When visiting LightFair International this year, I made an important discovery: a hotel’s corridors are illuminated 24 hours a day. And not just dimly lit—they are as bright as a department store. Most wouldn’t think twice about such an observation, but I, Dr. Bulb, could only think about the energy the hotel must be using for lighting!
I later learned that hotels have 24-hour burn areas where they’re required to keep areas—like corridors and stairwells—illuminated at all times for safety reasons.
In order to maintain profitability, one of the challenges hoteliers face is cutting the operational costs while continuously improving the customer service experience. By advancing their sustainability, a hotel can save money and receive the reputation of being a “green hotel.” And because lighting costs can be a huge percentage of a hotel’s energy bill, switching to LED lighting can make a big difference. (I repeat: Their hallways and stairwells are illuminated 24 hours a day!)
Traditionally, hotel rooms were lit by incandescent or halogen lamps. Today, a lot of hotels use compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). Although CFLs use less energy than outdated light sources, they have a shorter lifespan compared to LED and require more maintenance. With poor light quality, they have the potential to damage the customer experience.
On the other hand, LEDs like LED wall packs or LED troffers reduce maintenance and cooling costs, produce almost no heat, and have advanced color rendering. They’re ideal for 24-hour burn areas, as well as parking garage lighting where it’s expensive to replace fluorescent tube lights. Other areas that could benefit include: kitchens, maintenance rooms, lobbies, common areas, pool areas, and more.
LED projects are expensive upfront for large commercial business like hotels, so updating to LED seems like a daunting task. To eliminate financial obstacles, companies like Philips and GE are starting financing programs for non-residential projects.
It’s important to remember that every hotel is unique and each of them will benefit differently from LED lighting, according to vice president of CCG LED Solutions, Joe Sorce, in Green Lodging News. He advises that hotel providers should determine what best fits their hotel’s needs, while asking questions including: “Do you have the resources and expertise to accomplish this project? What will help enhance the guest experience? What will help drive down your operational costs? What will drive repeat business?”
We are not at a point in LED technology where we’re able to build or retrofit a hotel with 100% LED fixtures. Fortunately, we’re getting closer every day! LED lighting now has the same or better quality of light as other light sources, so hoteliers are not sacrificing quality when making the switch.
Overall, LED lighting reduces energy costs while improving the customer experience. I, Dr. Bulb, would feel much better knowing hotel corridors are using more energy efficient lighting.
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