Room for Improvement
How LED luminaires help hotels meet operational challenges
When determining lighting and illumination needs for hotel facilities, specifiers and architects must understand the challenges and issues hoteliers face to control energy costs, ensure guests' safety and maintain the architectural integrity of the property.
Hotels' Energy Costs
Excluding labor, energy is typically the highest cost that hoteliers face. According to Flex Your Power, a California marketing program, and the federal government's Energy Star initiative, the hospitality industry spends approximately $4 billion a year on energy. Furthermore, electricity use accounts for 60 to 70 percent of the utility costs of a typical hotel. Hotel energy audits reveal most properties can save tens of thousands of dollars annually by reducing overall energy consumption a minimum of 20 to 30 percent.
Improving Security through Illumination
In addition to reducing energy costs, hoteliers must consider guests' safety. In a recent survey, "American Parking Decisions," conducted by Federal APD, a manufacturer of parking control products, parking security is consistently an important factor for Americans.
Security professionals have long known that locations where people and their valuables are together––such as in parking lots––are criminals' favorite targets. A key element of security in most surface lots is visibility––and a significant part of this is lighting. According to Ralph Witherspoon, CPP, CSC, Witherspoon Security Consulting, the exterior lighting should enable motorists and pedestrians to see individuals at night at a distance of 75 ft. or more and to identify a human face at about 30 ft. Employees or guests entering or leaving the property at night need to have efficient parking lot illumination so they can safely go to and from their vehicle. Proper lighting creates better security as well as the perception of security.
The architectural integrity of new construction or renovating an existing building does not need to be compromised for the sake of sustainability and energy efficiency. Today, lighting designers, architects and engineers have lighting technology choices for both interior and exterior illumination. New LED technology allows designers to provide quality lighting within the requirements of the latest energy codes. By installing LED luminaires, hotels will retain the aesthetic and performance integrity of the property, while realizing savings on energy and maintenance.