According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 29 percent of electricity used in the United States is related to lighting. Recent industry reports estimate that as much as 41 percent of electricity used by self-storage facilities is for the sole purpose of lighting.
Most storage facilities are using outdated light bulbs. High pressure sodium (HPS) and metal halide (MH) lighting is inefficient, wasting electricity and producing a poor-quality light. To compound matters, these older lamps don’t last as long as newer alternatives, driving up maintenance and recycling costs. Chances are the lighting at your facility is cutting into your bottom line every single month.
Getting on the Efficiency Bandwagon
There’s a national movement to increase energy efficiency through better lighting. In fact, several state and federal legislators have passed laws that will phase out most incandescent light bulbs. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 requires all general-purpose light bulbs to be 30 percent more energy-efficient than current incandescent bulbs by 2014. Most light manufacturers agree this spells the elimination of incandescent lights. The enacted efficiency standards will start with 100-watt bulbs in January 2012 and end with 40-watt bulbs in January 2014.
Self-storage owners know controlling the bottom line is essential. New lighting solutions can reduce lighting-energy use by as much as 90 percent while eliminating maintenance expense for up to 12 years. LED lighting lasts two to five times longer than traditional light bulbs. The end result is a significant reduction in monthly expenses for bulb changes. Energy prices are expected to rise significantly over the next five years, making energy reduction even more beneficial.
Lighting not only impacts expenses, it affects customer service and security. People feel more secure in well-lit areas, and lighting is important for storage accessibility in the evening hours. Though better lighting can’t guarantee safety or eliminate all potential crime, studies have shown that good lighting will improve customers’ perception of safety and reduce instances of opportunistic crime. According to the International Crime Free Association, enhanced lighting plays a significant role in reducing criminal activity at self-storage facilities and improves security-camera images by producing clearer images.
Lighting improvements can also help reduce a self-storage operator’s legal liability. Lighting quality and brightness is often a point of concern in premises liability litigation. Facility owners with better lighting report fewer premises liability lawsuits.