Open sign on a small business
September 14, 2023

How LEDs Help Small Businesses Save Big

Being a small business owner comes with many challenges and decisions, including what lighting to choose for your establishment. Lighting plays a crucial role in shaping customer experience, lowering operational costs, and contributing to sustainability efforts. Whether you're looking to cut costs or create an inviting atmosphere, LED lighting provides an array of solutions. From retailers to hairdressers, LED lighting is becoming an essential tool for small business success.

Top Reasons to Use LED Lights for Small Businesses

Reduced Energy Use and Costs

Small businesses can cut energy costs and consumption by up to 65% when upgrading to LED lighting. On average, LED bulbs consume 80% less energy than incandescent bulbs and 75% less energy than halogen bulbs. Switching to LEDs will significantly help lower your building’s energy usage. 


Fluorescent bulbs waste energy by emitting light in all directions and use reflectors to direct light in the right direction. On the other hand, LED lights are directional and have secondary optics built into the bulb that automatically focuses the light beam where it is needed. LED bulbs cut back on unnecessary light emissions and the energy used to emit the same amount of light.


Many small businesses are also eligible for energy efficiency tax credits, rebates, and grants by investing in LED upgrades. This varies from state to state.

Chart explaining how LEDs are more efficient Chart explaining how LEDs are more efficient

Our 2019 case study of CCA Global Partners shows how this small business was able to reach a projected savings of $11,000 over 10 years after switching their parking lot lights from metal halides to LEDs. Using our LED parking lot lights, CCA cut their yearly energy bill by 62% and received a one-time utility rebate of nearly $2,000.

Long-lasting and Lower Maintenance

LEDs last longer than traditional bulbs, which results in lower maintenance costs over time. Since LED bulbs last up to 83 times longer than incandescent bulbs and 27 times longer than halogen bulbs, businesses won’t need to replace bulbs nearly as often. For exterior lighting, changing bulbs can require renting special equipment to access fixtures such as parking lot lights, signage lights, and more.


Additionally, unlike HID lamps, fluorescent tubes, and metal-halides, LED bulbs do not contain mercury. Therefore, LEDs can be recycled at the end of their lifespan which makes them more sustainable. Recycling these light bulbs helps reduce a business’s carbon emissions.

Wide Color Temperature and CRI Range

LEDs are available in various color temperatures ranging from ultra-warm white to cool white. A wide range of single CCT and selectable CCT options allows business owners to choose the best color temperature for their specific needs. Additionally, for businesses such as retail stores and hairdressers, having lighting that accurately reflects the colors of products and items is essential. Many LEDs are available with a Color Rendering Index, or CRI, of 90+ to help show the most precise colo accuracy.

Bulb Availability

As of August 2023, incandescent bulbs with a low efficacy have been banned in the United States, meaning that some replacement incandescent bulbs are unavailable for purchase. While businesses can continue using these bulbs, an upgrade from incandescents will eventually be inevitable.

Federal Energy Efficiency Programs: Tax Credits and Rebates

Some federal programs provide tax credits to reduce the cost of an LED lighting installation. Per the EPAct 179D tax credit, starting in 2023, qualified businesses can get a tax credit of $2.50-$5.00 per square foot for indoor LED lighting. Not all projects and businesses are eligible. Below is a list of buildings that may qualify:

  • Retail buildings
  • Apartment buildings that are four stories or higher
  • Government-owned buildings
  • Office buildings
  • Industrial buildings
  • Warehouses
  • Parking garages
  • Public universities
  • Libraries

To get the full benefit of $5.00 per square foot, energy consumption must be cut by 50%. To get a partial benefit, energy consumption must be decreased by 25%.

Local Energy Efficiency Rebates & Grants

The best way to see what rebates and incentives are available is to check with your local energy provider. For example, our warehouse based in St. Louis, Missouri qualifies for the Ameren Missouri BizSavers program that is offered by our energy provider, Ameren.

Easy Ways to Get Started

The easiest way to start your journey to energy efficiency and lower maintenance costs is to swap out your old incandescent or halogen bulbs with retrofit LED lights. This is also the least expensive option since retrofit bulbs install directly into your existing fixtures. Retrofit lights can quickly and easily upgrade your drop ceiling, troffer, sconce, and parking lot fixtures. When switching to retrofit lights, pick out an LED bulb with equivalent wattage to the bulb you are replacing. LEDs can emit the same brightness as incandescent bulbs but at a lower energy point. Therefore, look for the equivalent wattage on your LED bulb which designates the wattage of the incandescent bulb you want to replace. For example, a 25W LED light with an equivalent wattage of 60W will produce the same lumen output as a 60W incandescent light. 


Another starting point for upgrading your lighting is to see which light fixtures have poor efficacy (measured in lm/W). To calculate the efficiency of the light source, divide the total lumens produced by the wattage of that light source. The formula is:


Efficacy (lm/W) = Total Luminous Flux (in lumens) / Power Consumption (in watts)


A larger lumens per watt value indicates a more energy-efficient light that produces more lumens of light for each watt of power it consumes. Therefore, look for lights with low lm/W and focus on replacing those first.

Popular Products For Small Businesses

Gooseneck Lights

Gooseneck lights are a popular choice for small businesses because these fixtures provide a stylish solution to exterior and interior lighting. These fixtures add a modern touch to your building while supplying bright lighting. Use these lights to light up your small businesses’ wall-mounted signs, entryways, and building exteriors. 

Gooseneck lights on a restaurant patio Gooseneck lights on a restaurant patio

LED Light Box Panels

Our custom-printed LED light box panels help showcase your products and branding in a creative yet efficient way. This dual-use fixture brings attention to feature products while also adding lighting around your space. Highlight your business’s logo, top products, or advertisements with our LED light box panels.

LED light box panel with an image of a cheeseburger LED light box panel with an image of a cheeseburger

LED Modules

Upgrade your interior or exterior sign lighting with LED modules to get bright, eye-catching illumination with energy efficiency benefits. Since outdoor signage usually stays on through the night, LEDs guarantee you save money on your energy bill. LED modules come in various RGB and CCT options so that you can choose the best color for your sign. Additionally, you can connect multiple modules to get the exact length you need for your signage.

Light Sheets

Another alternative to sign lighting is to use LED light sheets. Use light sheets for backlighting, display, and trade show lighting. Flexible light sheets can be cut into custom lengths and bent to take the shape of whatever you need. Various RGB, single CCT, tunable white, and RGB+CCT options are available to fit your specific signage needs. Install your light sheets using the integrated double-sided adhesive tape or optional screw/nail mounting.

LED modules lighting up exterior sign letters LED modules lighting up exterior sign letters

Retrofit Lights

Retrofit corn bulbs, fluorescent tube replacements, downlights, PL lamps, and retrofit troffer kits allow you to install newer LED lights into existing fixtures. LED corn bulbs replace HID lamps in street lights, high bars, wall packs, and more. You can replace fluorescent tubes with LED T8 tubes, T5 tubes, T12 tubes, T9 circline lamps, and T8 U-bend lamps. Retrofit downlights install into existing can fixtures and come in a variety of trims such as gimbal, flush, beveled, and smooth trims. PL lamps upgrade pin-based fluorescent PL lamps and CFLs. Finally, retrofit kits are the best way to update your troffer lights or drop ceiling lighting. Learn more about retrofit lighting here.

LED retrofit kit installed in a troffer panel LED retrofit kit installed in a troffer panel

Strip Lights

LED strip lights are highly versatile and can be used for a wide range of indoor and outdoor applications. These flexible strips can be integrated into storefronts, displays, shelves, and countertops to highlight products and attract customers. LED strips' customizable colors and dynamic lighting effects can help establish a distinctive brand identity and unique store atmosphere. Strip lights with an IP rating of IP64 and above can be installed outdoors to line display windows or railings.

Installing your strip lights in aluminum channels can transform these lights into professional-looking lighting fixtures. There are many aluminum extrusion types including step, surface mount, recessed, cove, and corner. For use with plexiglass signs, use edge-lit channels to provide subtle lighting to your signage.

LED strip lights and aluminum channels installed in tile flooring LED strip lights and aluminum channels installed in tile flooring

Which Small Businesses Can LEDs Help?

Barber Shops and Hairdressers

For hairdressers, precise lighting is essential for the cutting, styling, and coloring hair. LED lights with a CRI of 90+ reflect the true hues and undertones during hair coloring treatments.  This ensures the colors applied reflect the hair's appearance in natural light and are true to expectations. Moreover, LED bulbs with a spotlight beam allow professionals to focus the light where it's needed most, whether at the shampoo bowl, styling station, or color mixing area. In a profession where precision is everything, LEDs' clear, focused light delivers a high-quality service to clients.

Single barber shop chair Single barber shop chair

Bed and Breakfasts

Lighting helps achieve a warm, cozy atmosphere in bed and breakfasts. With a wide range of color temperatures and dimming capabilities, LEDs can emulate the warm, inviting glow of traditional incandescent bulbs. Whether it's the soft light in guest rooms, warm illumination in common areas, or even specialized outdoor lighting for gardens and patios, LED lights can be tailored to enhance every corner of a bed and breakfast.

Small bedroom with cool natural white light Small bedroom with cool natural white light

Food Trucks

Lighting serves both functional and marketing purposes for food trucks. Proper lighting ensures that food preparation areas are well-illuminated and plays a crucial role in attracting customers, especially during evening hours. For those relying on their truck's battery for lighting power, 12V LED lights are a great option. If you prefer to use your generator for your lighting, 120V LED light fixtures will consume significantly less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. This allows you to extend your operating hours or power additional appliances.

Food truck with illuminated signage Food truck with illuminated signage

Movie Theaters

Movie theater lighting serves two primary functions: provide reliable illumination for safe navigation while creating an immersive experience for the audience. Effective movie theater lighting provides clear illumination around seats, stairs, and emergency exits to guide audiences in and out of darkened theaters safely. While this is essential, it is also crucial that the lighting does not take away from the on-screen action. The best color temperature for movie theaters is around 6500K, providing clear illumination for emergency lighting while also blending into the TV screen lighting. Many LED lights are available in this cool white CCT, unlike standard incandescent or halogen bulbs, which typically display a warmer white. 


Since movie theaters operate at all hours of the day and often feature multiple screens, energy consumption can quickly escalate. Switching to LED lighting offers significant energy savings, often up to 65% compared to traditional lighting options, without compromising on quality or audience experience.

Movie theater with bright ceiling and walkway lights Movie theater with bright ceiling and walkway lights


In the restaurant industry, lighting plays a crucial role in setting the mood of the place. LED lighting offers flexibility in achieving the desired ambiance. Customize your lighting to fit a romantic, dim-lit setting or a bright, energetic vibe for a fast-casual spot. LEDs can be easily dimmed and are available in various color temperatures to allow restaurant owners to fine-tune their lighting. This ability for precise control directly helps attract customers and enhance the dining experience. 

Cool restaurant with retro lighting Cool restaurant with retro lighting

Small Retailers

Proper lighting serves several important functions for small retailers. A well-lit storefront helps attract foot traffic and sets the stage for what shoppers can expect. Lighting is also integral to merchandise displays as it sets the groundwork for how products are perceived and highlighted.


One key element in effective display lighting is the Color Rendering Index (CRI), a scale that measures how accurately a light source reproduces the colors of the objects it illuminates. LEDs with a CRI of 90+ ensure that the colors of merchandise appear most accurate and appealing. Additionally, installing LEDs with a high CRI in the dressing room can make fabrics and colors appear as they would in natural light, which helps customers make confident purchase decisions. 

Furthermore, some LED light bulbs emit spot beam angles to provide better focus and directional control. This allows businesses to highlight specific products or sections within a display to draw customer attention to featured items. A focused beam will also reduce unnecessary light emissions, making your lighting more efficient. Learn more about how to properly light your retail store here.

Retail store with bright white lighting Retail store with bright white lighting

Why Choose Super Bright LEDs for Your Small Business Needs?

Our company, Super Bright LEDs, started off as a small business in 2002. Since then, we have grown to become one of the top sellers of LED lighting products in the United States. Our history as a small online retailer and our extensive knowledge of LED technology has given us the expertise to provide you with all the ways to update your small business’s lighting. Shop our wide variety of commercial lighting products here


If you have questions about choosing the best lighting for your business, call us toll-free at 866-590-3533. Our customer service and technical support teams are available from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT Monday-Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. CT on Friday.

by Elizabeth Schlaker

SEO Specialist

Elizabeth loves writing about all the creative ways you can use strip lights and landscape lights. In her free time, you can catch her trying out new DIY projects, reading books, and traveling.

Get In Touch    Email Us    |    866-590-3533    |  Live Chat

Why Choose Super Bright LEDs?

When you shop Super Bright LEDs, you can feel confident in knowing you’re getting the highest-quality LED lights on the market. Our in-house test lab rigorously tests all of the products we carry. Additionally, we provide all of our customers with before and after sales support from our call center located at our headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri. And we do all of this while still offering some of the best prices in the industry. Dad wouldn’t settle for anything less.

*Warranty is subject to change. Please see the product page for a product's warranty.

Place your order today and get same-day shipping before 3 PM CT Monday through Friday.

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