Overview energy efficient lighting

What is energy efficient lighting?

Making lighting more energy efficient in an office tenancy can mean replacing actual light fittings, changing the lighting types or improving the lighting controls – for example, installing motion or daylight sensors, timers, and automatic dimmers. A lighting upgrade can also encompass specialist area lighting and desk lamps, meeting rooms, and bathrooms, as well as the ceiling lights.

Why upgrade lights?

Lighting upgrades can be relatively straightforward, and offer very rapid returns on investment and then ongoing operational savings and reduced maintenance. Many business environments are over-lit compared to the level recommended by Australian Standard 1680 levels. For instance, there are a range of energy efficient lighting solutions that can reduce energy use by up to 82 per cent (NSW Office of Environment & Heritage). The reason that lighting upgrades can save so much energy is that modern fittings do not produce wasted heat which has the added advantage of lessening the load on the office air-conditioner.  

How to improve lighting

In many instances, immediate savings can be gained by simply making minor adjustments. In other cases organisations will benefit from engaging a lighting or energy efficiency professional who will step through lighting identification, technology choices and a business case, including schemes to help finance upgrades. For organisations proceeding with their own audit and upgrade, CitySwitch has created audit tools for lighting and controls and comprehensive information on lighting has been compiled by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, NABERS, Sustainability Victoria and the Australian Energy Efficiency Exchange - see resources section below.

Alongside technology considerations, there are a number of strategies to improve lighting performance: 

  • behaviour change to encourage a ‘switch-off’ culture
  • use more daylight in place of artificial light
  • get better performance from existing light fittings
  • make use of controls like sensors and zoning areas
  • de-lamping and daylighting for over-lit areas
  • replacing whole fittings or lamps inside light fittings


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