May 14

Quick and easy ways to save money on your Energy Bill

We focus on how the UK Manufacturing Industry can save with sensors.

​As we wrote this, we were thinking about your frustrations  when it comes to lighting your estate.  Making life lighter©  is our goal and it’s a well-known fact that energy usage in large buildings results in costly outlays. Generally, lighting can make up to 40% of a businesses energy bill, and we share with you how you can shrink that cost. A proposal that we drafted generated savings of £9.3m in energy consumption along with £1.4m in maintenance fees per annum. This suggestion was one of four and was at the top end of their budget. With an ROI of just two years and a 20% tax relief, we felt it was one of the best decisions they could make.

Enhanced Capital Allowance Scheme (ECA) is a tax relief for implementing energy-saving technologies. As the above proposal highlights massive savings can be made from an LED refit. It also included the installation of sensors to benefit more from the ECA scheme. So, if you are one of the lucky ones and already have LED lighting installed, you could claim up to 20% off that initial cost, which includes: purchasing of materials and initial installation. If you’re not so lucky and looking at ways to keep the costs low, you can also lease your lighting. That way you get an LED transformation including Sensors and Emergency Lighting at an agreed monthly rate, for up to five years.  

Using sensors is a sure way to secure energy efficiency, but is it right for your business?


It is crucial for you to know even a basic sensor cannot work with inefficient or obsolete lighting such as Hi-bays, Metal Halide, Venture, Son and Mercury Fittings. 

To benefit from any sensor in this environment, you would need to have an LED refit. As mentioned before, leasing your lighting or ECA can lend a helping hand when considering this option. The below sensors can be used in a functioning warehouse alongside the correct LED Fitting.

However, for non-production areas such as server rooms, canteens, kitchens, staff rooms, toilets, offices and meeting rooms etc you can use the following sensors as long as you have Fluorescent/Compact Fluorescent lighting.

​Why should you include lighting sensors in your energy saving solution?


Sensors are one of the easiest ways to save money, save energy and not break the bank. As new technologies skyrocket, the possibilities are truly endless. Corny, but true. We aim to guide you in making the right decision for your business and its sustainable future.

  •     Occupancy detectors for Industrial Lighting

An occupancy detector does exactly that; it detects occupancy of a room. Simple as it may be, over time they have been given a bad name. This is due to motion sensors (one of many occupancy sensors) being used and usually incorrectly in the wrong environments. Not because they are bad or hard to install. Occupancy sensors now encompass two categories: ‘motion’ and ‘presence’, they are: motion, infra-red, high-frequency, ultrasonic and smart sensors.

Using these types of sensors can save your company a significant amount of energy. The light will only work when receiving a signal which could be motion, heat or even sonar for additional safety measures. Installing motion detectors in bathrooms and corridors is popular as it's one of the most basic but effective ways to save.

An example of this used in a functioning warehouse would be at Screwfix. If you are unfamiliar, they have a retail facing front, but in the back sport a stock warehouse. When a customer requests a product, an employee will check the located aisle which lights up following a detection of motion or heat. Using lighting only when necessary.

Due to the height of the ceilings, presence sensors are the perfect match for warehouse lighting, as they can overcome long distances.

Energy saving lighting


  • Daylight Sensors for Industrial Lighting

Photocell/Daylight (whichever you prefer) sensors are the new way forward. It can detect natural light from windows and skylights so the smart technology lowers the artificial light, providing a dusk-dawn operation externally and internally. A controller of this calibre consumes less than 0.5W offering the perfect energy cost solution.

By adjusting the artificial lighting according to the amount of natural light in a room using daylight sensors or photocells can reduce electricity use by up to 40%. Using daylight sensors external to the building reduce the need for lighting, especially during the long summer days. Internally, smaller offices with large windows can use a natural (free!) light source to reap the benefits.

The relation between lighting and employee well-being is now a huge talking point. Evidence also suggests that it can contribute to low moods and can even reduce productivity.​  Giving employees a chance to embrace natural light were possible over artificial light is increasingly popular throughout many industries.

  • Intelligent (whatever you want it to do, it can) Sensors for Industrial Lighting

Ok, well it might not make you a cup-of-tea. But some Intelligent Sensors depending on how they are programmed, and what software is installed can identify if anyone is in the kitchen and notify you on a Smart Device.

There is a magnitude of ways that this sensor can benefit the Manufacturing Industry. Smart sensors used for harvesting and analysing data to make enormous energy savings has never been so easy. By installing a small node (as the industry calls them) into the control gear of the fitting means that any sensor can talk to it. If all that sounded like techy jargon, it simply means that a smart sensor can learn what is being used and what isn’t. In turn, dim it down or turn it off during the appropriate times.

As the technology evolves at a rapid pace, we can identify footfall, shopper behaviour and lots more. From a retail perspective, it’s a dream come true. From a warehouse perspective, sensors can detect and understand excessive energy use as well as diagnose specific areas of wasted energy. Due to long operating hours turning the lights off may not be an option. Recognising common paths Forklift Drivers or Picker/Packers take can help tackle small changes to reduce costs.

​Are you ready to upgrade your lighting and need a helping hand?

​Get in touch by calling us on 01256 897521 or emailing hello@plannedlighting.co.uk.  Start today and request a free lighting survey.

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