Shedding Some Light on the Benefits of LED

If you’re on a mission to bring the benefits of light-emitting diode (LED) lighting to your business, you’ve probably found copious amounts of information on the positives of LEDs: longer-lasting, energy-efficient, weather-resistant, money-saving, good for the environment, durable, etc.

Sure, basic facts and figures tell part of the story quite nicely. For instance, it’s encouraging to know that St. Hugo of the Hills School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan stands to save 63% in cost savings from their switch to LED, while Kalamazoo, Michigan’s Bell’s Brewery will realize 61% in savings from their logistic center’s LED retrofit.

But still, there’s nothing like hearing straight from someone who has been there, successfully done that and reaped the benefits that an LED retrofit won’t be overwhelming and will be worthwhile. It’s also a persuasive way to round out your pitch for those in your organization who need to buy in to the project.

In case you don’t personally know anyone who’s recently been through an upgrade to LED lighting, here’s the experience of Woodward Energy Solutions customer St. Isidore Church to help you make your case.

Success Story: St. Isidore Church, Macomb, Michigan

Chris Kozlowski, Business Manager for St. Isidore, has worked with Woodward Energy Solutions to coordinate several LED retrofits. As a result, he already knew about the benefits of LEDs and was well-prepared to make a clear case to the decision makers at St. Isidore Church.

Q: What made you decide to retrofit St. Isidore with LED lighting?

CK: There were many factors in making this decision. One, we wanted to save money. LED lights run at a fraction of the cost of incandescents. Two, we wanted to lower the ongoing maintenance costs for the facility. LED lighting has an extended lifespan, and doesn’t use ballasts, so our maintenance team will have to devote less time to the upkeep of our lighting. Third—and maybe the most important factor—is that the lighting would be consistent throughout campus. As incandescents age, they seem to lose their color. LED lighting stays consistent, and thus the campus looks great.

Q: Did you have any specific goals for this project?

CK: We were hoping to reduce operating costs for the facility. Because LED lighting needs less power to run we were able to realize operational savings from day one. The improves aesthetics are simply a bonus!

Q: Were you surprised by the initial audit and financial metrics?

CK: I’ve been working with Woodward Energy for quite a few years now, and through multiple projects, so I don’t remember my initial reaction. I do know that I had to help other people to understand the reality of the financial metrics.

Q: Can you walk us through the process you went through?

CK: At a church, the process is a bit different than at other businesses. The Parish Finance Council and/or the Building Committee had to approve the project. In the Archdiocese of Detroit, three bids are required for any capital project. So, we had multiple suppliers present their findings with our electric usage and the proposed savings. The building committee (at my first parish) then chose one vendor to recommend to the Finance Council. The Finance Council then chose the vendor with whom we moved forward.

Q: How was the installation experience?

CK: The installation experience has been relatively smooth in all of the projects. The electrician has the scope of work from Woodward Energy, and they stick to a replacement plan. Three of the projects I’ve done have been exterior projects, so it was even easier for the installers to operate while staying out of the way of day-to-day operations.

Q: What benefits have you realized since the project was completed?

We realized real savings right from the beginning. Woodward Energy facilitated the rebate with DTE. Operational savings were realized due to the lower demand for electricity. It seems to me that each of the projects I’ve completed with Woodward were very close to the projected savings.

Q: What advice would you give other companies who are considering an upgrade to LEDs?

CK: Unless I’m completely missing something, performing LED upgrades is one of the easiest decisions for a facility to make. A change to LED lighting instantly improves the aesthetics of the complex, it reduces operating costs and reduces utility costs. With an ROI of two to three years, these types of projects seem to be no-brainers.

Don’t Put Off Until Tomorrow…

Business owners who postpone lighting upgrades often cite the availability of funds and a fear of disrupting business as the biggest obstacles to switching to LED. Although they’re certainly important considerations, we’ve found that in fact, the biggest obstacle to making a move tends to be inertia: “Things work fine, so why should we change now? We’ll get to it—one day.”

But take a moment to think of all the way things could work better today:

• The money you save on reduced energy bills, the tax savings for becoming energy-efficient and the lower cost for bulb replacements could be invested back into your business and employees.

• The poor interior lighting that causes your employees negative health effects—headaches, eye strain, slips and falls and more—could improve their work environment, their safety, their morale and even their productivity.

• The dim exterior lighting that makes some employees nervous about walking to their cars on dark winter evenings could be made clear and bright, increasing the safety of anyone on your property.

• Higher-quality lighting could showcase your products more effectively, leading to better sales.

We hope Chris’s recap of his experience and St. Isidore’s success story have shed some quantifiable light on the benefits of an LED upgrade. If you’d like to learn more about how you can reap the benefits of switching to LEDs, Woodward Energy Solutions is ready to help you with a turnkey LED solution—from consultation and design, to financing and installation. We can streamline the process of retrofitting your facilities with LEDs, saving you both time and money.

Call us today at (866) 967-4533 for a free audit; we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results.

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