A lighting audit from a certified Vancouver electrician is a thorough onsite inspection of a house, building, or commercial facility to evaluate current lighting conditions and identify areas where energy-saving improvements are feasible.

The audit covers the indoor and outdoor spaces of the property and aims at gathering a variety of information.  The information acquired during the audit process forms the basis for implementing energy-saving measures.

The audit covers the indoor and outdoor spaces of the property and aims at gathering a variety of information. The information acquired during the audit process forms the basis for implementing energy-saving measures.

Why Are Lighting Audits Necessary?

Lighting audits are essential because indoor lighting accounts for about 40% of the average home and business electric bill. An auditor can generally reduce that percentage by improving a building’s lighting system.

A lighting audit may include the following:

  • Determining how many fixtures the property has and the number needed to meet energy conservation goals
  • Looking for ways to reduce energy usage by dimming light levels or switching to more efficient fixtures
  • Figuring out if the lighting system is well maintained and offers uniform brightness
  • Making recommendations for new technologies

A lighting audit helps a property owner understand today’s lighting needs and identify ways to achieve energy savings. To do that, a qualified professional must obtain four types of data – general, lighting, occupant, and financial information.

General Lighting Information

A building’s general information includes the floor and ceiling plans where the fixtures are to be located and any special features of the property.

The dimensions of every room and ceiling height are needed for documentation because those factors play a role in determining the number and types of lights required. Any provisions and renovation plans must be disclosed, too.

The auditor determines the type of lighting currently used in the property and how it satisfies current needs. For example, the age, location, wattage, number of lamps, ballast type (electronic or magnetic), reflector type, colour temperature range, colour rendering index rating are all needed.

Data about individual fixtures should include the type, wattage, ballast, lamp life rating, colour temperature range, etc. There’s also a need to figure out how much natural daylight enters every room and for how long.

Occupant Information

The number of building occupants, their work schedules (ordinary and overtime), and their hours on the property must be known.

The auditor documents the number of people who are expected to use the fixtures. The number of occupants will help establish the average daily usage by a person to calculate lighting based on that estimate. This information helps determine the number of fixtures and total light output.

The value of daylight measurements also depends on how many hours occupants can avail themselves to natural lighting each day. Also, interviews and surveys are a critical part of the audit since people have different lighting preferences and needs.

Financial Information

Energy costs and current performance levels play a significant role in lighting upgrades and replacements. Therefore, the auditor must obtain that information as well as utility contracts and cost-reduction terms.

It’s essential to know how much electricity (kWh) and demand (kW) you consume so you may calculate current operating expenses and the long-term savings gained from replacing all equipment with energy-efficient fixtures.

How to Perform a Lighting Audit

Step 1 – Identify the space and document any unique condition.

The audit begins with a space and building survey. Then, with each occupant’s help, the auditor must record the location of every fixture and estimate how many lamps they use. Lighting audits are typically conducted with a building map or an electrical plan.

Somethings that an Electrician will look for:

  • What is controlling the lighting and the condition/efficiency of the controls
  • Condition of the poles and interior wiring.
  • Elevation of existing light fixtures
  • Type and layout of lighting
  • Develop area map of lumens per area (performed by using light level meters in night conditions)
  • Determine safety implications that may exist within property due to lack of exterior lighting.

Step 2 – Specify every light fixture.

Next, the property owner must draw a detailed plan of each fixture and show how they’re interconnected. Fixture numbering or identifying the actual light fitting with a unique number helps make this task easier.

Based on what the electrician finds they will provide a detailed plan that will include:

  • Proposed lighting equipment to be used (manufacture/type/light temperature/lumens/warranty)
  • Recommendation for pole heights for best lighting coverage. Additionally required extension, yokes, or brackets will be identified.
  • Proposed lighting for lumens per area
  • Topo map of proposed lighting spread coverage
  • Proposed lighting solutions will reduce site safety hotspots
  • Proposed cost for new lighting
  • Provide an annual maintenance schedule to sustain lighting performance
  • Scope of work for quoting purposes. Helps to control pricing and set expectation for RFP

Step 3 – Compute the “annual burn hours.”

The next step involves computing the energy usage for every fixture. The number of hours a lamp operates times the number of fixtures it illuminates, along with weather data, gives an idea of how much energy is required to light up the property throughout the year.

Step 4 – Figure out and document the Kilowatt (kW) rate for each fixture.

Every fixture’s wattage is the number of lamps times the power (kW) needed to operate them. The result shows how much each item uses for electricity, and it reflects how many watts that fixture consumes per hour.

Step 5 – Obtain the average Kilowatt per hour (kWh) rate using the building’s three recent utility bills.

This is done by adding the three figures and dividing them by three to arrive at the average kWh/hr. The result shows how much each occupant pays every day for lighting and what it would cost to operate all fixtures for an entire year.

Step 6 – Compute the current energy expense of all the fixtures in the building.

Adding the kW/hr rates of every fixture over the number of hours it operates gives you a total figure. Multiplying this by the average kWh/hr gives you a dollar-cost for current lighting expenses.

Finally, you end up with your building’s current lighting cost. You use this number to determine how much you will save with the new lighting system in place. Again, the idea is to show that an upgrade will pay for itself in a short amount of time.

What to expect from a PTX Lighting audit?

Please find below the areas to be reviewed. Inspections are only as good as the team and reporting system. The varied training, education, and experience of the PTX team ensures a high-quality audit, recommendation, and budgeting plan.

Getting The Most Accurate Lighting Assessment

A lighting audit is only as good as the data it’s based on. To make sure you get your money’s worth, work with an auditor who is professional and knowledgeable in the field. Keep in mind that every building or property is unique, and it’s vital to get an accurate picture of your current lighting situation.

Factor in particular conditions, wasted energy, and any fixtures that are not operated throughout the year. This will give you a more detailed review of your lighting expenses and help you choose optimum installations.

Hire a professional to determine how much it would cost to replace all the property’s lights with energy-efficient light fixtures. In effect, this is an opportunity to turn the spotlight on wasted energy and costly lighting.