New intelligent lighting hardware improves efficiency and productivity

Eight-month utility study validates efficiency benefits of integrated and controllable lighting systems.

By ·

Ace Hardware Corp. is the world’s largest hardware cooperative, operating a 1-million-square-foot retail support center in Rocklin, Calif. Since upgrading lighting to an intelligent LED system in October 2013, the company has saved an average of 81% on its lighting-related energy use.

“As a member-owned cooperative, every dollar we save directly benefits our member stores,” says Reid Barney, facilities and loss prevention manager for Ace Hardware. “And since lighting is our single biggest energy warehousing expense, reducing energy usage translates into extraordinary bottom-line savings.”

The upgrade involved replacing the facility’s 1,653 fixtures (1,551 T5 fluorescent and 102 metal halide) with controllable LEDs (Digital Lumens, digitallumens.com). The deployment followed an eight-month, in-depth research project by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) to quantify the effect of increased levels of control on energy efficiency. The study isolated the variables that contribute to energy efficiency—dimming, occupancy and daylight harvesting—and evaluated them, both individually and collectively, in a real-world scenario at the facility, documenting the energy savings that integrated and controllable lighting systems can deliver to industrial facilities.

The study found that, compared to basic LEDs, systems with advanced controls delivered 43% more energy savings, and a reduction of 93% over the previously installed metal halide fixtures. PG&E chose the supplier’s system for its research project because it could both isolate and aggregate all the variables necessary to conduct its battery of tests. As a result, the building has reduced its power usage per square foot by 39.56%, while improving light quality and illumination levels throughout.

“With higher quality light, we’ve more than doubled the foot-candle readings within our facility,” Barney says. “This has resulted in enhanced productivity and employee satisfaction—all while saving massive amounts of energy.”


About the Author

Josh Bond, Senior Editor
Josh Bond is Senior Editor for Modern, and was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and associate editor. He has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce University.

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