Blog: Three ways that businesses can cut their lighting energy

Blog: Three ways that businesses can cut their lighting energy

  • Posted on March 23 2023

By Tim Bowes, Head of Lighting Application, Whitecroft Lighting


As businesses and households look for ways to slash their bills and save energy, particularly over the winter months, lighting is one area that can help to significantly cut costs and carbon.

UK homes and businesses are currently losing out on up to £3.1 billion worth of savings by not improving energy efficiency, yet lighting, which makes up around 23% of operational emissions in commercial buildings, can deliver huge savings when it is used intelligently.

There are three main ways you can make your lighting work better for you. These are switching to LED lights, fitting lighting controls and selecting for long-term performance:


1. Make the LED switch

Switching to renewable energies and making efficiencies are the fundamental building blocks of achieving net zero. One change can include saying farewell to inefficient fluorescent and halogen lights. If your business has not already replaced older lighting with more energy-efficient LED options, preferably Cradle to Cradle Certified®, now is the time to do so.

Sales of less energy-efficient fluorescent and halogen lighting are being phased out under UK and EU laws, with ultra-long-life LED light fittings able to generate cost savings of up to 50% and bring significant energy-saving benefits:

  • • While energy-efficient products and renewable energy are both important in the drive towards net zero, the use of more energy-efficient products such as LED light fixtures is even more effective by a slight margin in reducing energy demand than switching to renewables in the UK.
  • • Between 2005 and 2019, the move to energy-efficient products helped to cut energy demand in the UK by 103 terawatt hours. Over the same period, the UK reduced fossil fuel energy by 95 terawatt hours by switching to renewable energies.
  • • Energy efficient products are also one of the reasons why electricity generation per person has reduced since 2005, the year when electricity generation peaked at 357 terawatt-hours. By 2021, the amount of electricity generated per person in the UK was at 4.6 megawatt hours, the lowest level since 1984.

Find out more about the fluorescent lamp phase out


2. Get your lighting under control

Lighting is not just a question of fit and forget. Achieving cost and energy savings means removing any wasteful or inefficient use.

Lighting controls help to prevent light wastage, not only creating more flexible working spaces but also offering the single biggest opportunity for saving energy on a new build or refurbishment project.

  • • Daylight-linked dimmers combined with PIR (passive infrared) controls can create up to 75% energy savings in a typical commercial building.
  • • From lowering and raising light levels according to the time, weather conditions or room occupancy to making sure emergency lighting kicks in when needed, lighting controls do much more than switching lights off when people leave the room.
  • • Controls can help provide full analytics of a building’s operation including emergency lighting testing and reporting. In addition, integral smart wireless controls help to make cost and energy savings without the need for complicated rewiring.

Read more about lighting controls


3. Long term sustainability

Any investment in a new lighting system should factor in the long-term viability and expected lifetime of all its materials, as well as environmental benefits.

Criteria such as the longevity of products and the options for regenerating individual elements are vital to the lifetime financial performance of a lighting system.

A high efficiency LED lighting system designed in line with circular economy principles will deliver immediate cost and energy savings but will also be easier to maintain and repair and give businesses the ability to harness future energy savings at minimal cost.

  • Rather than the single-life product approach of lighting of years gone by, circular cradle to cradle benefits combined with using high-efficiency LED lighting and controls can help businesses’ pockets and the planet.

Read more about Whitecroft Vitality


I’m Tim Bowes, the Head of Lighting Application at Whitecroft Lighting. I lead the development of Whitecroft Lighting’s Cradle to Cradle Certified product range, including the delivery of our first third-party verified EPDs.

Get in touch with Tim at

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