Large US Corporations Using LEDs Abroad

by | Jan 3, 2013

As more information about retrofits and LED light bulbs become available to consumers and businesses, the accompanying awareness is that there’s a lot of money to be saved in adopting the new technology. Big companies and consumers definitely have been paying attention.  Consumers saw energy-efficient bulbs hit retail shelves at Best Buy with Edison- style Insignia bulbs, Home Depot and other big retailers along with color changing,remote controlled LED party lights.

We also saw major landmark buildings such as The London Tower Bridge and the NYC Helmsley Building retrofit their lighting systems to money-saving, long-lasting, LED lighting systems.

American businesses are taking note and starting to reap the money saving benefits abroad as well. Last month, Walmart Canada became the first large Canadian retailer to retrofit overhead sales floor lighting to LED. They expect to use 28% less energy for lighting by swapping close to 6,000 traditional 25-watt fluorescent high efficiency lamps to 18-watt LED lights at Brampton supercentre in Brampton, Ontario. The retailer estimates this small change could save approximately 283,000 kilo-watt hours (kWh) per year, which will results in a savings of up to $26,000 per year.

In addition to the direct savings from switching to LED lamps, the retailer will also benefit from reduced costs for air conditioning requirements, relamping, reballasting and recycling, and an improved shopping environment.

“Unlike traditional fluorescent lights, LED lights emit less heat, which allows us to reduce our air condition use at the store during the spring and summer,” says Ken Farrell, vice president of store development for Walmart Canada. “The new lights also provide a better shopping environment for our customers. Customers shopping at the Brampton North location will notice the store appears much brighter and with lighting that is closer to natural daylight, almost as if we’d installed skylights around the store.”

Walmart isn’t alone with its oversees retail lighting improvements – McDonald’s in Queensland, Australia at Arana Hills and Brookside have just signed up to have LED lighting installed before Christmas, reducing energy costs by as much as 70 percent. They decided to retrofit these two other stores because of the success of one other McDonalds restaurant on the Gold Coast in Australia which has enjoyed LED lighting for the past two months, saving around $7000 a year off their electricity bill. There are 849 other McDonalds in Australia that may retrofit to LED lighting as well.

Managing Director of Lemnis Lighting Australia John Simpson, who has been in charge of these retrofits, claims, “Commercial lighting can be attributed to up to 25 per cent of a company’s total energy costs and these figures could be dramatically reduced if more people implemented the latest LED technology.”

Companies like Lemnis Lighting are offering retailers leasing options for businesses that cannot afford the upfront retrofitting costs. Of course if you are a retail giant like Walmart or McDonald’s and can easily afford the upfront expense then the long term savings benefit  of a lighting retrofit is really a no-brainer.

Danielle Stewart is a media consultant for [P2] Precision Paragon.

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