with lighting, lighting controls and occupancy sensors? Or all of the above, plus a new HVAC system? Building Owners and Facility managers can often improve their chances of approval for a lighting system upgrade by combining it with other capital projects to buoy energy savings and minimize disruptions in the long-term. Smaller projects may save money in the short term, but may not be prudent long-term. The point is when there’s going to be a disruption, you want to get as much done as the budget can handle. Combining elective projects such as lighting system upgrades with non-elective projects such as upgrading the HVAC system makes sense.

It may be tempting to take the position that a lighting system upgrade will also reduce HVAC energy use. While it could be the case, it’s a very complex calculation, and one that has only a small degree of certainty in being accurate. Proper analysis typically involves a computer model. Though the calculation is difficult, it’s not impossible. Another more prudent approach is to list the possible HVAC energy reduction as a potentially unquantifiable “soft” benefit. In other words, you know there is a benefit—just not exactly what it is—so it’s not included in the hard-and-fast numbers.

Engineered Products Company Inc. (EPCO) is the premier brand supplier of specialty products to electrical distributors and contractors. Headquartered in Minnetonka, MN (a suburb west of Minneapolis), EPCO has supported the electrical industry since 1976 by supplying a broad range of standard and unique consumables for commercial, industrial, residential and agriculture buildings.