PART 2: When Did the Bulb Get So Complicated?

PART 2: When Did the Bulb Get So Complicated?

With lighting costs averaging 19% of total energy consumption and competition fierce in today’s marketplace, commercial businesses are looking at options. Lighting solutions are complex and major mistakes can be made when making infrastructure decisions. According to the IQ 2016 Energy Report, what is really comes down to is… “getting the light right for the occupant. I don’t care what light is there because, more than likely, whatever lighting is there is wrong.”


“You almost always have a failure within the first three months of a project.” When an LED is replaced, it can have a different lumen output than all of the others that were installed prior, disrupting the uniform delivery of light. Furthermore, purchasers choose LED implementation in hard-to-reach places because of their promised longevity, since the actual procedure of changing an LED fixture can be disruptive to tenants and even pose a safety concern in places like parking lots, decreasing ROI and customer satisfaction. It is no wonder that malfunctions ranked as the number one complaint about LEDs in our survey. When an LED malfunctions, the ripple effects can be felt across the industry: the manufacturer takes a hit on reputation; the contractor has to go through the loops of having warranties fulfilled; and the occupants have to deal with decreased utility and invasive reparations. Non-residential purchasers of lighting want lighting that will not fail. However, with lighting there inevitably is failure. Clients desire warranties that ensure a seamless replacement process, with replacements performing uniformly with existing lighting.


“If we didn’t have utility incentives [the project] would probably not pass cost effectiveness.” Throughout our research, it became apparent that organizations still depend on utility incentives to implement LEDs, even as they are drying up. At the same time, tools of market transformation typically provided to decision-makers, such as utility rebates and payback schedules, have not proven effective in terms of motivating action regarding LEDs. There are a variety of reasons for these barriers, including the credibility of market actors and the lack of an independent agency verifying payback of installations and user experience. Of our survey participants, 85% agreed that there would be “greater overall investment in LEDs” with better subsidies from utilities. For small organizations (ranging from 1-25 employees), better utility subsidies were the number one need.

However, Contemporary Energy Solutions has proven there are ways to generate a significant ROI for companies even without incentives. (Case studies are showcased in our portfolio)


Two-thirds of small organizations and three-quarters of large organizations distrust advertised LED performance. According to the report participants, “Don’t ask GE, don’t ask Phillips, don’t ask any of the major lighting manufacturers because they’re all trying to sell you a product and tell you what they need to tell you to make their product sound best. So you can ignore all lighting companies…you’re not going to get the truth, so you’re going to have to go somewhere else.”

For a free energy audit and expert advice, call us today!