July 15, 2022

5 Places LED Lighting Can Save Money for Schools

Image of a teacher in a classroom that is lit by LED lights on Bay Lighting's Maryland commercial lighting website

It’s estimated that schools spend billions of dollars annually on energy, and it’s often the second-highest operating expenditure (following personnel costs). Each year, these expenses continue to increase while budgets often decrease, leading educators to look for ways to save money throughout the year.

One way is by making some lighting updates that are more energy efficient, therefore saving money on energy bills. LED uses up to 75% less energy than conventional lighting systems, which keeps dollars in your budget for other important things.

Here are the top five places you can replace lighting with LED to help save money for schools.

Gymnasiums and Cafeterias

Many school gyms and cafeterias are lit with yellow, flickering lights that take forever to turn on and are accompanied by a loud buzzing noise. These are large spaces with numerous low-energy efficiency lights on for most, if not all, of the day. Plus, they require maintenance often, and because they are hard to reach, it typically requires a lift rental or hiring a professional.

Updating these lights with LED bulbs or fixtures can help schools save tens of thousands of dollars on the electric bill. Bulbs last thousands of hours, therefore requiring little to no maintenance, also cutting back those costs and disruption.


Not only can updating classroom lighting to LED fixtures save money, but it can also help enhance the classroom learning experience. LED lights are more comfortable, improving alertness and concentration in students. LED also doesn’t give off heat or UV emissions, which can help keep classroom heating costs down.

Adding enhanced lighting controls and flexibility, such as occupancy-based sensors or dimming, can also help save money when the classroom isn’t in use. Some teachers resort to putting covers over old lamps to help dim lighting. In this case, it’s better to create a plan to implement LED that fits your budget than to spend time and money on covering old lighting.

Plus, there’s reduced maintenance costs due to LED’s long lifespan.

Hallways and Bathrooms

These are great place to add LED lighting with sensors, so lights only turn on when someone is in the area. With schools and varying ages of students, you will want to keep in mind the height of the individual entering the bathroom, ensuring they trigger the sensor. With sensors, you don’t have to keep the lights on all day, lowering costs.

Hallways will also look brighter, larger, and more inviting with LED technology. Plus, efficient hallway and bathroom lighting is important for safety, and with the longer lifespan of LED lights and less frequent maintenance, they will remain safe longer.

Parking Lots/Exterior

It’s critical to have functional, efficient lighting in parking lots or around other outdoor facilities. This is especially important with evening events. Lighting creates a welcoming environment and allow for easy navigation when it’s dark outside for all ages to see adequately. Daylight savings time is a popular time when people notice lights not being bright enough.

LED lights will lower maintenance costs, and you’ll also see energy savings.

Good lighting helps improve safety and ensure any surveillance cameras can record footage properly. This wards off criminal activity. Plus, it enhances the overall parking lot appearance.

With LED installs, you can also add motion sensor lighting in certain areas. Photocells can also be added. Typically, schools know when activities are over and can dim down lights after hours. LED helps you avoid over-lighting or leaving lights on unnecessarily

Another important part of your school’s exterior is the flagpole. Flagpole lighting is guided by the U.S. Flag Code, which outlines rules and regulations for flying an American flag, including proper lighting. LED fixtures can help ensure proper illumination, meeting the code’s standards.

Athletic and Playground Facilities

Practice and game fields and tracks need to be well-lit when they are being used by students. Not only is this for safety, but also so that the student athletes can play at different times of the day throughout the year. Lighting these fields doesn’t necessarily happen every day. However, it can be costly when done.

LED sports lighting fixtures generate brighter and better-quality light. This gives athletes and spectators better opportunity to see the field, improving the overall quality of competition and entertainment value. It’s also better for the neighbors. Professional installation can ensure lights aren’t misdirected to neighbors and are pointed appropriately.

Playground facilities also need to be properly lit for many of the same reasons, including safety. For example, some students remain at school for extended care and are outside to play while waiting for their parents. When daylight savings ends in the fall and it gets darker earlier, it’s critical to have the best, most reliable LED lighting in the area.

Contact Us

Bay Lighting has been providing commercial lighting solutions in Maryland, Washington DC, and Northern Virginia for nearly 20 years. We can help your school with full LED retrofits and installations to help save you money, reduce your energy usage, and improve experience for students and teachers.

Use our savings calculator to estimate how much a lighting retrofit can save your school.

Then, call 301-858-9494 or fill out our online get a quote form, and we will be in touch with you soon.

Share this story. Choose your platform!


Bright Ideas Blog

View all entries

May 13, 2024
Each year, Earth Day invites us to reflect on the environmental impact of our daily choices and the ways we can build a healthier planet. In the spirit of this day, let’s explore the significant role that lighting plays in our environmental footprint.
April 18, 2024
In 2023, global efforts to boost energy efficiency gained traction, with the International Energy Agency reporting a push to double the rate of progress to 4%. This ambitious goal could slash energy bills by a third and contribute half of the CO2 reductions needed by 2030. Moreover, annual investment in energy efficiency soared by 45% since 2020, indicating a growing commitment to sustainable practices worldwide.


Stay Connected


Join our mailing list and keep up to date on industry updates for your next application. Our portfolio includes the following applications – stairwells, common areas, multi-family housing units, storage areas, hallways, office space, outdoor walkways, and more – for a variety of commercial facilities.