Published date: 04 June 2021

Installing LED lights to save money and reduce carbon emissions

In 2020/21, we upgraded 39 properties, saving £1.5m per annum.


Our estate currently utilises a mix of traditional lighting types and fittings, typically made up from fluorescent strip lights, compact fluorescent downlights, halogen lighting and sodium lamps.

These traditional forms of lighting are poor at converting electrical energy into light and produce heat as a by product of the energy input, meaning only a portion of electrical energy is converted into useful light. The light output of these technologies can also be poor and can cause ‘fickering’ of the lamp which can cause health issues for building occupants. In addition, the typical fluorescent lighting needs regular maintenance to ensure correct operation and replacement of failed lamps.

LED technology has reduced in cost and improved in quality over the last few years so proves to be a highly effective and efficient alternative. They can produce electricity savings of up to 75% and produce a clearer and crisper light level which is very important in our properties, especially healthcare facilities. LED lights have a long life, and should only need replacing approximately every 10 years, reducing our maintenance costs and risk of failures.

Our objective was therefore to use our Spend-to-Save budget to replace traditional lighting with LED alternatives to reduce costs and carbon emissions associated with lighting our properties.


At the start of 19/20, we carried out a competitive tender process to select a single supplier to supply and install LED lighting across the estate over a 3 year programme.

The initial phase of works was to install £1.5m worth of LED upgrades across 40 properties in the first year. With similar amounts planned for the next 2 years up to a total of £4.5m.

Energy Saving Lighting Ltd conducted building surveys and we chose sites based on the costs and potential savings, with the properties that meet a potential payback of around 2 years being chosen for upgrades. Our local facilities management teams in the regions were fully briefed on the project and take the lead on delivery with the Supplier and building occupants.


Year one results:

The first installations took place in December 2019. Due to the Covid-19 lockdown, the works were halted in early March 2020 with 30 out of the 40 planned properties receiving LED lights, costing just over £1m.

We made sure we purchased the fittings for the other 10 properties and re-started the installations as soon as lockdown restrictions allowed in 2020.

The estimated savings from these installations is about £530,000 per annum.

Year two results:

As lockdown lifted, Energy Saving Lighting Ltd carried out a large number of surveys in the South East and London regions and identified 27 properties meeting the criteria, with an investment of £2.3m. These properties included some large sites, such as the Mary Seacole Wing at Royal South Hants Hospital, St Charles Hospital and Horsham Community Hospital.

As the installations for this first batch in 2020-21 continued, Energy Saving Lighting Ltd carried out further surveys across the South East and other areas of England to identify more properties suitable for LED upgrades. The NHSPS Energy and Environment team then applied for additional capital to invest in these properties and succeeded in securing an £1.7m to upgrade LEDs across a further 12 properties.

Overall, in 2020/21, we invested £4.1m in LED upgrades across 39 properties in the South East, London, Midlands and North West. In doing this, we will save £1.5m per annum for the NHS.

This was made possible, even through the Covid-19 lockdown and restrictions through the dedication and professionalism of the NHS Property Services Facilities and Property Management teams and the proactiveness of Energy Saving Lighting Ltd.