The Future is Bright for Commercial Lighting

Commercial lighting is a multi-billion-dollar industry. In fact, it’s projected to reach over $20 billion dollars by 2028, up from $8 billion in 2020.[5] That’s a 150% increase in just eight years, meaning that where there’s light there’s money. So, it’s safe to say that commercial lighting is big business.


From grocery stores and warehouses to office buildings and real estate, the need for reliable, powerful, aesthetically-pleasing and cost-effective lighting is more important than ever. And as the need for energy efficiency continues to be paramount, knowing what’s on the horizon, and how you can get in on the game early, will be of great benefit. So, let’s take a look at what’s coming down the pike.




This one really is a no-brainer. What was once considered a very costly option (white LED bulbs were $80-$100 each just twenty years ago[1]) is now the go-to lighting choice for commercial and residential buildings, and with good reason. LED lighting can save up to 90% of the electricity used by incandescent and halogen lights and up to 50% of the electricity that fluorescent lights use. That’s a substantial savings on its own, but add in the longevity of the LED bulbs (up to 50,000 hours[2] as opposed to the typical 1,000 hours of an incandescent bulb) and you continue to have a clear winner.


Of course the initial outlay for LED lighting, even with the massive drop-off in pricing over the last few years, is always going to be more expensive than incandescent, halogen and fluorescent lighting. But aside from the longevity, there are several other reasons to outfit your commercial space with LED. First, depending on where your business is located, there are tax incentives available for making the switch to this greener option. And speaking of green, way fewer carbon dioxide emissions come from LED lights; another major plus.




Beyond the many financially-sound reasons for choosing LED, there’s also the professionalism and clean look of LED lighting to consider. LED bulbs are bright and don’t burn out like traditional incandescents, or flicker like those annoying fluorescents you’ve seen hurting your eyes in so many retail spaces.


LED light is also focused light. What does this mean?  Daniel Reif, Facility Solutions Manager at Global Industrial, explains: “When you put a fluorescent tube in a light fixture, it goes in all directions. When you put an LED in your fixture, it focuses the light downwards. You’re not losing light.” In fact, the difference is so great that it can take time for employees to get used to this much brighter environment. “It probably takes a week, maybe two weeks, for them to readjust to the lineup,” said Reif.


Overall, LED is not just a worthwhile investment that’s a huge return on your initial outlay, it’s also a much more attractive option. Whether you install LED Panel Lights, LED Shop Lights, LED Emergency Lights, or even LED Remote Fixtures, your customers and staff will see and feel the difference.




Back in the day, lightbulbs were chosen by wattage. You’ll know this from experience shopping for dimmer 40W bulbs or the brighter 100W option. But with the advent of modern LED bulbs and their luminous efficacy (roughly six times more efficient than traditional incandescents) the focus has switched to lumens. And the future is very bright for commercial LED lighting, with great strides being made in the lumens per watt (LPW) arena.


“Standard lumens per watt were probably about 100 LPW a few years ago,” said Reif, “But we’re getting up into the 200-300 LPW area now.” Naturally, the greater the LPW, the more efficient your lighting set-up will be. In the near future, massive retail spaces will benefit from dazzlingly-bright lighting running on a fraction of the energy that was used a few decades ago.




Alongside the tax incentives available for commercial lighting are the rebates, and while they’re not as lucrative as they have been in the past, they can still make up a significant portion of the financing on the project.


Currently, 77% of the United States has some form of commercial lighting rebate.[3] This is actually up from 74% in 2021, but for the second year in a row the rebates have leveled out. Still, these rebates cannot be overlooked as they can add up to many thousands of dollars per installation. Let’s take a look at some typical commercial lighting rebates for 2022.


Replacement Bulbs (A19, PAR, MR)        $4

Linear Tubes                                                 $4

Pin-Based (cfl-ni replacement)                  $7

Downlights                                                    $28

Troffers/Panels                                             $33
Retrofit Kits                                                   $34

Accent/Track Lighting                                 $51

Screw-in HID (corncob)                               $55

Outdoor Wall Mount                                     $94

Parking Garage Fixtures                             $96

Outdoor Pole/Arm Mount                            $102

High Bay Fixtures                                         $122





Residences around the world are already taking full advantage of automation and smart technology, with homeowners now relishing the ability to control the lighting around their homes from their phones. But don’t think for a moment that they have cornered the market. In fact, commercial, industrial and city buildings make up the lion’s share of the smart lighting market, implementing 60% of projects around the world.[4]


Automation and smart lighting (including smart street lighting) is ideal for commercial spaces as it gives businesses maximum control of their environments. In fact, many buildings for specific companies are controlled from one central location, meaning head office can have even greater reach to reign in energy consumption by scheduling when the lighting is turned on and off.


To sum up, the future of commercial lighting continues to be rooted in LED solutions, with an increasing emphasis on smart tech, automation, and energy efficiency. And of course, when you think LED lighting always think “lumens per watt.” Those old incandescents, halogens, and fluorescents are quickly becoming dinosaurs of the commercial space.


[1] LED Lighting Info [Link]

[2] Infinity Energy Services [Link]

[3] BriteSwitch [Link]

[4] LED Inside [Link]

[5] Global Newswire [Link]


The information contained in this article is for informational, educational, and promotional purposes only and is based on information available as of the initial date of publication. It is the reader’s responsibility to ensure compliance with all applicable laws, rules, codes and regulations. If there is any question or doubt in regard to any element contained in this article, please consult a licensed professional.  Under no circumstances will Global Industrial® be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on this article.