With the cost of LED lighting falling fast, and new digital controls opening the door to third-party monitoring, control, and ownership of lighting systems, the Rocky Mountain Institute is proposing Lumens as a Service (LaaS) as a way for building owners to cut energy use and boost lighting quality despite limited capital dollars.
“The LED market is burgeoning and beginning to generate economies of scale—offering promise that the LED market will ultimately achieve its full potential as an innovative and ubiquitous technology,” RMI reports. But “capacity and capital constraints limit the ability of building owners and property managers to assess different lighting system options and to pay for up-front investment in new lighting systems.”
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That disconnect has produced “an underinvestment in advanced lighting systems that could otherwise provide commercial building owners and property managers with measurable operating cost savings, as well as help them better meet the demands of tenants seeking high-performance workplaces.”
RMI contrasts the “as a service” model with a more traditional arrangement, in which a building owner or operator purchases and runs the asset. “In a LaaS business model, a commercial building customer specifies its required lighting outcomes, and a service provider then delivers the contracted lighting service by designing, installing, and maintaining a system designed to meet these outcomes.”
The service provider might also choose to pay “rent” for the right to deploy a lighting system in the customer’s space. “In exchange, the customer pays 100% of the calculated lighting energy cost savings to the service provider, fully aligning the benefits of the upgrade with the roles that each party undertakes.”
The global market for Lumens as a Service is expected to grow from US$35.2 million in 2016 to $1.6 billion in 2025—and RMI is no disinterested observer, making it clear through the blog post that it’s on the lookout for customers for its own new LaaS service.