How Much Does the Average Manufacturer Spend on Artificial Lighting?

How big of an expense is artificial lighting for businessesAre operational expenses taking their toll on your company’s finances? Don’t worry – you certainly aren’t alone. According to, the industrial sector uses 31 percent of all US energy, or an annual total of more than 21,000 trillion Btu.

The numbers are staggering, and the costs are even more incredible. Manufacturers across the country frequently spend hundreds of thousands of dollar each month on utilities, ranging from process heating and cogeneration to artificial lighting.

How big of an expense is artificial lighting for businesses?

While artificial lighting isn’t the biggest expense for American manufacturers, it is one of the top ten. The four biggest expenses for American manufacturers, making up over 85 percent of all energy consumption, are:

  • Process heating
  • Drivepower
  • Cogeneration
  • Conventional boilers

In fifth place is facility HVAC – a serious expense for many manufacturers. In sixth, not surprisingly, is artificial lighting. While the total amount spent on lighting can vary from one industry to another, most manufacturers spend about 4 percent of their monthly utility budget on artificial lighting.

This is a significant expense, particularly for large manufacturers. Four percent of a six or seven-figure energy bill is a serious cost for many businesses, which is why so many manufacturers are making efforts to reduce their artificial lighting usage.

Saving money by optimizing your artificial lighting

One of the best ways to reduce your company’s monthly utility bill is by optimizing your artificial lighting usage. By switching from artificial lighting to natural light, in the form of skylights and daylighting systems, you can reduce your energy bills.

Some of the country’s largest manufacturers have reduced their monthly energy bill by thousands of dollars by turning off their lights and installing skylights where they used to be. Others use large exterior windows or custom daylighting systems.

Switching to natural light doesn’t mean abandoning artificial light, and many of the country’s largest manufacturers still depend on thousands of energy efficient lights every day in order to operate efficiently. Instead, manufacturers can optimize their light usage to maximize natural light and minimize artificial lighting.

Smaller manufacturers can benefit from daylighting

Daylighting isn’t just beneficial for large manufacturers with huge facilities to keep lit. Small and medium-sized businesses can also reduce their energy spending with skylights and daylighting, often by hundreds or thousands of dollars ever month.

Small changes – switching off lights during the daytime in favor of skylights – make a big difference. Manufacturers that light their buildings naturally not only reduce their spending; they also increase productivity and workforce energy levels.

Daylighting is reliable, versatile, and inexpensive

One of the biggest objections many manufacturers have to installing skylights is the cost. Daylighting systems, however, are actually remarkably affordable in the short and long term.

Installing skylights in your manufacturing facility can improve energy efficiency by more up to 37 percent, reducing your long-term expenses and freeing up capital to be invested in other ways of expanding your business.

Better yet, daylighting systems can be installed and configured rapidly so that your business never has to deal with any downtime. With these benefits, it’s no wonder so many manufacturers are investing heavily in natural daylighting.

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