How to get someone else to pay for your LED lighting upgrade

In the long run, LED lighting provides enormous benefits to a city or company’s bottom line, delivering huge energy savings, maintenance savings and other benefits—such as decreased crime on city streets and increased productivity in workplaces. In the short term, upgrading to LED lighting can be expensive.

However, there’s a secret weapon in your toolbox that makes LED lighting more than affordable: Other people’s money (OPM). The only thing better than getting a great product is getting someone else to pay for it.

There are numerous opportunities available at the federal, state, and local level for incentives, rebates and tax credits to help offset the cost of switching to LED lights. These rebates and tax credits can shrink the payback period considerably, so you can quickly realize a return on investment.

When Portland, Oregon wanted to upgrade the streetlighting in its historic neighborhoods with Amerlux’s Avista pedestrian light product, they were able to take advantage of rebates from the Energy Trust of Oregon and the Oregon Department of Energy. These rebates reduced the project’s payback period, complementing the 60 percent energy savings Amerlux’s Avista LED delivered.

Here’s where to get OPM to subsidize your LED lighting upgrade, retrofit or new construction project:

Local Utilities

A talk with your electric utility company should be your first step in any LED lighting project. Most utility companies offer rebates or some other kind of incentive to upgrade to efficient technology like LEDs. These rebates can influence your purchasing decisions, so it is important to know early in the process what kind of savings are available. Some utilities can even provide design and commissioning assistance to you.

As an added bonus, utilities’ incentive programs are somewhat insulated from politics and are less likely to change with an election, unlike say, tax credits.

Check with your local utility to see what they offer and gain insight about their rebate process.

Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)

The most comprehensive information source on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University, this online resource is easily searchable.

Energy Star Rebate Finder

Energy Star is a government program managed by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy, which provides information about energy-efficient products. Energy Star’s Rebate Finder allows you to search for incentives by zip code and by product type.

U.S. Department of Energy

The Energy Department maintains a list of tax credits, rebates and other savings available for a variety of green technologies, including an extensive list for LED lighting projects.

To maximize savings for you, Amerlux designed most of its LED products as either Energy Star-rated or DLC-listed, making them eligible for a variety of rebates and tax incentives based on your location.

For example, retrofit projects with Amerlux’s Avista pedestrian light product are eligible for tax credits under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, in addition to incentives from local utilities.

LEDs can deliver huge savings for your organization and you can even pay for your upgrade with other people’s money to really shorten the payback period.

Learn how you can be seen in the best light while paying for your LED projects with other people’s money!

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CASE STUDY: Amerlux’s Lighting Revitalizes Boston High Rise

A dark, below-ground space was transformed into a bright vibrant lounge and meeting area for 225 Franklin Street, one of Boston’s most recognizable buildings. To achieve the desired environment without the advantage of natural light, Amerlux delivered a custom-designed lighting solution to uplight the unique waffle-slab ceilings in the space.

To read more about the innovative remedy, fill out the form.

Download the full case study

Lead Capture

Elegant Linear Lighting: Why Lighting Designers Choose Amerlux

When it comes to lighting a space with beautiful and comfortable light, indirect light is ideal—it’s soft and diffuse without hot spots or glare.

Lighting designers need high-quality lighting options to design optimal spaces for their clients. Lighting systems need to be functional and provide the right kind of light needed for the overall design aesthetic, which extends to the light fixture. The more flexible the lighting product, the better.

Amerlux’s new Linea 1.5″ Mini Indirect pendant-mounted linear LED lighting solution covers lighting designers’ needs on both fronts, with an upward-facing indirect LED that delivers indirect light for reduced glare and excellent batwing light distribution.

Here’s why lighting designers choose Amerlux for linear lighting systems:

  • Finely-engineered products: Lighting designers know Amerlux products are some of the very finest designed lighting systems on the market and Amerlux develops unique solutions to the most pernicious problems lighting designers face.
  • Able to fit nearly anywhere. The Linea 1.5″ Mini Indirect leverages a remote driver that can be installed in the ceiling up to 30 feet away to allow for greater design options.
  • A stylish fixture: Since the driver is separated from the fixture, the Linea 1.5″ Mini Indirect is designed to provide optimal lighting from a very minimal fixture that does not draw attention to itself. As the latest addition to the Linea 1.5″ Mini family of pendent lighting that already includes the Direct and Direct/Indirect, the Indirect measures barely half an inch thick. It provides high quality light without stealing the show.
  • Pairs with other lighting options: To maximize flexibility, the aperture sizes of the Linea Mini suite of products pair perfectly with Amerlux’s Grüv product line. Grüv, a recessed linear lighting offering, can climb walls and cross ceilings to go anywhere the design needs it to go.
  • Excellent light quality: With its indirect light delivery, the Linea 1.5″ Mini Indirect provides beautiful and comfortable light with the finest batwing distribution on the market. The LED light also has full-dimming capabilities.
  • Available in standard and made-to-measure sizes: Amerlux offers Linea 1.5″ Mini in custom-sized lengths to meet designers’ exact specifications, as well as standard lengths of 4-feet and 8-feet.
  • Light temperature options: Linea offers warm and cool light in 2700K, 3000K, 3500K or 4000K for cozy and inviting environments to those settings that are more vibrant and cooler.
  • Long lifespan: The Linea 1.5″ Mini offers outstanding light quality for years after it’s installed, operating for 50,000 hours or more before any depreciation in the light.
  • Rapid ROI: Extremely energy efficient, LED lighting offers immediate energy savings right off the bat, and when paired with controls, users can enjoy even greater savings. For complete flexibility, Linea 1.5″ Mini is controls agnostic and can pair with any controls currently on the market.
  • Quick delivery: To quickly advance and construction project, Linea 1.5″ Mini can ship quickly from the final order date. Standard lengths ship in 10 days or less and custom sizes ship in four to six weeks.
  • Rock-solid warranty: Amerlux stands behind its products and all Linea 1.5″ Mini products come with a five-year warranty.

Get a free consultation tailored to your product needs!

Flexible Linear Lighting Options: A Checklist for Lighting Designers

What makes good lighting? Like many thing things, it depends—on what the environment is and what the desired effect is.

Because of varying challenges, lighting designers need flexibility from their lighting systems. The more flexible a lighting product, the more options the lighting designer has in creating the best possible atmosphere and mood for a space.

Highly versatile, linear LED lighting is great for highlighting architectural details in addition to meeting general lighting requirements and providing nice even lighting for many different kinds of space.

Linear Lighting: A Checklist for Lighting Designers:

Here are the flexible features that lighting designers look for in linear lighting solutions.

  • Pendant mounted: Suspended linear lighting systems are efficient and attractive lighting solutions for a variety of applications, including office, retail, and hospitality spaces. They are capable of delivering light directly into the space or indirect delivery for comfortable, glare-free lighting, or both options.
  • Custom lengths and standard sizes: For jobs that need to be done as quickly and cost-effectively as possible, having the option to use standard-sized lighting products with a high-end architectural look is the perfect solution. When there is a little more time or money for the project, made-to-measure lighting can make for truly spectacular results. Having both choices available gives the lighting designer more flexibility.
  • Beautiful light: Indirect light is the most comfortable light for human eyes and it makes for very comfortable spaces and by bouncing the lighting off the ceiling, it gives a space the feel of higher ceilings.
  • Compatible with other light systems: Sometimes, it’s handy to pair different linear lighting solutions together. For example, if one section of the space has closed ceilings that transition into open ceilings, transitioning the light from one to the next is important. Recessed families of linear products that carry the same aperture of pendent lighting can deliver very appealing designs. Compatibility between different families of lighting products allows for endless variations and design options.
  • Outstanding light quality: LEDs’s ability to render colors have dramatically improved in recent years and linear lighting systems should be able to provide first-rate light conditions with eye-popping color. This is especially key in retail situations, where it’s critical for merchandise to look as good as possible.
  • Remote LED drivers: LEDs need drivers, just as fluorescent lights need ballasts; however, the driver does not have to be in the fixture—it can be located in a convenient ceiling location, for example. For extreme versatility, pendent linear LED lighting can take advantage of remote drivers, allowing for fixtures with very slim profiles and the capacity to fit in very small spaces.
  • Modern-styled fixtures: The most attractive linear lighting usually incorporates aesthetic styling into the fixtures. Less is definitely more in this case and the more minimalist the fixture, the more modern the environment will look.
  • Available in different temperatures: Different projects call for creating different atmospheres. The warm coffee shop is different from a modern-styled computer store. Lighting designers need lighting that is available in different Kelvin temperatures to create different environments in different spaces.
  • Long operating life: Top notch LED lighting systems can provide 50,000-100,000 hours of perfect lighting quality with very little depreciation. This delivers substantial maintenance savings, especially in high-ceiling applications where lifts are needed to perform maintenance.
  • Energy efficient: Today’s LED lights are extremely energy efficient and offer end-users substantial power savings, as well as help to contribute towards any sustainability goals a customer may have.
  • Available quickly: To keep construction projects on track, lighting designers need lights to be ready quickly. They can’t afford to wait around for weeks for lights to arrive.

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Top 5 Design Snafus with Linear Lighting

When done right, linear lighting can make for spaces that are both efficiently lit and beautifully lit. However, not all linear lighting products are created equal and poor products make for poor lighting outcomes.

When lighting designers choose the linear lighting products they need for a project, they need the best one possible. With that in mind, here are the top five linear lighting pitfalls to avoid:


  1. Outdated fluorescent lighting

The first issue that can crop up with linear lighting is whether it is LED or fluorescent. Fluorescent lights were appealing because they are cheap and deliver light in a non-directional manner, flooding the room with light. The initial expense of buying fluorescent lights is far from the true cost though. Fluorescent lights are outdated lighting technology that utilize dangerous mercury and they use three times the power—or more—than LEDs, adding up to significant energy costs over time. Additionally, fluorescent lights have a shorter lifespan (especially if they are frequently switched on and off) than LEDs, which can last for 50,000 hours or more, creating substantially more energy efficiency for much longer. Frequently replacing fluorescent bulbs and ballasts can get expensive and frustrating—especially with high-ceiling applications where lifts are necessary.

Besides the costs, the light quality for fluorescent lighting is poor—color quality shifts after just 100 hours. No one really likes working under fluorescent lighting as the color is awful. LEDs give better quality and more comfortable light for human eyes than fluorescents and LEDs can do it much more consistently.

  1. Ugly fixtures

Linear lighting fixtures—especially non-LED fixtures—can be very bulky and unattractive due to socket shadows and discoloration between lamps based on age and manufacture. Less is more, and the best linear lighting luminaires are free from glare. LED fixtures can be very thin to blend into architectural design or enhance it with excellent glare control. A razor-thin luminaire profile makes for a modern, professional-looking aesthetic and puts the spotlight on the things it’s lighting underneath, rather than drawing attention to itself. One way to accomplish a minimal form factor is to separate the driver from the fixture and install it remotely. Without the driver, the fixture can be very small, delivering a very clean aesthetic.

  1. Fixtures are not compatible with each other

With the emergence of new open ceiling designs, lighting may be required in recessed linear profiles in lower ceilings and pendent lighting in open spaces. Matching profiles and lighting performance is critical, which is why it’s best to choose linear lighting solutions that have the same aperture sizes and are compatible with other product families.

  1. Only available in standard lengths

Sometimes manufacturers only sell their products in standard preset sizes and configurations. This is efficient for the manufacturer, but sometimes a custom product is needed to make a space stand out from the general lighting designs found in so many buildings. LEDs are not limited to the length of a lamp size—they can run up to the eighth of an inch, allowing your lighting to run from wall to wall or up a wall to the ceiling. For maximum flexibility, work with a lighting manufacturer who can work with you to design and fabricate lights exactly how you need them for your project, rather than fitting your project around what’s convenient for them to mass produce.

  1. Only pairs with certain controls

Some lights are only compatible with certain controls, but the end-users may specify a particular control system they want, or they may need the controls to accomplish certain things, such as enabling their lights to be smart connected (Internet of Things) or collect data or change color tones. Choose linear lighting that is controls agnostic and can pair with any set of controls on the market for maximum flexibility.

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Amerlux Launches Linea 1.5″ Mini Indirect

New Linear LED Fixture Features Remote Driver to Add Design Flexibility

Amerlux, an award-winning design-and-manufacture lighting company, announced today its new linear lighting solution—Linea 1.5 Mini Indirect—which leverages a remote driver that can be installed in the ceiling up to 30 feet away to allow for greater design options.

The Linea 1.5 Mini Indirect, which delivers indirect lighting for great comfort and reduced glare, is manufactured in standard lengths, as well as made-to-measure lengths down to an 1/8″. The fixture also pairs nicely with another Amerlux linear solution, Grüv recessed, which can run in walls and ceilings. Linea’s aperture widths match Grüv’s recessed linear light offerings, so they can be seamlessly married together.

“Reinforcing our commitment to continuous innovation, the new Linea 1.5 Mini Indirect, as well as the rest of the family, not only brings elegance and beauty to a space, but delivers the right amount of lighting with the best energy and maintenance savings for rapid ROI,” said Frank Diassi, who is Amerlux’s founder and chairman. “Its lumen output does not begin to depreciate until after 50,000 hours of use versus 100 hours of use for fluorescent lamps.”

The new Linea 1.5Mini Indirect is part of a larger Linea product family:

The Linea family delivers a high output with up to 650 lumens per foot and 73 lumens per watt. Its standard integral electronic constant current 120V-to-277V drivers offers zero-to-10V dimming capabilities, pairing with any controls including Enlighted (IoT).

Pendant-mounted for spaces with or without ceilings, Linea provides linear run lengths for general lighting over desks, conference tables or individual standard lengths over a reception area. It provides warm and cool light in 2700K, 3000K, 3500 (industry standard) or 4000K.

Linea is offered in indirect, direct and direct/indirect with lens or louver, which is available in micro-perf or solid styles.

Linea products, which come with a five-year warranty, offer such a long lifespan that maintenance costs are significantly reduced. In addition, the fixture is extremely energy efficient, providing power cost savings.

Standard Linea can ship in 10 days or less from the time they are ordered to quickly advance any new construction or retrofit project.

For more information about the company, call Amerlux at 973.850.4342.

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