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

  • De Nederlandse klimaatcoalitie (Dutch)
    The platform provides insipration, tools, resources and networks in the field of climate-neutral
  • Hier opgewekt (Dutch)
    A platform to share knowledge and experiences on local energy production. Online knowledge files, offline interactive knowledge sessions.
  • Klimtaatgids (Dutch)
    101 tips on energy saving
  • MKB servicedesk (Dutch)
    Energy desk for SME's with practical information on saving energy.
  • MVO (Dutch)
    The Dutch version of the platform is more extensive. It is a platform that bundles information for comapnies to start saving energy. There is a step by step document. And relevant links to other initiatives are provided.
  • Duurzaam Bedrijfsleven (Dutch)
    Provides information on different sustainability aspects for companies and new initiatives in relation to sustainability. There is a seperate section on energy.
  • Duurzaam MKB
    Translates the growing demand for sustainability into practical tools and methods for SMEs, industry, government. Share practical experiences.
  • Milieu Centraal (Dutch)
    Tests and advice on how to save energy.
  • Energiecentrum (Dutch)
    Provides company specific information on how to reduce energy for SMEs. You start with filling in the calculator and based on the companies energy usage and the sector it provides advice.
  • 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).
  • Klimaatplein (Dutch)
    Companies can use this calculator to see what their carbon footprint is of their organisation. They have to calculate this for building and traveling. And they get advice how to reduce it.
  • Lumeco (Dutch)
    Companies can use this calculator to see how much money they can save by chagning their lighting
  • Milieu Barometer (Dutch)
    Tool to provide insights on the carbon footprint and environmental performance of a company, envrionmental costs, advice on how to improve the environmental performance. There are costs involved for using the tool.
Tip of the day
Save energy at your SME by: changing your people’s minds, locking heat controls, running competitions.

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