Lighten Up: CRE Trends in Lighting

July 24, 2019 | By: Molly Looman

 Who turns on the lights in your building? Are they on a sensor? A timer? Is there a switch? Most people, unless they are the ones turning the lights on, don’t think about it. Lights are always just there. This vital system is experiencing some major shifts and changes. Keeping up and innovating could take your property to the next level.  


Sensors and Smart Lighting 

In a world where data is king, it will come to no surprise that sensors are making their way into commercial lighting systems. Sensors in lighting systems are being used in all sorts of commercial real estate applications. They gather information about the traffic of a room, usage of a space, temperature, noise and light. That data can be used to increase efficiency of a property, make changes to the function of a space, air quality control or capacity considerations. Due to the ever-present nature and need for lighting in a property, it is a great place to use data gathering. One-size-fits-all systems management is rarely the approach when looking to improve a building. Gathering information and data can allow building engineers to personalize and adjust the lighting systems in a property while giving property managers information on different spaces.  


Energy Efficient and Green Lighting 

As LED retrofitting and sensor-responsive lighting become more popular in the industry, it is clear that sustainability is on the minds of many property managers. Both the WELL building Standard and LEED Certification have multiple standards related to lighting, efficiency and energy use. Using information to create more efficient lighting systems not only saves money in energy costs, but also has positive environmental effects. On-site renewable energy sources are also an innovation in commercial lighting. Achieving a zero net energy building means lower cost and a much lower environmental footprint. LEED is even working on a new LEED Net Zero program that will emphasize these progressive moves to a more efficient lighting world. Not to mention, an emphasis on environmentally-efficient systems could lead to tax rebates.  


Tenant Health and Wellbeing 

The quality and use of lighting in a commercial property can drastically affect, tenants, visitors and staff. The expanded use of LEDs has shown an increase in worker productivity. Many companies are working to use lighting as a way to improve a tenant’s workday. It is also imperative to safety. Many parking lots are being retrofitted due to potential security risks caused by poor lighting. As office spaces become more flexible and property managers use space more efficiently, lighting is going to need to keep up. Tenants are demanding different use of spaces and the freedom to adjust. Advanced lighting systems are going to need that same flexible quality to add to tenant’s productivity.