The ‘Lighting Season’ is upon us. Shorter days bring higher energy bills, but one crucial and much overlooked action can radically help; building energy efficiency in the back of store.
In Part 2 of our investigation, we reveal how LED store lighting solutions, far from the customer’s gaze, are vital to lower energy overheads.
In retail, often the focus of energy managers is on the shop front. But, the goods we see there have another, more secret life.
This life comprises huge, multi-site operations; vast back of store areas packed full of stock, all of which must be lit. Goods must be categorised, tagged and maintained in saleable condition.
Achieving all this depends on the right light. Energy wastage here is costly; the back of house stock room is a place where significant amounts of energy can be lost and saved.
The added benefits of store lighting
Ultimately, better backroom lighting translates into lower stock losses through breakages and falls, and fewer days off sick from disgruntled employees. Embedding energy efficiencies holistically spreads benefit holistically, from the store front, through the back room and across the entire estate.
By including your back room in a lighting efficiency programme, you are ramping up sustainability, staff contentment and stock safety, as well as simple cost savings on energy.
What are the numbers involved?
If you’re unconvinced by the value of back of store efficiency, read on. The following statistics come from Lux; they are tremendously persuasive.
‘Using LED back of house can be demonstrated in a small stockroom with four aisles and shelving on either side,’ Lux begins.
‘The stockroom was lit with 30 58W switch-start battens. Replace each of these with a 24W LED tube and you can cut energy use from 8,350kWh a year to just 2,800kWh, and carbon emissions from 4.6 tonnes to 1.6 tonnes. You’ve saved £547 worth of energy and three tonnes of CO2.’
Of course, new LED lights, whilst a powerful source of savings, are not the only changes you can make. Lux also estimated that installing automated light sensors in a stock room with 30 LED tubes saves another 40%, cutting power usage from 2880 to 1150 kWh.
The total savings can be staggering; ‘If a typical back-of-house area is designed to incorporate appropriate lux levels, lamp and luminaire technology and lighting controls, annual energy savings of 60-70% can be achieved,’ writes Lux.
Across retail estates with numerous store rooms, the savings illustrated here are just the start. The possibilities for estate-wide implementation of back room efficiency are immense.
Further add on benefits
You might think more sustainable operations and cash savings are the main efficiency benefits, but there are more.
1) Staff happiness and comfort. These are hugely improved by better lighting; today’s LEDs offer a friendlier light than ever before. No longer need store rooms be cold, depressing places to work.
2) Health and safety. This is a top level issue for every business. In no way can your lighting systems ever prejudice the safety of employees. Automated, sensor activated lights, backed up by a comprehensive maintenance programme are just some steps towards a safer backroom operation.
3) The psychology of light. Staff deserve to be treated as well as customers. Providing the same light standards in the back of store sends a unique message, one that promises high staff retention and contentment.
Greenlite can help you find the top LED solutions, maintain them, and offer upfront finance too.