General Electric recently held its annual LED & Energy Efficient Lighting Trends for Retail in East Cleveland, Ohio. Representatives from 45 of the largest retailers across North America came to this conference to share stories and learn about the future of energy efficient lighting.
Each year at this conference, GE gives awards to the two retailers that have made the biggest advances in improving their lighting energy efficiency. The results of this year’s conference lend for a good opportunity to learn about how other retailers are adjusting their lighting designs as well as pick up some ideas about how to improve your own retail space.
Awards for Energy Efficient Lighting
The first award of the conference went to The Fresh Market. They were the “LED Retailer of the Year”, according to GE. What did The Fresh Market do to separate themselves from the competition?
Over the last year, The Fresh Market set up LED PAR38s in 40% of their stores. The Fresh Market now uses LEDs for both accent and general lighting. This trend seems destined to continue. Paul Poole, The Fresh Market’s energy manager, says that this shift has both reduced energy costs while creating a better environment for clients.
Walgreens won the “GE Retailer of the Year Award”. Through the course of the year, Walgreens switched from F28 to F25 linear fluorescent lights in all its stores. This decision made Walgreens the biggest purchaser of GE’s F25 fluorescent lights for the year. These adjustments definitely paid off for Walgreens as the company reported saving 9% on energy costs and increasing the time between replacing lamps by 10%.
Future of Led Lighting for Retail Stores
If the buzz at the GE conference was any indication, LED light fixtures are going to become an increasingly important part of any store’s lighting design. While LED lighting is still a relatively new technology, retailers across the country have begun using these fixtures not only in accent and general lighting, but also in signage, display lighting, and architectural lighting.
Many light managers commented on how LED light fixtures not only helped them reduce their energy costs, but they also created a brighter and cleaner looking light. Some representatives commented that they were saving even more money from the reduced need to replace LED fixtures than they were on energy savings, as LEDs last much longer than traditional light fixtures.
Is this trend around to stay? Wal-Mart seems to think so. At the conference, Wal-Mart announced its goal to have 100% LED lighting in all its stores in the near future.
The Next Move for Retail Store Lighting? LED Parking Lot Lighting
While the use of LEDs for indoor retail lighting has become fairly standard, these light fixtures have not traditionally been used for outdoor parking lot lighting. Retailers were not sure how this light would come across outside and were also worried about potential environmental problems.
The results of studies released at the GE conference showed that not only do LED fixtures give effective outdoor light; they are also safe for the environment. This is great news for retailers because parking lot light fixtures are often in difficult to reach places. The ability to both reduce energy and maintenance costs with LEDs is a welcome relief.
This year’s GE LED & Energy Efficient Lighting Conference added another layer to our understanding about the potential of LED lighting, but there is still a lot to learn. What does the future have in store for LED lighting? We’ll have to wait until next year’s conference to find out!
Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Retail Lighting and Design with a clickable link back to this page.