Lights out: Turning off the lights in vacant office space


Looking out the window on a Saturday night, some of the vacant office spaces are impossible to miss. The reason is simple: they’ve got all their lights on, brightly illuminating the raw floor that lacks furniture or even carpeting. Meanwhile, all the occupied floors are dark, aside from a few exit signs and other emergency lights.

I don’t know who’s responsible for turning off the lights in these vacant offices, but it’s just shameful that they’re being left on 24/7. Maybe it’s a lazy realtor or a careless building manager. Either way, they’re wasting an enormous amount of power, and making the place look bad by effectively shining a spotlight on the unwanted space.

Whether you’re dealing with commercial or residential property, and whether it’s for sale or lease, the sensible approach is to turn the lights off when nobody is touring the premises. Sure, you can leave on some perimeter or exterior lighting for security purposes. But illuminating every inch of a vacant area is a total waste from a business and environmental perspective, and it serves nobody’s interests to keep all those lights running day and night.