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Return on Investment (ROI) is often the most reviewed metric when in an energy project.  At EDE while we know how important ROI is. We also know that the Cost of Ownership is the MOST IMPORTANT metric for any new purchase.  When you get into lighting controls and solar the long-term financial benefits will continue to pay long after the investment is paid off.   

If Company A reduces the companies energy waste by $10,000.00 per month with a $200,000.00 investment.  Company B reduces their energy waste by $8,000.00 per month at a cost of $150,000.00. What solution will benefit the company the most? We know the answer, yet, most companies are fixated on the upfront costs of the project and really don’t look at the long-term cost of ownership.   

As previously mentioned, the cost of the equipment for a new LED lighting system with controls makes up only 5% of the total cost of that lighting system over its useful life. A whopping 90% of the cost of that lighting system is made up of energy costs (costs to operate the lighting system) and the remaining 5% is the cost to maintain the lighting system.

Cost of Ownership Vs ROI

Spend a little time and research before you buy your LED fixtures. Before you buy an LED light fixture check the following:



Ask the company you are working with who is the manufacturer of the LED diodes.  They are many quality manufacturers that have cost-effective diodes.





The heatsink pulls heat away from the LED diode’s housing.  Heatsinks are a passive form of cooling; there are no moving parts or power required.  Some materials serve as better heat sinks, such as forged aluminum.


The driver is the engine for the LED fixture, and you want to make sure you have a good quality driver.  There are a lot of knock-off or very cheap drivers in the market today which are used in cheap fixtures. The failure rate is 50% plus higher when these cheap drivers are powering LED fixtures that are in use for 5,000 hours per year or more or when heat is an issue in a facility (ceiling temps above 120F).

Important Components In A LED Fixture
Lumens vs Footcandles
Cargo Shipping Containers

A demand charge/fee is a charge some commercial customers receive for a peak period of energy consumption throughout a given period, generally speaking, a month.  The utilities measure this with an onsite demand meter. The utility companies implement demand charges/fees to ensure they can always meet their clients' capacity needs.

Can you reduce your demand charges? Yes, through a carefully orchestrated effort you can lower your demand costs.  If you would like to learn more, please email or call us for help.

Demand Charge

Today we are designing lighting systems that provide different color temperatures of lighting throughout the day, and the results are energy, fewer headaches, fewer sick days, and better attitudes, bottom line- happier team members.  Light is an essential ingredient for our health, and far too many companies have forgotten this.

Seasonal Affective Order is a disease that is treatable through simple light therapy, sitting near or under 5000K - 6500K light.  Doctors and researchers are finding more and more illnesses can be treated with light. 

Schools are finding that by changing the color of the light throughout the day, their students are learning better and less irritable. Color tunning today in offices throughout the US is providing the workers with a boost in energy that many say is equal to a cup of coffee.  It is real and it is happening now.  

Why is it that so many auto, manufacturing, distribution, and other companies have such poor light?  We have found that 80% of our initial lighting surveys are in environments that are underlit.  We design and recommend 50-footcandles of light in manufacturing environments and on average we see below 20-footcandles.   

If you want to improve your company's performance or bottom line, yes, look at the light levels and make the necessary changes.  It will have a bigger impact on your bottom line than you realize.  

Safety is a concern in all businesses today.  Lighting is one of the top metrics when it comes to safety.  There are lawsuits that state lighting as part of the problem in an injury, and when light levels are poor, the lawyer has a good case.  There are studies that prove proper light levels improve safety, by creating a safer place to work. 

Call us today to schedule a free webinar or in-house survey of your facility.

Impacts of Light
Micro Chip

There is a lot of confusion today about these two.  A motion sensor measures motion and controls a light fixture.  When there is no occupancy after a set amount of time, the Sensor will turn off the light fixture.  Lighting controls can be very robust and do so much more. Today lighting controls provide unprecedented insight into facility operations and help businesses create better business decisions.  Here are just a few things lighting controls are doing today:

  • Improves safety

  • Measure temperature and moisture

  • Provide high-end fixture trimming

  • Provide asset tracking

  • Informs retailers where shoppers are traveling through their stores. What products and displays are receiving the most attention.

  • Improve security

  • Decrease energy waste by 30% over an LED fixture with a sensor and 50% over a LED fixture

  • Perform building maintenance checks

  • Provide measurable
    documented energy savings


  • Performs automatic emergency lighting tests as scheduled and provides a detailed report

  • Increase the life of the LED’s

  • Provide valuable facility insight into the traffic flow

  • Task Tuning – different light levels for various areas of the work environment (provides significant energy savings)

  • Power metering

  • Collect data and provides real-time control from anywhere to help Energy Managers reduce waste even further

Sensors vs Controls
Cargo Shipping Containers

Most companies have no idea what their lights are costing them monthly to operate.  When you understand that 750W equals one horsepower and many light fixtures use half of one horsepower or more, suddenly, they begin to get a glimpse into the cost of their lighting.  

We have over 10-years of historical data that supports the following facility occupancies:

  • 30 – 35% for manufacturing facilities (some as low 20%)

  • 20 – 25% for warehouse and distribution centers (some as low as 15%)

  • 30 – 50% for colleges, schools, and universities

  • 20 – 40% for office and government building

This means there is a significant opportunity to reduce energy waste and further reduce these groups' carbon footprints.  When you can do a deep dive into your facility's occupancy with ease, you will be surprised just how much waste you can reduce without impacting team members, tenant satisfaction, safety, or work performance.

Why is Occupancy Important?
Standing at a Concert

The human eye cannot perceive a 30% change in light levels.  With progressive dimming or slow dimming as some refer to it, the occupants have no idea of the light levels changes.  Remember, lighting professionals, do not lower light levels when an area is occupied(when someone is working in that area). Dimming and turning off light fixtures in areas only occurs when there is no occupancy.  

Dimming is not dangerous, period.  When a fixture dims down because there is no occupancy event for a designated period, the fixture will power back up to its required level of brightness once someone walks within 20-30’ of the fixture.  Meaning, long before someone gets to the area, the fixture is at its planned occupancy setting, generally speaking, 80 – 90% power/brightness.

Lighting controls today will allow a business to group a series of fixtures in an area so that all fixtures behave with the same settings.  So when someone walks into an unoccupied work area, 6-10 or any number of fixtures can power up to fully illuminate the workspace.

Dimming Facilities
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