July 16, 2021

The Importance of a Budget When Purchasing Commercial Lighting

Electric bill and calculator image on Bay Lighting's Maryland commercial lighting website

In any project involving building or updating a commercial space, one key factor to discuss from the beginning is budget. A lighting supplier will want to know which products to choose for your space, as well as services to consider, and budget is part of that process. If they don’t already know, customers will want a ballpark dollar amount to ensure they are comfortable moving forward. As you can imagine, just like automobiles, lighting comes at various price points and the saying “you get what you pay for” can be very true. Based on your budget a lighting specialist will be able to work with you in determining the best retrofit plan, or new fixture selection, as well as the best approach to labor. Additionally, your goals in terms of energy savings and reducing the cost of your electric bill should be taken into account to help complete the financial picture. The following are some considerations to examine in relation to budget when purchasing commercial lighting via a lighting distributor.

Plan with a Lighting Technician

When initially discussing your project, depending on the situation, a lighting specialist should be able to offer an approximation based on the number of light fixtures, type of fixtures, and current lighting in place but in order for a lighting consultant to most effectively help identify the best options for your commercial property a reputable lighting supplier will want to develop a detailed plan for your team to plan ahead for your budget season. Your specialist will want to conduct an on-site assessment to get an accurate sense of the specific lighting needs of the commercial space. During this part of the process, you will want to inform them of your budget so that they can select fixtures and plan projects accordingly. If you don’t have a budget number in mind, your lighting specialist can work with you to help put together a plan for your team’s review.

Often Overlooked Budget Items

When choosing a lighting service to partner with, make sure they are prioritizing your goals and budgetary needs. They should offer a turn-key experience that is low-stress for you as the commercial property owner and the end product should first and foremost address any issues with light output. In addition to addressing light output, when comparing proposals you will want to make sure each company is offering comparable products and services, apples to apples. A good lighting specialist will include rebate opportunities that may be available through your utility company and be transparent with any warranty processes. Find out ahead of time any additional costs that you may incur… does the lighting supplier remove and recycle old fixtures as part of their turn-key process? What about delivery charges or lift fees for hard to reach areas? If extras aren’t addressed on your proposal, they might not be included. When comparing proposals these are just a few items that can chip away at your budget unnecessarily through poor front end research. Pay attention to these details in order to select the best commercial lighting supplier for your project.

Invest in Quality Light Fixtures

Lighting is not an area for cutting corners, as poor lighting can lead to accidents that can potentially cost your company thousands of dollars. Beyond this, a dimly lit commercial property may not be inviting or accessible to customers, which can result in a loss of revenue. Fixtures that are not installed properly or are not high-quality in the first place will need to be replaced or repaired frequently, which can also be costly. Prioritize using the best, most dependable and reputable light fixtures that are achievable for your budget the first time around so that you can rest assured they will not cause a problem in the future and end up costing you more money.

Budget Saving Ideas to Consider

Plan the Project in Phases

You may be running on a tight budget, like many businesses. It is important to install high-quality, modern lights and fixtures that will supply adequate light for the safety of staff and guests in your commercial space, which might mean you need to plan your lighting installation project in phases.

Rather than compromise when it comes to the quality of your commercial lighting fixtures, plan your project in phases if it would work better for your budget to do so. Quality lamps, tubes, and other fixtures will make use of the most modern technology, like LED products, which produce light up to 90% more efficiently than traditional fixtures, according to Energy Star. It is likely that a good lighting service will steer you towards LED technology for the ease-of-maintenance, non-toxicity, energy-saving benefits, and, most importantly, quality of light. Prioritizing the best energy saving opportunities allows your facility to begin saving, freeing up dollars for your next lighting project.

As examples, one might choose to install a quality fixture that is within their budget and then at a later date install controls, instead of trying to do it all at once. In the instance of a large high-rise, perhaps completing the lighting project by floors is helps one achieve their goals by spreading out the project over several years.

Take Advantage of Energy-Saving Fixtures and Features

Evaluate the importance of reducing your energy costs. Is this a top-of-the-list priority? For many commercial businesses, a few simple changes regarding lighting can generate major savings and reduce their carbon footprints overall. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the commercial sector consumed about 157 billion kWh for lighting in 2020, which is equal to about 12% of total commercial sector electricity consumption and approximately 4% of total electricity consumption in the United States throughout the year. The previous year, the average monthly electric bill for commercial properties in the U.S. was $647.61.

Your lighting service can help you determine how important reducing your energy consumption is and select products to achieve that goal. Features can also be installed to adjust your commercial lights according to need throughout the day. A dependable lighting service will supply you with sensors and controls that can expand into the future and be further adjusted down the road should your lighting needs change. Communicate openly with your light provider so that they understand what is most important to you and can choose your products accordingly.

Rebates and Incentive Programs

Anyone to whom budget is an important consideration should make use of all available rebates and incentive programs that are offered in the area. Your lighting installation service should be able to handle finding and/or applying any opportunities that fit your project on your behalf. Rebates can significantly reduce expenses associated with your lighting project.

In Maryland, commercial property owners can qualify for the BGE Smart Energy Savers Program or the Pepco Smart Energy Program. D.C. owners may be eligible for the D.C. Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) Energy-Efficient Program.

Contact Us

If you are looking for a partner for your lighting needs, contact Bay Lighting. We provide quality commercial lighting services across Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia and offer specification services to fit within your budget. Plan ahead for your next budget season by calling 301-858-9494 to get started today.

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.