commercial lighting

Energy-Efficient Ways to Light Commercial Building Exteriors

The lighting your business uses says a lot about your brand. It tells customers that you are open at night, it lets people know that your business is safe, and it conveys your branding through your color choice and style.

Many business owners want to improve their exterior lighting, but they aren’t sure they can afford the increased electric bills or bulb maintenance costs. But, there are options for energy-efficient commercial exterior lighting.

At Creative Sign Designs, we have worked with business owners to upgrade their lighting in an affordable way. Let’s explore the different energy-efficient commercial exterior lighting options available for your brand.

Types of Exterior Elements with Lights

If you want to upgrade your exterior lights while focusing on energy efficiency, consider the different types of exterior elements around your building and how they are lit. You can change multiple elements to provide a better experience for customers while reinforcing your overall brand.

A few considerations include:

  • Your Signage: The first thing to consider with energy-efficient commercial exterior lighting is your signage. You want to use large, bright and illuminated signage to attract customers, but you also don’t want to drive up your energy bill. Consider the types of bulbs you use and the overall design of your sign. Opting for energy-efficient LED lighting may be more expensive up-front, but it can last longer and cost you less over time.
  • The Parking Lot: Your parking lot is a place where customers want to feel safe and secure. Guests want to walk to their cars in a well-lit environment, especially late at night. Furthermore, well-lit parking lots make it easier for drivers to find their way and see other cars and obstacles. The lighting in your parking lot needs to be bright and also energy-efficient to keep your electric costs low.
  • The Side of the Building: You may not realize it, but the side of your building reflects your brand along with your signage. By setting up lighting along the walkways, you can create safe areas for customers to walk. You can also light up the sides of the building to draw attention to your business. Also, keep lighting in mind if you have a mural on your building wall. You can use the right lighting to illuminate the art and make it stand out in your community or neighborhood.
  • Photoluminescent Egress: Photoluminescence is an energy-efficient alternative to traditional lighting. This option isn’t electric or battery-powered, but it glows brightly and safely throughout the night. Photoluminescence is used to create safer walkways (like an outline around a step in a dark movie theatre) and as a wayfinding tool that helps guide people around your building.


As you can see, lowering your energy bills doesn’t mean turning off your lights, but it does mean looking at all aspects of lighting within your business and making decisions that benefit customers and your brand.

How to Be Energy-Efficient

As a business owner, you have multiple options to increase the energy-efficiency of your lighting. Once you have identified the top areas where your lighting needs to improve, consider a few of these solutions that are available to you.

  • Switch to LED options. LED lights have a higher cost initially, but their value is undeniable. They last 50x longer than incandescent bulbs, use a tenth of the electricity, and require fewer bulbs to do the same work. We often recommend LED lighting retrofits for our customers to help them reduce energy consumption by 70%.
  • Place your lights strategically. The placement of your lights will determine how many you need. We tap into lighting strategies like uplighting to make a showcase a building without needing to invest in a large number of lights.
  • Look for solar-powered options. If the batteries on your light fixtures can charge during the day, then they can shine all night. Opting for solar-powered lighting can reduce your electric bills and contribute to a smaller carbon footprint.


Another way to keep up your energy efficiency is with good maintenance. If you can keep your lights working and safe, then you won’t drive up your electric bills. Plus, preventative care can reduce the chances of a lighting emergency or your signage looking worn-down and dingy.

Examples of Commercial Exterior Lighting

To get an idea for the diverse nature of exterior lighting, consider the work our team at Creative Sign Designs did for a few local clients.

Fox 13 Tampa Bay is known for its iconic “SkyTower Radar” downtown. However, the news channel wanted residents to see the tower even after the sun went down. With a set budget, we developed a plan that used LED uplighting. We used three custom-built light structures on each side to reach the top of the 150-foot tower. Today, you can see our work all the way down the street leading up to the building. The tower can change colors to celebrate holidays, support local sports teams, or alert residents to weather threats.

Gator Ford wanted customers to notice their brand as they drove down a nearby interstate. When we started their project, half of their 200 light fixtures weren’t illuminating. Not only did we replace the lights that didn’t work, but we also overhauled the old fluorescent lighting system and replaced them with high-end LED lighting. Gator Ford can expect to save 10% each month in lighting costs and will notice a return on investment within two years. Plus, it only took half the LED lights to make their parking lot twice as bright.

It is possible to brightly light up your business even if you are on a budget. The result is a highly-noticeable business at a cost that is easily recouped.

Request a Consult For Energy-Efficient Commercial Exterior Lighting

If you want your business to look as bright as Gator Ford or as iconic as the Fox 13 Skytower, then reach out to our team at Creative Sign Designs.

We can work with large and small budgets to make recommendations for energy-efficient lighting solutions. Through uplighting, photoluminescence, and strategic placement, we can give your business the brightness it needs without an electric bill that drives you into debt.

Request a consultation today to learn how we can help you.

We have two locations in Florida featuring more than 50,000 square feet of our product offerings. In Tampa and Orlando, we provide a glimpse into the endless possibilities in the sign world. We have created a whole new concept in signage, one that incorporates high-tech design and top-of-the-line construction.



12801 Commodity Place
Tampa , FL 33626
Toll Free: 800-804-4809
Fax: 813-818-7200


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Longwood, FL 32750
Toll Free: 800-804-4809
Fax: 813-818-7200


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