Howard Lewis, chair of the National Lighting Bureau (NLB), Silver Spring, Md., had some good news for NLB's board of directors in his recent annual report address to them.

“Within the next few months, we will see the recessionary clouds yield to a reviving economy led by a residential-housing sector that is particularly important to the lighting community,” he told them. “Light-commercial construction will follow, then commercial and industrial development, and accelerated commercial renovation. In fact, lighting could be the most important part of that renovation, because lighting — being the most visible energy-consuming system — contributes mightily to a building's image.

“All too many existing buildings continue to rely on 75-year-old, workhorse lighting technology that just won't quit, seeming to justify owners' ‘If it ain't broke, don't fix it’ attitude. The fact is that new systems could be so effective they could pay for themselves in four years or less through energy savings alone.”

Lewis also said better lighting can enhance a building's value, revive downtown neighborhoods and improve office productivity, morale, safety, security, sales and even health.