The renovation took the formerly 950-square-foot store to 4,000 square feet, and included environmentally-friendly building technologies to reduce energy consumption. These include low-watt LED lighting, refrigeration energy management and white roofing for increased light reflectivity.
A light harvesting system was installed with 16 skylights that allow natural light into the store. An energy management control system automatically dims the store lighting fixtures during the peak daylight hours on an as-needed basis.
“In our existing stores, last year at this time we were upgrading the exterior lighting on our gas canopies. We completed those,” said Scott Robinson, director of real estate for NOCO Express, which operates 37 stores throughout western New York. “In February we began converting all of our fluorescent ceiling lighting inside our stores to LED.”
Before the upgrade, NOCO had been using three-bulb fluorescent T8s (96 watts total) in the stores. During the upgrade it is converting to two-bulb LEDs (38 watts total).
“We’ll be saving $2,000 per store in energy costs. In addition, the LEDs come with a five year warranty, so we’ll be saving in maintenance fees as well.”
LIGHTING TRENDS IN 2015
Frank Sharp, senior technical leader with Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)’s lighting department, noted that LEDs are the most talked about technology and becoming more widely deployed.
“They’re still not the most prominently deployed technology, but they are gaining and are anticipated, by 2020, to be the most commonly purchased lighting technology,” Sharp said. “LED sales are increasing annually as the number of products in the field grows. That trend has been going on for five years and will continue in 2015.”
The efficiencies of LEDs themselves are continuing to increase. “In general, LED retrofits provide 50% energy savings or greater, depending on the application,” Sharp said.
The rise of LEDs has forced every other lighting technology to progress as well, Sharp explained. For example, there is now a 100,000-hour linear fluorescent product. While it doesn’t offer energy savings, the long life of the product saves on maintenance.
HIDs (high-intensity discharge lamps) also have a longer life compared to 10 years ago.
Under the canopy, induction technology is being revisited. Invented by Nikola Tesla in the 1800s, it was marketed heavily in the 1990s, but had some issues with overheating.
“Today we’re seeing that technology become far better. It’s a 100,000-hour product based on industry claims, which is effectively double the life of an LED,” Sharp said. “The energy savings is more than that of a traditional product, but still less than that of an LED. But the last 18 months or so this technology has taken another step forward in that it’s now dimmable.”