Furniture company Rooms To Go has converted 115 of its retail stores to LED lighting, reducing energy use an average of 35-45 percent in each store.
The switch to energy efficient 16-18 W LED track lamps from the 60 W halogen track lamps previously in use by the retailer started in 2010. Rooms To Go expects a project investment payback in less than 12 months.
Rooms To Go has also further reduced energy consumption by selecting a wider optical beam-spread for the LED lamps, using a 25-degree angle instead of the 12-degree angle employed for the halogen lamps. This change has allowed the retailer to decrease the number of lamps per store by as much as 10 percent, resulting in further energy savings. And since the LED lamps produce less heat, a decrease in air-conditioning demand has contributed to increased energy efficiency as well.
Rooms To Go worked with, an energy management company, to take advantage of more than 16 utility rebate incentive programs to help cover the initial cost of switching to LED lighting. Using Energy Star Certified LED lamps helped in the rebate application process, the company says.
More than 45 Rooms To Go store locations were awarded rebate program incentives for deploying energy efficient LED lighting. Participating utility partners include: Progress Energy, city of Austin, Duke Energy, Electric Power Board of Chattanooga – TVA, Middle Tennessee Electric Corp – TVA, Nashville Electric Service – TVA, Knoxville Utilities – TVA, Gulf Power, Georgia Power, CenterPoint Energy, AEP Texas, Lakeland Electric & Water, Pineville Electric, South Carolina Electric & Gas, and Gainesville Regional Utilities, CPS Energy.
According to Yolanda Slade, project manager for the CenterPoint Energy Commercial Standard Offer Program, which provided Rooms To Go with its single largest utility rebate, the conversion to LED lighting will also benefit utility companies. Lower energy consumption at the site means less stress on the electricity grid, which helps utility avoid building new power plants.
In February, Portland General Electric will begin switching 25,000 of its high-power sodium lights to more energy-efficient LEDs.
Five counties and 47 cities are slated to get the lights in 2013 and 2014, with Clackamas County, including Portland, getting them first, according to Oregon Live. Following its regular light-replacement schedule, PGE will then install LED lights in these cities: Oregon City; West Linn; Lake Oswego; Milwaukie; Wilsonville; Molalla; Gladstone; Sandy; Estacada; Barlow; Johnson City; and in unincorporated areas.
PGE is able to afford the retrofit with the help of federal grants. In December, the Oregon Public Utility Commission approved the replacement of the lights, which comes at no cost to the municipalities. The new bulbs are expected to use about 60 percent less energy.
Other cities switching to LED streetlighting include San Francisco, the Borough of Tarentum in Western Pennsylvania, and San Antonio, Texas.
There are differing views as to whether the whiter light of LEDs is an improvement. Some claim the LEDs cause more light pollution and the white light is harder to block with curtains and shutters. But others claim the LEDs make it easier to see detail such as road signs, as well as stars in the night sky.
Virginia pet retailer Care-A-Lot Pet Supply installed more than 200 indoor and outdoor LED luminaires and poles and digital controls in its new 20,000-sq-foot facility in Virginia Beach, Va.
A combination of LED lighting and controls work together to light the store with reduced energy usage. It is estimated the store will save $5,000 annually in energy costs compared to typical HID and fluorescent lamp sources.
Challenges included lighting a space and merchandise effectively with 30-foot-high-ceilings, as well as achieving optimum lighting and minimal glare for the aquarium displays. On the exterior, Care-A-Lot needed a solution to provide lighting in its large parking lot, while minimizing light pollution to the neighboring residential community.
RT5 volumetric recessed lighting fixtures integrated with ceiling and wall controls from Sensor Switch were installed in the veterinary exam rooms, kennel rooms, washrooms, offices, break rooms, hallways and restrooms. For aesthetics and energy savings, Care-A-Lot installed LED downlights as well as recessed LED luminaires to minimize glare on aquarium tanks.
On the exterior, LED luminaires help keep light within property lines to eliminate light spill and light pollution in the neighboring residential area.