LED lighting: What’s your best option?

Not sure which way to go with LED lighting? Take a look at all your options in this handy guide and choose which one is best for you and your school.

Published: June 9, 2017


It is widely accepted that LED lighting provides a beneficial impact on the learning environment. Not only does it help students’ eyesight and overall health, it also boosts productivity too!

As well as helping students, LED lighting eases strain on the school budget (after the installation cost) as it can cut school lighting energy bills by up to half. LED lighting also doesn’t need replacing as often as fluorescent lighting.

Many schools struggle to make the transition from fluorescent lights to LEDs because of the installation cost. But don’t worry, we’ve taken a look at the key finance options and summarised their selling points so you can make an informed decision.

What are my options?

There are lots of choices to make around LED lighting, but how you pay for it is probably the most important. Here are the options available to you:

1. Outright payment

Not many schools can afford to pay for equipment, installation and any other costs upfront, but this option is there if you have some wiggle room in your budget at the end of the year.

Many schools in this position choose to implement LED lighting in stages, only installing when they have the budget available. This is often a long and disruptive process, but with the summer holidays coming up now is a good time to implement a phase of LED lighting work.

2. Government funding

Salix Finance is the primary source of interest-free government funding for schools wishing to improve their energy efficiency. These loans are repaid with money saved through efficiency measures.

However, there are several factors to consider:

  • Schools can only apply for funding once a year.
  • The scheme is oversubscribed so the application process is lengthy.
  • The funding is not guaranteed until you receive confirmation of a successful application.
  • Schools may only receive a percentage of the funding and be expected to cover the rest themselves.

3. Leasing

Created with school budgetary restrictions in mind, leasing options for LED lighting installations are becoming more popular.

The cost is spread over several years, and it’s possible to used the money saved by using a more efficient system to repay these costs.

With this option, schools receive the equipment straight away, at a time suitable to them, and also benefit from an ongoing warranty/maintenance period which provides support when needed.

The Utility Rentals method

Utility Rentals’ LED light leasing scheme has a few added extras that will help schools during the installation period and beyond:

  • 5 year rental agreement that meets education sector operating lease criteria
  • Support from account managers
  • Free energy audit of existing lighting and savings projection
  • Quick installation at any time, with no charge for holiday or out-of-hours installations
  • Ongoing warranty for duration of rental period
  • 12 month deferred payment option

This method has proven popular with schools nationwide. Ian Kite, Bedfordshire Schools Trust (BEST), stated:

“[Utility Rentals] offers significant advantages over the Salix route. There is no requirement for any upfront capital investment; the cost of the lease is paid through the monthly savings made – and all of the lighting is fully maintained for the duration of the lease. It makes sound commercial sense – and it de-risks the whole process for us.

LED lighting is a key part of the classroom of the future, and will benefit students, staff and the budget. It’s time to find out more about LED lighting installation, and start planning your next steps.

See how Utility Rentals can help improve the lighting in your school, get in touch today.