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Lighting Audits & Retrofits

The first step to a successful lighting upgrade is the lighting survey or audit. In this stage, which is essential to proper planning, the lighting manager gathers and organizes information about the existing lighting system and how it is used.

A lighting retrofit is the practice of replacing components in the system with counterparts that make it use energy more efficiently. A lighting upgrade is any strategy that reduces the system's energy use. Energy savings are realized over time that can be significant enough to not only pay for the new equipment, but produce a return on the investment.

Codale Electric Supply has specialized computer software that will calculate the economic benefits of an upgrade, but it pays to understand the principles.

Understanding Energy Consumption
Utilities bill their customers in a variety of ways, including an energy use charge, demand charge, power factor charge, fuel adjustment charge and other charges.

Energy Consumption (kWh) = Input Watts (kW) x Time (hours operated in a given year)

To reduce energy consumption, therefore, either the input wattage or the hours of operation can be reduced. Input wattage can be reduced by replacing lamps and ballasts with more-energy-efficient counterparts or outright removal of lamps and ballasts. The hours of operation can be reduced using sophisticated controls and other methods.

Lighting systems convert only a minority fraction of their electrical input into useful light output. Much of the rest is released directly as heat into the space. Therefore, any upgrade of the lighting system that reduces input wattage reduces the amount of heat that must be removed by the air cooling system. This results in air cooling energy savings during the operation of the building. In new construction, an energy-efficient lighting design can result in significant savings in the installed cost of cooling systems.

To have a Lighting Energy Audit at your facility, please contact Codale Electric Supply at 1-800-300-6634, via e-mail to, or fill out our request form found in the Contact Us section of this website.