How We Work

When it comes to solution development – saving as much energy as possible is our no.1 goal, and CILS survey and solution teams take energy-efficient LED lighting, solar PV, and smart building designs to the highest level.

This video covers some key steps in our very thorough process:
?Building Survey (Investment Grade Audit) & LiDAR Scanning
?Creation of ‘Digital Twin’ of client buildings
?CAD Plans
?DIALux Modelling
?3D Rendering

Watch this short video demonstrating our commitment to energy efficiency, innovation, and engineering excellence in action, and learn what you can expect when working with us. Or read the transcript below.

Video Transcript:


A step by step guide on what to expect, from CILS.


1  Qualification & Survey

We begin with gathering the necessary information to estimate where the biggest savings lie, within the building. We analyse client energy bills, half-hourly data, operational hours. We model the consumption profile to assess exactly when and where most energy is used.

Our survey team will then carry out a physical survey and a laser scan of the building(s). We coordinate with the client to pre-arrange access to each individual room.

Our team will go room to room, identifying individual light fittings, room measurements, and other relevant information. This, combined with the consumption profile details, will tell us exactly how much electricity the current lighting consumes.

The laser scan data allows us to create a digital twin of the buildings and to produce CAD plans for detailed designs.

2  Funding & Service Option

For the initial proposal, we identify the best option for the client to fund project delivery. This could be via a straightforward capital option, zero capital service agreement, or grant funding. The proposal defines the initial payment structure and, as a rule, payments are scheduled for after installation.

  • We can deliver the whole project under a service agreement. We consider this the most beneficial funding option as there is zero capital required from the client; we aim to structure the proposal to be cashflow positive from day dot. We call this option the ‘Smart Buildings as a Service’ (SBaaS).

This funding option allows the client to spread the costs of the new technology over an extended period, up to 10 years. Payments would be aligned with anticipated energy savings, which frees up budgets for other critical projects, supplies and resources.

The proposed structure ties in the service provider – CILS – to provide ongoing monitoring, maintenance and replacement work throughout the term of the contract. The client would be compensated if this service is not delivered. Our installation will include high quality LED fittings and state-of-the-art technology for optimal long-term benefits and peace of mind.


  • A straightforward capital funding option is most suited to someone who has funds readily available and are only concerned with the installation. None of the additional maintenance service guarantees are included in this model. For capital projects we calculate the payback period for the initial investment in the upgrade, after which any energy savings will become budget savings for the client.


  • We can also assist our clients in applying for grant funding. We’ve secured from Luton Borough Council, £7.7 million of Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme funding for essential works with the council.  We can tailor our solutions to meet specific funding criteria.
3  Initial Proposal

Using the physical survey data, we produce an initial feasibility proposal for discussion. The initial proposal is based upon ‘point for point’ lighting systems replacement. Our LED upgrade with IoT smart controls can improve lighting energy efficiency by up to 90%.

The proposal is tailored for each client but will usually include::

  • Replacement of existing lighting with LED fittings – including emergency fittings
  • Smart building infrastructure installed throughout, including sensor per fitting lighting controls
  • Automated emergency lighting testing and inspection
  • Solar panel installation – the site scoped and half-hourly data collated, to optimise the use of onsite energy
  • Project cost breakdown in accordance with chosen funding option
  • Energy saving and carbon calculations

The exact nature of the scope of works will be determined by the client and the site requirements. For example, replacement suspended ceilings in certain areas may be included. Or solar panels may be excluded when the building is listed.

Our account managers review the initial proposal with the client. Most SBaaS proposals we work on are cash positive, even at this stage, and likely to improve with the detailed design.

4  Detailed Design

Provided the client is happy to progress, we move on to the detailed design stage. We request that the client does not ask to progress to this stage, unless they intend to go ahead with the works.

We produce a detailed lighting design to further optimise the proposed works from an energy saving perspective and to ensure that the lighting installation would be fit for purpose.

Our CAD designers create a digital twin from the building(s) scans. This detailed model allows CILS Lighting Designers to propose new lighting and smart infrastructure layout, to guarantee the best client experience. We consider aspects such as the necessary lux levels, minimising glare, uniformity etc.

Our design and implementation portfolio is vast – from local schools, to renowned universities; sports centres, offices, gala theatres, industrial manufacturing and distribution centres etc … we are confident in designing smart building solutions for any type of building or any type of activity.

Depending on the size of the project, the detailed design stage will take up to two weeks to complete.


5  Final Report & Proposal

From the detailed design, the final proposal is created. Typically, the final design will result in further improved energy savings and reduced overall cost. The extent of the increased savings is dependent on the nature of the building and the agreed scope of works.

For example, a building that has a high proportion of suspended ceilings will usually allow a significant reduction in the number of light fittings. Consequently, additional savings are gained from the reduction in energy, labour and materials.

The final proposal will include the exact scope of works and a quotation.
If the client chooses Smart Building as a Service option, the proposal defines the monthly/annual service charge.

The service charge is fixed at the outset for up to ten years and includes all maintenance – labour and materials. At the end of the ten-year period, the contract can be extended in five year increments up to a maximum of twenty years – at the client’s discretion.

10 years is the maximum initial contract period. For buildings with a high proportion of T8 fittings, the initial contract period may be significantly less.

There is no cost to the client until all works are completed and have been signed off.
At this point, the service charge will commence. In effect, the service charge will replace the energy & maintenance cost of the existing lighting.

As energy and related costs increase, the client benefits further, from the increased cost savings.

6  Implementation & Finetuning

Once the contract is signed, we commence the installation.

  • We liaise with the client and the site team for arrangements – defining access times and hours, logistics for the materials etc.  For large installations, we require the client to allow space for on-site container(s) to store light fittings and other materials.
  • We usually start with the spine installation for the Internet of Things (IoT) smart building infrastructure.
  • Then our electrical installation teams go room by room and replace the light fittings with new LEDs and embed advanced smart sensors. They ensure electrical testing is done for every light circuit.
  • Alongside the installation team, the commissioning engineers map each light fitting onto the IoT platform. We tailor the profile of the lighting in each area, so that light levels feel just perfect for the task and time of day, all of the time.
  • If other smart building solutions are included in scope, like solar panels, or sustainable heat pumps, we proceed to install these once the lighting upgrade is complete.

By having each light fitting talk to a central IoT system, we also gain access to the actual energy consumption profile of each light fitting. The system we use – Siemens Enlighted – measures and reports the exact energy consumption. It also allows for remote access, to troubleshoot any issues.

The Project Site Manager ensures CILS installation team carries out their work with the utmost respect to the client’s facility and requirements.

They ensure each shift does all it can to guarantee the highest electrical installation standards, minimises disruption to client operations and leaves all working areas pristine and tidy.

7  Completion & Reporting

Once we’ve finalised installation, testing and fine-tuning, we’ll provide the client the Completion Report for the installation.

We will walk the client through everything regarding the newly installed system and have a two-way conversation to optimise any area that needs tweaking. Once everyone is happy, we can all take a back seat and let the new system do its magic.

For Smart Buildings as a Service clients, we are contractually responsible for the provision of the various aspects of the project, for the duration of the project.

With sustainability and practicality in mind, we only provide and install high quality equipment that we expect to last the client around 25 years.

We’ll also continue to provide regular reporting on energy consumption, emergency lighting testing (if included) and be in touch with ideas to optimise further.

This equipment is controlled by IoT platform, which have remote access. The IoT smart controls system itself provides plenty of opportunities to integrate other building elements into a smartly controlled platform.

8  Carbon Audit

We want to help our clients achieve net zero as soon as possible. Our engineering team can provide a complete decarbonisation plan, with detailed solutions, where the client can further reduce their impact on climate and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

We propose new solutions when they become cost-effective for the client.
For SBaaS clients, this audit and report are included in the proposal.


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CILS is a trading name of Commercial & Industrial Lighting Solutions Ltd - All right reserved © 2022 - Company number 07876016 | Registered Office: Collingham House, 6-12 Gladstone Road, London SW19 1QT