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How Car Dealerships Can Save Money on Lighting

car dealershipWhile driving down the interstate, it is hard to miss those bright, shining lights of a car dealership. Even if you are not in the market for a new vehicle, you can’t deny that those cars look good under those display lights.

Dealerships use more electricity than any other business. Why do car dealerships use more electricity than other businesses? Dealerships have a lot more than just a parking lot to light.

Keep reading to find out how dealerships use their electricity and how they can save money with high-quality lighting!

Dealerships Use A Lot Of Electricity

It can not be denied that the exterior lights take up more electricity than other dealership areas. Exterior lights attract customers, keep them engaged, keep product safe, and keep their business functional.

These bright exterior lights showcase new vehicles. They also show off the intricate details of each vehicle. Lighting at a car dealership is also to keep customers engaged.

Do you ever notice how bright and pristine everything at a car dealership is? The bright lights keep customers’ eyes moving and their minds racing. The lighting acts as a metaphor for a new and shiny future for customers.

Exterior lights are not only used for showing off vehicles but as a security measure. The abundance of lights makes it possible for security guards to notice suspicious activity.

On a functional level, car dealerships use more electricity than other businesses because they light the following items: building interiors, building exteriors, parking lots, dealership signage, service bays, and each car lot.

Risk of Paying Too Much For Lighting

Although car dealerships use more electricity, it is not always necessary. There are risks of paying too much for lighting. Risks involve energy strains, business costs, maintenance requirements, and unsatisfied customers.

Energy Strain

By paying for an abundance of electricity, there is an energy strain on local and national levels. Hovey Electric breaks down this energy strain simply:

“Lighting utilizes about 18% of the total electricity currently generated in the United States. Lighting within commercial buildings is responsible for roughly 71% of the 18% total electricity generated.”

By paying for too much lighting, dealerships are expanding their environmental footprint in their city and the world.

Business & Maintenance Costs

Dealerships can spend anywhere around 30,000 dollars annually on utility costs. However, with the proper changes, they could only be paying in the neighborhood of 7,000! The problem with spending too much on lighting is that each fixture requires annual maintenance.

Dealerships can end up paying more for the maintenance than for the actual fixtures themselves.

Customer Experience

If a dealership spends more money on basic lighting and electricity, they may not afford luxuries for the customer. Vehicles should be properly showcased. Therefore, they are appropriately marketed for the customer.

Importance of Keeping Quality Lighting

There are many important reasons for keeping high-quality lighting throughout your car dealership. For starters, the aesthetic of your business matters! The warm lighting of a coffee shop provides customers with a cozy atmosphere that they do not want to leave.

The lighting of a car dealership should use their lighting to do the same thing. The bright lights of the lots and showrooms should create an attractive environment to draw customers in the door.

Not only should your lighting be high quality to attract customers, but it should show off your facilities and products. High-quality lights make it easier for customers to see the product for what it is.

Brighter, higher quality lights reflect off of clean cars and show off their features. Quality lighting can give a dealership a competitive advantage. With better lighting than your competitors, you can display new vehicles in a far more appealing way.

High-quality lighting is also necessary for employees and mechanics. A dealership needs good lighting for its service bays and mechanical areas. Show your customers that you are efficient and structured by keeping your service areas well lit.

How to Save Money on Lighting Without Sacrificing Quality

There are a few ways to save money on lighting without sacrificing quality. There have been many incentives that have led to fewer costs among car dealerships. Also, consider changing fixtures and bulbs.

Energy Efficient Incentives

Goals and company-wide incentives are not uncommon for large corporations. Many corporations will use inducements to achieve a goal. It is a good idea to talk to your business leads and c-level officers about company goals.

Some businesses encourage branches and dealerships to reduce their energy output for multiple reasons. Not only will energy-efficient goals lower the company’s carbon footprint, but lower costs as well.

Consider looking into tax incentives. The IRS provides specific tax cuts for companies that provide them with the necessary information.

There are also rebate programs that send companies money for each fixture replaced with a more energy-efficient fixture. Likewise, some rebates look at how many kilowatts are saved per hour through certain lighting fixtures.


Another way to save money on lighting without sacrificing quality is by changing the type of lighting you use. The two most common and energy-efficient bulbs out there are LEDs and Metal Halide Lamps.

You can easily find Metal Halide Lamps at most car dealerships, baseball fields, and stadiums. Metal Halide Lamps are not the most energy-efficient bulb available; however, they are more energy-efficient than HID bulbs. You can pay off the investment faster than you would for LEDs. Metal Halide Lamps have approximately 26,000 to 40,000 hours of life.

LEDs are known for their low energy output. While LEDs use less energy than many other bulbs, they are more expensive initially. Even though LEDs are more expensive, they last much longer than other bulbs; therefore, they pay for themselves in the end. As a dealership owner, it is vital to know that LEDs require less upkeep and maintenance.

Helpful Tips

There are a few accessories that can help you reduce lighting costs and energy output. Consider investing in some of the following items:

  • Dimmers
  • Motion Sensors
  • Timers
  • Remote Control Lights

By using lighting control accessories, you can control how much electricity is being used. Dimmers reduce the amount of energy being used. Motion Sensors save money by cutting off when they are not needed. Timers are a way to maximize effectiveness and competence. Remote Control Lights can be used to turn lights on and off only when necessary.

Lastly, but most vitally, it is best to talk to someone who knows all about lighting. GCE National has many lighting professionals that can help you determine which lights are best for your dealership. Not only can they find you the right lights, but they can help you reduce costs and energy.

Find out how to help your car dealership succeed today! Call a GCE National Lighting Professional to cut costs and implement high-quality lighting for your car dealership!

Keep your projects on track, on time, and on budget!

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