Rugby High School enjoys ‘significantly improved’ illumination from energy saving LED upgrade

The comprehensive LED-based lighting upgrade is expected to deliver annual savings of £12.5K and a return on investment of only 4.5 years.

Increasing instances of lamp failure, a recognition that the quality of the illumination could be better, and a desire to take advantage of energy savings accruing from the latest LED technology informed a recent upgrade at Rugby High School in Warwickshire. The major, site-wide overhaul was undertaken by Energys Group and funded by Utility Rentals’ operational lease scheme.

As the school’s Business Manager, Allan Kerr, explains, “it had been clear for a while that the old lighting was nearing the end of its useful life. Lamps were beginning to fail on a more regular basis, meaning that we were spending more money on replacements and maintenance. In addition, we were working on plans for a new sports hall, and if we had kept with the existing lighting we would have had to increase our electricity supply.”

Having engaged the services of energy efficiency technology specialist Energys Group to advise on the project, it quickly became clear that a comprehensive LED lighting upgrade would both reduce demand on supply and enable substantial energy savings. Consequently, the two parties began work on a lighting overhaul to encompass the main hall, music theatre, classrooms, science labs, gym, sports hall, corridors, staircases, communal areas and the languages block.

‘Dramatic improvement’

The resulting installation draws on LED products from across the Energys Group range, and includes tubes, panels, down-lighters, spotlights, wall-lights, outdoor fittings and flood-lights. Mere weeks after the project was completed – with a minimum of disruption to the operational practices of the school – it was evident to school management and personnel quite how much of an improvement the new systems had delivered.

“For the first few weeks after the deployment staff kept coming up to me to remark upon the new lighting. In particular, the increased standard of illumination in the main hall, gym and science labs was singled out for specific praise,” recalls Kerr.

Whilst the quality of the lighting was immediately apparent, its benefits in terms of energy savings will become more evident over the medium to long-term. As a result of the massive upgrade – which ran to 712 new LED lamps and 575 LED fittings – Energys predicts a return on investment of just 4.5 years. Annual energy savings are expected to total £12.5K and approximately 104,985 kWh’s, with a reduction in CO2 emissions of 55.84 tonnes per year.

Raj Gunasekaran, Business Development Manager at Energys Group, says that “the improvement in lighting conditions across the entire site is very discernible, and of course the energy savings are also going to be very welcome – particularly in the current challenging economic climate for the education sector. But it’s also important to highlight that improved lighting often translates to happier pupils and staff, meaning increased productivity and quality of work.”

‘Brilliant scheme’

However, there is another important element in the mix here and that is the funding provided by Utility Rentals. Having investigated some other schemes but concluded that they were unlikely to deliver the finance in the necessary time-frame, Kerr instead applied to the Utility Rentals operational lease initiative, with Energys Group providing guidance and assistance throughout the process.

As Utility Rentals director Steve Mattey explains, the scheme is fast, guaranteed and “available for any school in the country – no matter what size or establishment type. The rental scheme is cash-positive from day one, with repayments covered by the energy costs saved. The repayments are also fixed and won’t go up year on year, and can even be deferred until 12 months after the lighting has been installed.”

The Rugby High School application was successful, and Kerr reports that he was struck by “how straightforward the process proved to be. I am also pleased with the fact that if any failures occur, replacements will be provided at no cost. It really does take the risk element out of what has been a substantial undertaking.”

Reflecting on the completion of another comprehensive lighting upgrade in the education sector, Gunasekaran says that “the benefits Rugby High School is now experiencing as a result of implementing the latest LED lighting technology are now increasingly commonplace throughout this market. At Energys we are able to support this transition with a comprehensive range of LED solutions, so it’s no surprise that we have many comparable projects on the agenda for the rest of 2017.”

The Energys guide to lighting for leisure centres: increase efficiency and improve customer experience

Leisure centres can save serious money, and serious amounts of CO2, simply by delivering on energy efficiency potential.

‘Just by making a 10% improvement in the management of energy use, UK leisure facilities could save up to £70 million each year and reduce carbon emissions by hundreds of thousands of tonnes,’ explains the Carbon Trust.

‘In a typical sports centre, energy costs are second only to labour costs, accounting for as much as 30% of total running costs, a higher figure than in most other sectors.’

The Trust says heating can account for 60% of total energy costs, but managers can reduce these by up to a third through efficiency. And on average, 25% of an organisation’s electricity costs come from lighting, which can again be cut by a third.

Once you’ve established the savings, look to add value

Given the figures above, it’s a certainty that energy efficient lighting upgrades will save leisure centres money. However, they can also add value to the centre’s operations and add quality to the experience of using the facilities.

When looking at lighting upgrades, additional measures can and should be built in, which offer a much more sophisticated and user friendly experience to the customer.

When that’s the upgrade path chosen, it’s no longer just about saving money. Happier, more comfortable customers will stay customers longer, and report positively on the experience your leisure centre provides.

Daylight harvesting

Daylight harvesting is a technology whereby lighting is adjusted automatically according to natural lighting levels. A photosensor detects the amount of daylight in the room and adapts artificial levels to suit.

“If it’s a bright day outside, the system automatically compensates,” says Energys Managing Director Kevin Cox. “It’s essential that staff can see within sports facilities clearly. And that customers themselves can see comfortably. Daylighting matches internal and external light to achieve this. And it saves energy.”

Scene setting for different sports

Another superbly adaptable upgrade involves scene setting. “Different activities require differing levels of light,” says Cox. “A rapid game of badminton demands almost the opposite ambience compared with yoga sessions for example.

“Using a tablet that can be pre-programmed to suit requirements for different sports, staff can easily achieve the perfect light balance to keep customers happy and comply with Sport England criteria. And staff simply dial up the setting they require in moments.”

LED choices

LED products from the Energys Group can light an entire facility; LED tubes, panels, downlights, hi-bay units with intelligent multi-sensors, wall lights, SON replacement lamps and floodlights all feature in our far reaching projects.

“The right specification of intelligent auto-sensing lights in sports halls and indoor track spaces will also provide additional savings when unoccupied,” comments Cox.

“Our message is this; energy efficiency delivers massive savings at leisure facilities. But look at how the right LEDs and products improve the quality of your offering and day to day life at your centre too. That’s where the real value is found.”

Energys becomes a member of the Lighting Industry Association

Energys Group has joined the Lighting Industry Association (LIA), Europe’s largest trade association for the UK Lighting Industry and its supply chain.

The LIA seeks to represent members that demonstrate the highest degree of professionalism, expertise and ethical standards in every aspect of their operations, including the safety, reliability, quality and support of their products.

LIA_Member Logo_#1Located at the forefront of the industry and dedicated to promoting best practice throughout the sector, the LIA shares its knowledge and provides a wide range of services for members and the wider lighting industry.

As LIA members, Energys Group’s lighting products will be audited by the LIA and are LIA Code of Practice accredited. As part of the LIA’s new market surveillance initiative, Energys will also be subject to random product inspections, performed at the LIA’s UKAS accredited laboratory in Telford. This provides customers with further reassurance that the company’s lighting products meet the high standards specified by the Association.

Kevin Cox, Managing Director of Energys Group says, “By becoming LIA members we hope to give our customers confidence not only in the quality, safety and reliability of our products, but also to show that we are at the forefront of technological advancements and best practice in what is a rapidly changing industry.”

For more information about our LIA membership or for advice on what we do, get in touch.

The Energys explainer: How can warehouse LED lighting boost profits?

Statisticians and newspapers tell us that online-only retailers are enjoying a boom. The Telegraph reports that online sales “grew 18pc last year and by 27pc over the past two years…while bricks and mortar sales fell over both periods.”

The growing trend for virtual routes to market has seen a rise in demand for warehouse space, as businesses seek to satisfy the needs of an ever-growing number of online shoppers.

Whilst e-commerce companies typically enjoy lower overheads – with no costly retail estate to manage, there’s no doubt that it pays for online businesses to find ways of increasing the efficiency of their warehouse and distribution operations. It’s here that significant savings can be made to their operating costs.

How can efficient lighting make warehouses more profitable?

According to the Carbon Trust, even a 20% cut in energy costs represents the same bottom line benefit as a 5% increase in sales. Lighting can account for up to 80% of a warehouse’s energy bill, so upgrading to energy efficient options such as LED can have a significant impact.

In a fast-paced industry, achieving this sort of competitive advantage is crucial. But energy isn’t the only expense associated with legacy warehouse lighting. Maintenance costs can rack up too, as failed lamps need to be accessed by cherry picker, disrupting operations as sections of warehouse are cordoned off for replacement work.

Lighting also has an impact on staff wellbeing and productivity. Eyestrain, glare, picking and packing mistakes are all consequences of poor quality illumination.

Specialist solutions for a specialist space

The cost-saving argument for upgrading to LED is clear, but not all LEDs are made equal, and warehouses are particularly tricky environments to light. Open spaces, high ceilings, narrow aisles and high racking can make it difficult to illuminate spaces evenly.

Energys Group’s New Vision LED High Bay option offers excellent energy saving opportunities for warehouses, while providing even light distribution and glare control. The lamps have a life expectancy of over 50,000 hours and will maintain lumen levels at over 90% for the full warranty period of 5 years in normal use, dramatically reducing the maintenance burden.

For warehouses with legacy SONS or metal halide lighting, our retrofit options may be a faster, more cost-effective solution. Ranging from 20W to 100W, they provide a cost-effective ‘plug and play’ option to replace SONs and metal halides. Because of the high efficacy and directional nature of these LED lamps, together with the sharp white light and high colour rendering index, it is possible to reduce the power consumption of light fittings by between 50% and 75% with no discernible reduction in effective light levels.

Warehouse lighting success story

One example of lighting best practice is Prompto Despatch, a courier company in Ireland. Prompto’s 400W metal halide lamps were retrofitted with our New Vision 80W LED SON lamps, achieving instant energy savings of more than 75% in the company’s warehouse space.

“It was obvious from the outset that as soon as the New Vision LED lighting was installed we had made the right decision, with much improved lighting levels and instantly reduced energy costs,” says James Delea, Managing Director at Prompto Despatch.

It’s clear that LED lighting can offer significant efficiencies for warehouse businesses. But proven sector expertise and high performance products are key when selecting the right supplier. Only then will companies really reap all the benefits of modern, effective, efficient light.

Want to know more about the benefits of LED lighting for warehouses? Drop us a line or have a look at our case studies.

The February Energys advice portal; why price alone can’t deliver top quality commercial LEDs

No matter which sector you work in, an all too familiar disconnect exists; price versus quality.

It’s a challenge in virtually every aspect of human endeavour, and unfortunately it’s also a challenge in the world of LEDs.

Right now, the issue of LED quality is becoming ever more important. Demand for LEDs is growing exponentially as more and more firms realise their advantages. There are multiple benefits that go beyond simple energy and cost savings – our case studies are testament to that.

But the trouble is, the burgeoning market is like a green light to unscrupulous importers, whose substandard products you should avoid, with both sustainability and safety in mind.

Here’s what to do, to make sure you don’t fall foul of cheap LEDs.

There’s such a thing as too good to be true

It doesn’t take a vast amount of research to uncover the issues facing the industry. ‘As the market for LED lighting continues to grow, suppliers are competing to cash in,’ writes Lux Magazine.

‘And while competition is forcing prices down for consumers, the appearance of dodgy and dangerous products on the market means that those who go for cheap LEDs risk paying a much greater price.’

Lux highlights a shipment of 1,000 LED lamps, imported from China, identified at the Port of Felixstowe. A number of samples were found to have insufficient insulation and exposed live elements. They were potentially lethal.

Lux writes that the BBC’s Fake Britain team tested some of the lamps in a laboratory, alongside a branded lamp. The unbranded domestic lamp recorded 179V and 91mA in a touch test; multiple times higher than the maximum 60V and 2mA permitted in European safety standards.

Industry standards can help you avoid the cowboys

At Energys, our business hinges on using quality LEDs. As a manufacturer, we guarantee that our LEDs are safe, certified and branded.

So, we won’t offer you anything dangerous, anything that can’t perform up to its stated specification in the real world, nor anything that comes from shady sources.

To further our commitment to transparency, better reliability and safety, we have joined the Lighting Industry Association (LIA).

All LIA members commit to random inspections and testing of their LEDs. We’re happy with this, because we want to play our part in widening transparency and protecting our customers.

‘This process should be considered as a serious attempt to create a real differential to ensure the market has access to compliant and quality lighting products,’ Steve Davies, CEO of the LIA, has commented.

Question your supplier

All in all, we can’t advise strongly enough; steer away from cheap LED imports. Instead, find a number of reputable suppliers like Energys.

Ask these suppliers: where do your LEDs come from? Are they branded? How does their real world performance stack up against the energy savings claimed? Do you have customer references? How long does your guarantee cover any LED lighting for?

The best, most transparent suppliers will be keen to engage in such conversations. Those who lack information, or attempt to divert you to cheaper costs are likely to be selling exactly the LEDs you wish to avoid.

Interested in learning more? Read our guide to undertaking due diligence on your lighting supplier.