“Those who own and use lighting systems benefit tremendously when they rely on qualified lighting-system consultants to design a new system or an upgrade to an existing system,” says John Bachner, executive director of the National Lighting Bureau (NLB). Some 300 lighting-system designers are listed on the NLB website, and all are encouraged to include themselves.

According to Bachner, effective design results in what the NLB has dubbed “High-Benefit Lighting,” meaning lighting that provides benefits such as improved worker productivity, fewer production errors, enhanced safety and health,and  increased security. “The nature of the benefits received depends on the venue involved,” Bachner noted. “In retail situations, effective outdoor lighting calls attention to a store at night and, when the store has a parking lot, good lighting creates an immediate image of safety. More shoppers lead to more sales. More sales can mean enhanced rental income and improved building resale value. In offices and manufacturing facilities, better lighting results in higher rates of productivity and fewer errors. And in just about all cases, a good lighting-system consultant can design a system that minimizes the amount of energy consumed to provide lighting that achieves other bottom-line benefits.”

Most lighting-system consultants have specialties. As such, prospective clients would be well-advised to ask about consultants’ pertinent experience. But there’s more to it than that, as is explained in a guidance document, “How To Select a Lighting-System Designer,” available free on NLB’s website.

“Reducing energy consumption and utility costs are important benefits of new or improved lighting,” said Bachner, also cautioning, “The quality of the lighting is far more important, dollar-wise, given that a 1% productivity improvement can easily be worth $400 per year for just one worker, while a 50% lighting-energy savings for the same worker might be worth $40 or less. Fortunately, when you rely on a well-qualified lighting designer, it’s highly probable that you’ll be able to achieve a 50% energy saving and a two, three, or more percent productivity improvement.”

Bachner noted that there is no cost to use the NLB’s lighting-system designer database, nor is there one for lighting-system designers who want to be listed.