New Business Models Accelerate LED Adoption toward COP21 Goal of 10 Billion Energy Efficient Lights

Instead of focusing on products alone, Cree connects lighting to a range of critical business objectives.


cop21-paris-perspective-cropped-UNFCCThe world’s nations have agreed that climate change is real and we have a collective responsibility to help curtail it. With lighting accounting for 15 percent of global electricity consumption – more than the electricity generated by all the nuclear power stations in the world – now is the time to take action.

Taking place in the City of Lights, the 2015 United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference (more commonly referred to as COP21) spurred a global agreement to limit the world’s temperature rise to below two degrees Celsius. It’s no surprise that the global forum also served as a vestibule for the Clean Energy Ministerial’s Global Lighting Challenge — a race to deploy 10 billion high-efficiency, high-quality and affordable lighting products as quickly as possible. With eyes on the future of energy efficiency and lighting, we have a real opportunity to spark a transformation and motivate the world to make the switch to LED, moving beyond outdated lighting technology.

Thermo Fisher facility with LED lights

Thermo Fisher facility with LED lights. (Cree photo.)

While LED lighting installations are growing incrementally, many companies still aren’t considering how better light could transform their operations – revealing that new business models are often as important as better technology in accelerating adoption. Cree designed a program approach that overcomes this barrier by connecting lighting to critical business objectives ranging from sustainability and carbon footprint goals to cost reduction and operational targets.

With Cree managing and delivering projects from start to finish, businesses can focus on their business, not their lighting. As an example, Thermo Fisher Scientific, the world leader in serving science, was able to implement lighting as a turn-key service, i.e., a comprehensive solution rather than a product alone. Now, Thermo Fisher’s 400-employee Asheville, N.C. campus is operating in a more functional and better-lit environment, improving safety and productivity while significantly reducing operational expenses and energy output with a 1.1M KWH power reduction and savings of up to 40 percent annually.

To commit to a goal is one thing, but to fulfill that commitment is an entirely different battle that is going to take more than just saying ‘I do.’ In order to keep LED adoption top of mind, governments, businesses, consumers – all of us must do our part to help us meet the crucial goal of 10 billion. Where do we start?

Offices of Thermo Fisher after installing efficient lights

Offices of Thermo Fisher in Asheville, NC, after installing efficient lights. (Cree photo)

Know the facts. Many business owners have avoided adopting LED lighting technology due to a view that it’s too time-consuming and costly. This is not the case. In fact, by waiting to switch to LEDs, governments, business and home owners are losing out on savings that can drastically impact operating expenses and energy bills. For example, a business with roughly 1,000 lighting fixtures can easily save over $40K per year by switching to LEDs.

Commit to better light. Complete LED adoption will take today’s LED light being better than what it’s replacing – not as good as, not just good enough.  Better, high-performance LED light has the ability to transform a space, beyond energy savings. Lighting pervades the spaces in which we live. It has the sensory power to create nostalgia, comfort and peace. It can help improve productivity in work spaces, affect sleep patterns, and create safer, more visible city streets.

After installing Cree LED lighting in and around their industrial facility, Thermo Fisher Scientific cited that staff feels more secure coming into and leaving the facility in the early morning and evening hours. Even truck drivers have commented on how much easier it is to back their trailers into the shipping docks with the new LED lighting wall packs on the sides of the building.

Take action. LED lighting’s impact on the environment is being noticed, and we have the opportunity to reduce lighting energy consumption, saving billions on energy costs and ultimately contributing to a better world. We should focus on making changes now that will lead to a better future. By waiting to switch the LEDs, businesses are losing out on energy savings that can drastically impact operating expenses and energy bills.
If we can commit to accelerating the global lighting transition to advanced LED lighting solutions, we all can reap the benefits of better light, and, by doing so, decrease global electricity consumption for lighting by 50 percent over that same time period. That is better light using 50 percent less electricity.

Thermo Fisher Scientific case study

Savings calculator at Cree.com

About the Author:
http://cree.com

Contributor Greg Merritt is vice president, marketing and public affairs at Cree, an industry leader in LED lighting technology. He currently is working to drive the game-changing transformation from obsolete, energy wasting lighting to better quality, more efficient LED technology.

Posted in Energy Efficiency, Opinion