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Trade Ally Network Northwest

Lighting Tech Tip: Mastering the Lighting Calculator

December 19, 2022 | Trade Ally Network NW

If you’ve worked on a commercial lighting project, chances are you’ve worked with a BPA Lighting Calculator to determine appropriate savings and incentives for your customers. Our field specialists have compiled some tips and tricks to help make the process of completing your lighting project easier.

If you have any questions about the Lighting Calculator, remember to reach out to your local field specialist. They can help review your project and answer any technical or general questions you may have. Read on and let our field specialists shine a light on entering projects.

  • The Lighting Calculator is a resource-heavy file; remember to always save the file you’re working on locally to your computer and move the Calculator to the appropriate project folder when complete. Avoid having other Excel documents open when working on a project, and don’t forget to save frequently!
  • Remember that all Lighting Calculators need to be reviewed and pre-approved by your local utility prior to purchasing materials and moving forward with a lighting project.
  • In the Project Input section of the LC, be sure to add any manufacturer and part number details for fixtures or lamps in the notes box for each measure in the measures tab. Adding details to each line item on the Lighting Calculator will expedite the review and pre-approval process. Once you’ve entered your notes, make sure to click on a dropdown box before moving between measure lines to ensure that your notes are saved.
  • Proposed wattages occasionally do not match up with the proposed LEDs that you’re planning to use. Or, use a non-standard measure and enter the actual watts installed.
  • Don’t be afraid to use the copy and paste button on the measures tab. If you have multiple measures that have the same existing and proposed equipment, this can save you a lot of time, especially when working on a large project. If there are quantity or location differences, you can easily make those adjustments in the Lighting Calculator.
  • Don’t forget to add lighting controls to your project. There are available incentives for wall-switch, fixture-mount, and ceiling-mount occupancy sensors as well as incentives for networked lighting controls. Adding lighting controls to your lighting project can increase the overall incentive, reduce controllable operating costs, and help achieve additional energy and utility cost savings over time. You can add lighting controls to the Lighting Calculator in the “measures” tab for each line item.
  • Utilities often have customized lighting calculators that feature local incentive values. Contact your utility to make sure you’re using the appropriate lighting calculator for your utility, and to ensure that they have funding available for your project.