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Overcoming 3 Common Problems in Commercial Lighting Program Management – Deadlines, Resources and Fear of the Unknown

Monday, September 24, 2018 By Kate Reynolds

As mentioned in Part 1 of this blog series, which covered budget and product knowledge, there’s a significant amount of information to consider and weigh along the path to LED lighting upgrades, increased efficiency, connectivity and continuous optimization of your physical space.

Enterprise-level programs are a colossal responsibility – the ability to troubleshoot common problems before they escalate is key to both the short- and long-term success of your program.

We hope you find our commercial lighting program management resources both educational and valuable. If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out!



It’s the blessing and curse of energy savings. Once a company understands the benefits of an efficiency upgrade, it’s only natural to want to pocket or reinvest those savings as soon as possible. We don’t blame them, deadlines are a crucial component of success, but it’s important to build a better mousetrap for this process.


Prioritization is key.

When working at an enterprise-level it’s extremely important to prioritize a rollout so that the upgrades work to your maximum advantage. When working across a network of locations within a finite budget, rank locations based upon factors such as: high energy cost areas, maximum utilization of available utility rebates, existing maintenance problems, expenses which are eliminated as the technology is deployed, and any additional pre-defined metrics.

Why is this effective?

You know the saying – work smarter, not harder!

With a focused mission, this prioritized approach often times results in additional locations being completed and even more energy savings realized, and targets the greatest results.

The bottom line is: deadlines absolutely have to be respected, and adhered to, but they shouldn’t be the driving force or mission of your project.  Making the investment work for you as quickly as possible does not always mean a super aggressive deadline.

Read more: How to successfully manage a nationwide rollout across 3,763 locations in 8 months



It’s simple: carefully calculated budgets, defined timelines and projected ROIs aren’t worth the paper their written on if the management of resources is shoddy or all together absent. If absent, you can end up paying more than expected and – even worse – not getting the rebates and energy savings you intended.

Our most valuable tip here would be centralized control – one throat to choke but with the ability to manage and execute across multiple stakeholders.

What does that mean?

In today’s day and age, there’s no reason companies should be trying to handle enterprise-wide upgrades all by themselves. They’re big, they’re messy and they’re a logistical nightmare that can put a strain on your organization. Companies need to keep their resources free to focus on their core competencies, not on technology upgrade execution. But the stakeholders involved in executing that mission have to be on the same page, have to know what success looks like, and have to be able to coordinate efforts in support of that overriding goals.  A key stakeholder communicating out across all parties greatly focuses the effort and unifies the mission.

Again, look at partnerships as the ability for you and your organization to work smarter, not harder.

There’s real benefit to bringing in strong partners who can add value to the initiatives you’ve set forth. For example, when it comes to the management of resources within a commercial lighting program, here are just a few of the tasks that require an extreme amount of time, coordination and attention to detail:

  • Pricing
  • Material ordering and delivery confirmation
  • Inventory management
  • Daily communication with store managers
  • Corporate communications as required
  • Rebate administration
  • Budget tracking and reporting
  • Material warranty tracking
  • Warranty administration
  • Energy audits & surveys
  • Quality control checks
  • Invoicing and reporting

Are you, your staff and organization ready to handle all of that across an entire portfolio?

We know from 25+ years of experience that good project and resource management, with transparent communication, quality planning and extreme preparation, guarantees results.



“With the decreasing cost of LED, the rising speed in the adoption of technology, and the relevance of IoT (the ‘Internet of Things’) connectivity and digitization, many decision makers – both old and new – find themselves wondering where to start when it comes to the information needed to make an educated choice.” – Kate Reynolds, from the article Welcome to the Lighting Industry, Kid.

While the idea of efficiency is not new, the ability to create a more intelligent built environment is.

LED first turned the lighting world upside down because of its reliability and efficiency. Through its evolution and the culmination of R&D for maximum efficiency, we have reached the pinnacle. There is not going to be a more efficient light source, at least in our lifetime. So it no longer makes sense to wait for something better.

The mission for those considering upgrades must shift from “if” to “when”, with an additional emphasis on “how”. Organizations must resist the “fear of the unknown” and harness the capabilities of this technology; capitalizing on all of the benefits and efficiency it can unleash.

Unleashing LED technology to its maximum potential means giving your lighting the ability to act as the backbone for connected systems. We are now seeing controls emerge as the next big tech adoption – which allows for the ultimate controllability within a connected and optimized space.

The possibility of maximum optimization through technology, connectivity and controllability allows us to create intelligent buildings that respond to the utility grid, monitor air quality, or track valuable assets in a hospital or airport, all through the lighting.

This means we can now dare to dream of Zero Energy buildings becoming more common. We can now dare to dream of global brands committing to 100% renewable energy. We can now dare to dream of states relying entirely on clean power sources.

In order to make all of this less overwhelming, reducing fear of the unknown should start with identifying the outcome that your organization wants to achieve, and work the “how” backwards from there.



As mentioned in the beginning of this post, deadlines, product management and fear of the unknown are very common problems faced by organizations looking to upgrade their lighting systems and achieve increased efficiency.

We’re here to tell you there’s no shame in asking for help where you need it. Leaning on a partner who can help you work smarter and allow you to focus on customers and core competencies is a win-win for any organization, and especially those operating at the enterprise-level.

“Working with Illumetek was fantastic. Not only was I happy with the speed and drive used to get over 3,800 locations of Sherwin Williams retrofitted in 8 months, but their communication was both prompt and transparent. For a program of this size to run that smoothly was an unprecedented experience on our end.” – Jake Hostetler, Facilities Analyst – Sherwin Williams

If you or your organization need help with these common commercial lighting program management problems, please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions. You can contact us here, or find our team members on LinkedIn.


Read Part 1 of this series here: How to Tackle Budget and Product Knowledge – Two Very Common Problems in Commercial Lighting Program Management 

Filed under: Illumetek, LED

About Illumetek

Illumetek is a National Program Management company facilitating installs, updates, compliance and rebates for Lighting, Electrical, and associated Controls. If you have additional questions regarding LED lighting technology or design, please feel free to contact us anytime.

Reach out to Illumetek

Illumetek is a National Program Management company facilitating installs, updates, compliance and rebates for Lighting, Electrical, and associated Controls. Contact us today!