Benefits of switching to LED Lighting for Businesses

PKK Lighting discusses the benefits of switching to LED Lighting for Businesses

One often overlooked area for making improvements to your business is making a switch to LED lighting.  PKK Lighting, an LED lighting installation company in Madison, WI, discusses 6 benefits your business will realize when you make the switch:

  1. Savings: probably the biggest reason businesses should switch to LED lighting is the reduction in expenses they will experience.  From reduced electricity costs each month, to reduced maintenance over the life of the fixtures, businesses will quickly realize a payback on their investment in new LED lighting.
  2. Lighting Control: with technology getting smarter each year, businesses have the ability to create a custom lighting solution that better meets their needs.  The use of occupancy sensors to turn lights on or off, integration with computers and smart phones, and timers for time of day and day of week, allows businesses to tailor their solution to meet the needs of their organization.
  3. Light Quality: LED lighting fixtures have evolved to the point that they can produce virtually any color and effect that you want to create.  From general purpose office lighting to specific lighting applications for different parts of your building, LED lights can provide unmatched versatility to your business as compared to your current lighting configuration.
  4. Energy Efficient: LED lights use substantially less energy than the older light fixtures they replace.  This will result in huge savings in your utility bills each and every month.
  5. Life span: LED lights last much longer than the older technology bulbs.  This will result in much lower maintenance costs going forward.
  6. Environmentally Responsible: LED bulbs do not contain mercury and so are safer for the environment.  PKK Lighting can properly recycle and dispose of your old light bulbs and fixtures.

If you want to evaluate the benefits of switching to LED lighting for your business, contact PKK Lighting and one of our expert lighting consultants will get in touch with you.

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Lighting Installation Company discusses Church Lighting recommendations

Church Lighting recommendations from a Madison WI lighting installation company

Each business and organization has its’ own unique challenges when it comes to properly lighting their building and grounds. For people that are responsible for planning their Church lighting needs, it can be very involved with many inputs to consider. While the task can be daunting, approaching your Church lighting project with the help of a professional lighting installation company will make the project more successful. From the stage at the front of the church to the pews where your congregation sits, choosing the right lighting for your church can be a straight forward project.

We understand that budgets can be tight, but you don’t need expensive lasers and spotlights for your small church to look like a big church.  With LED lighting options, professional lighting can be very affordable.  Here are some pointers for your Wisconsin church lighting project:

Church Stage Lighting Recommendations

The front stage will be the focus of any church since that is where most of the activities are taking place, including sermons, wedding vows, baptisms, and more.  Drawing attention to the stage with proper lighting will help make it the focal point of your church.

  • Select lights that will serve multiple purposes.  For example, you’ll want stage lights that are directional that can be adjusted, if needed.
  • Are there parts of the stage or background that you want to highlight, like a stained glass window or religious symbol(s)?  Install appropriate LED lighting that will bring attention to different parts of the stage.
  • Create several layers of lighting for the stage. You’ll want rows of overhead lights that can be controlled from offstage so that the lighting can be dimmed or enhanced during a service or an event.
  • Spotlights that allow you to focus on the speaker with different intensities of light will create an enjoyable experience for the audience.

Congregation Seating Lighting Recommendations

The lighting for the church seating section has its own set of considerations. Because this area needs to have clear sightlines of the stage from every seat, here are a few tips to consider as you create your project plan for upgrading your church lighting solution:

  • Natural lighting: does your church have a lot of natural lighting that you can take advantage of for lighting the main seating area?  If so, you may not need as much artificial lighting and can keep your costs down.
  • Reading lighting: keep in mind that members of your congregation will be reading during your sermons and ceremonies, whether it’s pamphlets, hymnals, or other materials.  You’ll need to make sure there is enough lighting throughout the seating area for everyone to be able to read comfortably and not have to strain their eyes.
  • Dimmable lighting: being able to control the intensity of the seating area lights will allow you to set the mood for your sermons and other events.

When you’re planning your church lighting project, contact PKK Lighting in Madison, WI, a professional lighting installation company for over 40 years.  We’ve worked with many churches on their lighting projects and we’ll be happy to work with you.

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How do I recycle fluorescent tube lights and other electronic waste near Madison WI?

PKK Lighting can recycle your fluorescent tube lights and electronic waste

Do you have a pile of fluorescent tube lights and other electronic waste sitting at your Wisconsin facility that you are ready to recycle?  Have you recently completed an LED lighting retrofit project and have old light fixtures and bulbs that you need to dispose of?  PKK Lighting will be happy to help with your light bulb recycling and properly dispose of these hazardous materials and keep them out of our landfills.

The lighting industry understands the potential impact of these spent materials and has developed recycling procedures that allow us to recycle almost 100% of every component in a lighting system.  From light bulbs (incandescent, fluorescent, tubes, LED), to ballasts, to light fixtures, we can help you legally dispose of and recycle these materials.

PKK offers pick up services for your recycled light bulbs and electronic waste.  We routinely travel throughout much of south-central Wisconsin (Dane, Green, Columbia, Sauk, Jefferson, Rock, and Iowa counties) during our lighting maintenance trips and we periodically travel to other parts of Wisconsin and northern Illinois.  Fill out our Recycled Materials Pick-up form and we will contact you to schedule a time to pick up your light bulbs and electronic waste.

PKK Lighting will help you recycle the following materials:

  • Fluorescent tube lights
  • Incandescent light bulbs of all kinds
  • LED lights and fixtures
  • Ballasts and capacitors (both PCB and non-PCB)
  • Batteries of all types except automotive (alkaline, lithium, niCad, lead-acid, button type)
  • Electronic waste including cell phones, computers, televisions, telephones, circuit boards, etc.
  • Mercury containing devices, including thermostats and thermometers

Contact PKK Lighting to schedule a time for us to pick up your fluorescent lights, bulbs, fixtures and electronic waste.

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Is it time to replace your Parking Lot lights?

What to know when replacing your Parking Lot Lights

In Wisconsin, where it seems to get dark at 4pm for half the year, keeping the parking lot lights on is critical for the safety of your employees, customers, or residents.  Dark parking lots due to burnt out lights or uneven coverage can lead to an increase in vandalism, additional vehicle accidents, and other dangerous situations. Not to mention the negative message it sends about your organization and your apparent neglect of such an important area.

High-intensity discharge (HID) fixtures have traditionally been the choice for parking lot lighting.  These high powered fixtures provide low-grade light, consume a large amount of electricity, are expensive to maintain, and are generally unpleasant to the eye.  As these HID fixtures continue to age, they become even more inefficient to own and operate.  Over the last decade, parking lot owners have started to “see the light” and are changing out these inefficient HID fixtures with high-efficiency LED parking lot light fixtures.

Is it time for you to consider an LED parking lot lighting retrofit project?  Here are 6 signs that it’s time to replace your parking lot lights:

  1. Burnt out lights: are your parking lot lights burning out frequently?  Dispatching a utility truck with a lift and a work crew is expensive, so if you find that your lights need frequent replacement, it’s time to consider replacing your current lights with LED parking lot pole lights that have an average life span of 50,000 hours (over 10 years).
  2. Uneven coverage – patches of darkness: have you taken a drive around your parking lot late at night to see if the light is evenly dispersed?  With today’s LED technology, we are able to create a lighting pattern that will adequately cover the entire lot without spilling light over to neighboring properties.
  3. High energy costs: HID fixtures and bulbs are expensive to operate.  Replacing them with high-efficiency LED lights can cut your utility cost by upwards of 50-75% and can result in a pay-back period for the LED upgrade of less than 5 years.
  4. Increases in crime/vandalism: As the parking lot owner you have a responsibility to protect (as best you can) the people who use your lot.  Dark areas in your lot due to burnt out lights or uneven coverage just invites vandalism and increases the likelihood that something bad could happen.  Don’t wait until it’s too late – consider an upgrade to LED lights today.
  5. High maintenance: as the HID fixtures continue to age, they require additional maintenance and repairs to keep them operational.  When you combine the cost of maintenance, replacement bulbs, and high energy costs, the decision to change over to LED fixtures becomes much easier to make.
  6. Eco-friendly alternative: LED lighting is a much more Eco-friendly option for your parking lot lights.  LED lights do not contain mercury, emit UV rays, and generate less light pollution than their HID counterparts.

At PKK Lighting, we can help your company evaluate your current parking lot lighting solution, the total costs of ownership (including the fixtures, electricity, maintenance, and repairs), and provide you with our recommendations and pricing options.

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Remember Emergency Exit Lights during your LED Retrofit Project

LED Retrofit Project – don’t forget Emergency Lighting

If your company or organization is planning an LED Retrofit project to upgrade your lighting, you’ll need to insure that you consider emergency exit lights as part of your project.  Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established requirements that all commercial buildings must have clear exit routes from any point within the building to a place of safety.  OSHA acknowledges and accepts the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) emergency exit lighting requirements as to levels of illumination and that the emergency lights must work for a minimum of 90 minutes in the event that normal power is interrupted.

The types of commercial buildings that need to have Emergency Lighting include any facility that allows the general public (e.g., Churches; Retail stores; Hospitals; Sport complexes), employees (e.g., factories; office buildings), or specific use buildings (e.g., apartment complexes).

As the building owner, you have four options for generating the backup power to keep the lights on:

  1. Emergency Power Generator
  2. Emergency Inverter
  3. Designated Emergency Lights
  4. Individual Emergency Backup Drivers

Emergency Power Generator: Generators are normally powered by natural gas, propane, or diesel fuel. The generator powers a motor that generates electricity for critical operations, like emergency lighting. Generators can be expensive (several thousand dollars), but can keep your building operational for several days, if needed.

Emergency Inverter: if you only need the emergency lights to work for a shorter period of time, you could use an emergency inverter, which is essentially a giant battery.  The inverter gets charged from the main power supply and becomes operational when the main power supply fails.  The inverter can power large sections of emergency lighting and many can handle LED lights.  Inverters can handle both interior and exterior emergency lighting.  Because inverters are powered by a battery, their lives are short, typically 90 minutes.

Emergency Lights: many companies install traditional emergency lighting, which consist of light fixtures with built-in batteries.  The fixtures are powered by the main power supply (when the power is on) and via the batteries when the power supply is interrupted.  Similar to inverters, 90 minutes is the average limit these fixtures will work when the power is out.  These lights have a smaller upfront cost as compared to purchasing a generator or Inverter, but will still meet OSHA and NFPA requirements.

Emergency Backup Drivers: the final option for providing power to your emergency lights are backup drivers or emergency ballasts. Note that these are specifically made for lights that already have a driver to regulate their power supply, so they won’t work for every application.  The emergency backup drivers/ballasts have a battery that powers the light when the main power supply goes out.

OSHA has provided a handy checklist so you can evaluate if your building complies with the NFPA Emergency Illumination Standards.

Contact the experienced lighting installation team at PKK Lighting and we can discuss your LED Retrofit project, emergency lighting needs and potential options.

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Stop touching your light bulbs and save money

Labor is the 2nd biggest cost of owning and operating a light bulb

After electricity did you know that labor to change burned out lights is the next highest cost of owning a lighting system?  Up to 11% of your expense to operate a light fixture is comprised of the time it takes to maintain it!  There are a few simple things you can do to minimize time and labor costs and still keep your facility properly lit and productive:

  1. Think about group re-lamping.  Installing all new lamps at the same time means years of nearly maintenance free lighting.
  2. Change every lamp in a fixture when you touch it.  It takes the same amount of labor to change one lamp as it does 3 or 4.
  3. Clean the lens when you touch a fixture. Dirt accumulates on every surface of a light fixture which results in 10-15% light loss and increased heat retention. A simple wipe of the lens with clean water means brighter spaces, less heat, and happier employees.

PKK Lighting can help you anticipate and reduce your labor costs for lighting maintenance by setting up a scheduled inspection of your lighting system or, better yet, install all new lights and maintain them for a flat monthly fee.  Contact us today to discuss your commercial lighting needs.

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How much does your light bulb really cost?

Before buying your next light bulb, know the true cost

Since the dawn of human history we, as a species, have been searching for the most effective and efficient way to push the darkness back.  There are a number of very interesting articles outlining the historical “cost” of lighting our habitats, houses, communes, and cities over the centuries.  Here’s a link to one:

The take-away from all the research is humanity now benefits from the lowest cost for artificial light in its short history.  It still costs us, though, and probably not in the way you think.

Breakdown of Total Cost of Operating a Light Bulb

By far the most expensive part of owning and operating artificial light today is electricity.  Up to 77% of the cost to keep the lights on is spent on the power supplied by your local utility.  It may also surprise you to learn the next most expensive part is the labor to install and change lights.  Around 11% of your cost to flip the switch is time and money spent on labor.  Here’s a breakdown of your total cost to own a lamp:

  1. Electricity for the lamp – 77%
  2. Labor – 11%
  3. Electricity for HVAC to offset heat generated – 8%
  4. Raw cost of the lamp, bulb, LED – 3%
  5. Recycling of burned out lamps – 1%

What does this all mean?  It’s better to spend more money on the highest quality and most energy efficient lamp up front.  Buying cheap usually means higher energy use, short life (higher labor costs), more heat (higher HVAC costs), and the need to spend another 3% sooner to replace an inferior product.

In 1971 our founder, Jim Driscoll, installed the first “energy saving” fluorescent lamp in the state of Wisconsin.  It was 3 times the price of the regular lamp.  However, it paid for itself in energy savings within 3 years and kept burning for another 2 years.  47 years later PKK Lighting is still helping customers save time and money by providing the best commercial lighting solutions.

When you are shopping for light bulbs for sale for your commercial light fixture and need a recommendation, contact PKK Lighting and we’ll be happy to assist you.

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