If you manage an apartment complex or commercial building, one of the things you are keenly aware of is your operational costs. Whether you own the building or manage it for the owner, you want to keep that cost as low as possible.
There are many costs involved in keeping a property operational. The major ones are taxes, mortgage, and insurance payments, fees for professional services (lawyers, accountants, etc), maintenance, utilities (including water, gas, and electricity), and staff salaries.
Most of these costs are fixed. The two which offer property managers the most opportunities for saving costs are maintenance and energy. On average, property maintenance costs between 2% and 4% of a building’s value annually or 1.5-2 times the monthly rental.
Spending on power is hard to estimate due to the many variables that influence energy spending. Even if tenants covered their own energy bills, property managers would still have to provide lighting and other energy-dependent services in common areas. This spending can come to a lot.
One of the best ways to reduce how much you spend on energy is to install Light-emitting Diodes (LED) lighting across the entire building. Updating the lighting this way will not only result in lower maintenance costs, but will also create benefits in unexpected areas.
In this post, we explore the different ways LED lighting impacts building maintenance costs and why you should consider doing this lighting upgrade in the properties you manage.
What is LED lighting and why is it better?
LED lighting uses a different technology than incandescent bulbs. The key qualities that distinguish LED lights from incandescent lights are the color of the light they produce and how much heat is emitted during their operation.
Incandescent bulbs have a yellowish light and generate a lot of heat. LED lights, on the other hand, have superior thermal management that keeps them from overheating. This heat sink design allows LEDs to maintain a steady light output throughout their lifetime without burning out.
How will upgrading to LED lighting lower monthly maintenance costs?
Benefits of LED lighting for better property maintenance
Regardless of whether the building is an office complex, shopping center, multifamily rental, condo complex, or factory floor, switching to LED lighting will secure the following benefits.
• Cut energy spending
Overall, using LED lighting versus incandescent bulbs reduces energy spending by as much as 65%. But savings can be more because where a 2ft x 4ft standard lighting fixture consumes 220 watts of energy, an LED fixture of the same size will use 54 watts and produce better illumination.
LED lights generate less heat, which impacts how much cooling a building needs. The cost savings achieved by switching from regular light bulbs to LED means the lights pay for themselves in a very short time.
• Far fewer bulb replacements
On average, incandescent bulbs last 1,000 hours and CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) last 10,000 hours. But an LED light will last a minimum of 25,000 hours and up to 100,000 hours. When this is broken down into years, incandescent bulbs last approximately one year, CFLs last around 10 years and LEDs last 25 years and upwards.
The difference in the longevity of these different types of lighting speaks for itself. In terms of the need to constantly replace equipment, the cost savings of switching from incandescent bulbs to LED lights is monumental.
• Less time spent on maintenance
If you manage just one single-family dwelling or apartment, you may not appreciate the value of having fewer burnt-out bulbs in your building. But in a building complex with several levels and quite a few apartments on each level, with each apartment containing, a living room, kitchen, 2-3 bedrooms, and more than one bathroom, replacing burnt-out bulbs can be a major drain on the manager’s time.
The demand for the manager’s time and resources increases further when you add bulbs in the common areas, such as the lobby, hallways, gym, parking lot, elevator, and staircase.
• Better illumination and improved safety/security
Using LED lighting in buildings will result in improved light output. Although LEDs use less energy than incandescent bulbs and do not generate a fraction of their heat, LED lighting produces more illumination than incandescent bulbs. Brighter lights make for better safety and security, as well as, improved ambiance.
Additionally, LED lights do not have mercury in them and are made with more durable glass than incandescent bulbs. This reduces the risk of breakages and the possibility of injuries. Mercury-free lighting is safer for the people who use the premises.
• Reduced risk of liability
Due to the litigious nature of society, it is in a property manager’s best interests to do all they can to reduce their exposure to lawsuits. One of the ways they can do this is by providing improved, stable, and safer lighting within the premises. With this simple step, the building’s occupant, the property manager’s staff and visitors to the premises are less likely to suffer a fall or get robbed within the premises.