Save on lighting

Lighting accounts for around a third of the energy use of a typical office.


Lighting is something that most of us take for granted, but it makes up one third of the energy use in a typical office. Don’t wait until your company upgrades to LEDs – there are plenty of simple no cost changes that you and your colleagues can make straight away to reduce your lighting energy use.


  • Always turn off the light when you leave a room: Unnecessary lighting usage wastes energy and money. Forgetting to turn off the light once may only have a small impact, but the impact quickly grows when they are regularly left on. If you make a habit of turning them off you may find that your colleagues follow your lead, doubling your impact.


  • Use natural daylight as much as possible: Daylight is free and zero carbon, yet in offices with lots of natural daylight it’s common to see the lights on when there is more than enough light. Switch them off when they’re not needed. Where blinds are used to reduce glare, try adjusting them so that they reduce direct sunlight but still let in enough daylight to allow the electric lights to be switched off.


  • Use enough light for you: When working alone, consider whether the entire room needs to be lit or whether a small task light will suffice. If this happens regularly but you cannot control the lights, speak to your manager about getting a task light.


  • Find the switch: Many people don’t switch lights off because they don’t know which switch controls which light. It’s very important that big banks of light switches are accurately labelled - ask your manager if you can label them to help you and other staff remember.

The benefits of daylight blinds

Additional Information

If you already think you’re doing enough to save energy through lighting, ask your manager to consider the following options to see even greater energy savings.

No cost – organise a switch off campaign

Ask your manager to label light switches and print posters to help you and your colleagues to reduce energy use. You can help with this by volunteering to commit time to the campaign, and encouraging colleagues to follow your lead. It is especially important that the person who is last to leave the office knows that they have to turn off all of the lights before they leave. This may be you or one of your colleagues, or it may be the office cleaners.

START2ACT stickers

Low cost – implement a maintenance schedule

Look at the windows and light fittings in your office – are they clean? Without regular maintenance light levels can fall by up to 30% in 2-3 years, leading to more lights being turned on to compensate. Simply cleaning windows, skylights and the glass or plastic covering in front of light fittings can make your office a much nicer place to work, and save energy at the same time.

Medium cost – invest in lighting controls

Lighting controls can automate lighting in your office to reduce energy waste, by eliminating the risk of forgetting to turn off the lights! A passive infra-red (PIR) movement sensor can cost as little as £40, so installing them in infrequently-used areas such as meeting rooms, storerooms and bathrooms can quickly pay back the investment. Light fittings closest to the windows can be fitted with daylight/photocell sensors, which automatically turn off or dim the lights when there is enough daylight to light the space.

High cost – invest in efficient lighting

If your company is able to invest in upgrading to LEDs, you could reduce lighting energy consumption by up to 70% when combined with improved lighting controls. There are lots of options available for lighting upgrades, so it’s best to get a full lighting design from a lighting specialist to ensure your lighting requirements are adequately met and you have an accurate assessment of potential cost and carbon savings.

Your manager can see more information on these investment opportunities here. [Link to lighting manager page]

Tools and Resources

  • ICTFOOTPRINT Self Assessment Tool for ICT Services (SAT-S)
    The SAT-S allows you to estimate the carbon and energy footprint of a digital service (that you use or provide) based on 1 year of use of the service assessed. This will help you make informed decisions about actions to improve your energy efficiency and eventually become greener in your ICT elements.
  • ICTFOOTPRINT Self Assessment Tool for Organisations (SAT-O)
    The SAT-O allows you to estimate the carbon and energy footprint of your ICT organisation or the IT department of your organisation, based on 1 year of activity. This will help you make informed decisions about actions to improve your energy efficiency and overall carbon emissions, either directly linked to the company activities or not (e.g. business travel and commuting of your staff).
  • Energy Lens - Energy Management Software
    Energy Lens is a tool for charting and analysing energy consumption. This software was designed and built on a simple premise: You can only start to save energy when you clearly see how you're using it.
  • GE Lighting LED tools
    A variety of tools to calculate return on investment for lighting upgrades.
  • LED lighting savings calculator
    Find out how much money you can save by swapping to LED. This simple tool uses the bulb you have now to calculate potential savings and offers an energy-efficient LED alternative.
  • SEAI Energy Map
    Energy MAP is the Energy Management Action Plan from SEAI. It is an online tool which provides a step by step guide to creating a best practise action plan for your business. The 20 steps of Energy MAP are divided into of five pillars of excellent energy management: Commit, Identify, Plan, Take Action and Review.
  • Window glazing energy saving calculator
    Calculate your energy and cost savings by upgrading your windows from single to double glazing.
Tip of the day
Use curtains and shades! This will make your air conditioner work less.

Was it useful?