By customizing lighting to suit the needs of a space, building owners and operators can lock down superior levels of efficiency. With today’s LEDs and controls, we’re looking at far better output and efficiency than traditional options. So much so that energy-efficient lighting and controls have become part of electrical code in many states.
Despite the countless benefits of efficient lighting and controls, some building owners and operators are still hesitant to commit to a full lighting upgrade. Why?
First of all, there are still misconceptions around lighting controls. Some building owners think LEDs without controls should suffice. Another common misconception is that controls are complicated and expensive. In reality, lighting controls are pretty simple and cost-effective, and LEDs work best when paired with controls.
To get the scoop on how to sell lighting controls, I caught up with Matt Kurtz, Sales Director at Lutron. Here are a few tips to help you deliver the right lighting for the job and, like Don Corleone, make them an offer they can’t refuse. (Any Godfather fans out there?)
1. Know Your Customer
When it comes to lighting, there’s no one-bulb-fits all approach. Maybe your customer is looking to increase energy savings or improve occupant comfort, and productivity. Or perhaps they just want to meet the latest energy code. To sell your customers the right LEDs and controls, get to the bottom of what matters to them:
- What type of space are they lighting?
- Do different employees/departments need different levels of light throughout the day?
- Do they want to maximize the use of daylight?
- Do they want lighting to automatically turn off when spaces are vacated?
- Do lighting controls need to tie into their building-management system?
- What kind of energy-saving strategies are important to them?
- Is meeting energy code their primary concern?
2. Focus On Energy Codes
Contractors should pay attention to lighting controls now more than ever, since ASHRAE, IECC, and Title 24 all incorporate controls. In California, for example, Title 24 dictates that you can’t build a building over 10,000 square feet without including extensive lighting controls.
There’s no question that energy codes are driving energy reduction. A few ways to achieve this is through occupancy sensing, personal controls, dimming, or daylight harvesting.
To win the sale, contractors should know and understand how to meet local energy code. Lighting controls are a critical part of that equation. To help you brush up on energy codes, Lutron created detailed energy code application guides for standalone and network solutions:
3. Draft An Energy Audit
Payback on lighting upgrades is contingent on a few factors, including rebates, the cost of materials and labor, and energy rates in your customer’s state. But, no matter how you slice it, energy-efficient controls could add up to huge savings. If your customer is hesitant about lighting controls, nothing sways the decision quite like cold, hard numbers.
To make the case for an upgrade, EC&M (Selling Up Without Selling Out) suggests preparing a basic energy audit. It could be as simple as tallying up the number of luminaires, the luminaire types, and total energy usage. With a few simple calculations, you should be able to come up with a basic proposal for energy savings.
If you need help making the case for lighting controls, feel free to lean on the Graybar or Lutron team.
Over To You
As National Market Manager at Graybar, Todd’s goal is to find the best products and solutions to help contractors work more efficiently, stay safe on the job, and win more productive and profitable business.
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