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Fix the roof while the sun shines

Summer is the most popular time for maintenance and repairs at home and at work.

It may seem odd to take a look at the lights while the sun is shining outside, but using the summer break could be a great investment in a brighter and more sustainable winter.

For a warehouse, a straight switch to LED is a bargain.

  • PKK calculate replacing 100 x 90-watt PAR38 lamps with14Watt LED equivalents deliver annual energy savings of around $70 per fitting,
  • 76.4% Return on Investment
  • 6 months payback period

How to calculate ROI and payback period from LED lighting retrofit project

But replacing inefficient bad lighting with energy-efficient bad lighting surely isn’t the answer!

You wouldn’t invest in a new HVAC or IT system without independent advice to optimise the solution – you’ll be living with it for the next decade or more – Maintenance Factor

PKK doesn’t include the cost up-front work to focus on who the lights are for, when and where they need them. It doesn’t include the cost of sensors and controls so the space can integrate daylight and actively support the end user – and cut energy use too.


The great lighting designer Mark Ridler explained the value of design in a recent interview,  Notes from conversation with Mark Ridler, Lighting Director, BDP 28 June 2021  – “if you understand what the project’s strategic objectives are, you frequently can come up with a solution that is more efficient, uses less stuff, is cost neutral and energy beneficial, and in terms of the human, massively beneficial.…lighting is a minuscule part of the cost of the building, and a completely negligible part of the cost of your people. You’ve only got to get your people working 1% better, then you’ve paid for the lighting 10 times over.”


To quote Boyce and Veitch –  Lighting quality and office work: two field simulation experiments

“People who appraise their lighting as good will also appraise the room as more attractive, be in a more pleasant mood, be more satisfied with the work environment, and more engaged in their work. “ 


The long, bright days could be the perfect time to take a minute to look at the lights – and bring in a lighting designer to help.

As most of us will spend at least a few hours per week at a desk at hone, if only to sort out paperwork, a slightly slower pace is the moment to declutter,  give the place a lick of paint – and of course take a look at the lights!

Choose a finish that will help you get the most from the lights – this brilliant product from Dulux (Dulux Light + Space Matt) can boost perceived brightness by up to 20%. We recently trialled this paint as part of a project with the Design Age Institute, Clarion Housing and Spears Major- and it really does what it says on the tin! 

If you’re reading this, you’re probably clued up already – but it’s easy to overlook the basics …


  1. Give the lights and shades a good clean – it’s surprisingly dusty up there!
  2. Layer for flexibility Mix overhead fixtures with table lamps, floor lamps, and even a string of fairy lights to adjust the mood at the flip of the switch
  3. Put your treasures in the spotlight – Clip-on spotlights can create dramatic effects and draw your eye to your favourite things.
  4. Choose the right bulbs:  Buy one each of a selection of colour temperatures and brightness. Try them out and see what you like best.
  5. Check out ‘Dim to warm’-  a new type of lightbulb that does what it says on the tin – dim looks warm, bright looks cool.


And finally, something for the playlist while you’re on the road or waiting for the kids – We share the night.

Worth a listen if you’re wondering how to balance human and environmental needs when it comes to light after dark – ILP/ Young Lighting Professionals Webinar with Speakers Philip Jelvard and Rune Brandt Hermannsson, Light Bureau – YLP CPD Webinar: We share the night.

Get in touch!