Article: Convenience Store Decisions “Lighting It Right” May 16, 2011: In the ongoing quest for reducing energy costs, many operators are introducing LEDs in coolers, under canopies and even inside the store, but how do you know if an upgrade is right for your chain? In these tough economic times, lighting upgrades could provide a bright spot on the balance sheet for many efficiency-minded convenience stores, saving chains big bucks on the electric bill.
Walk In Cooler Doors
LED lighting not only can make a canopy stand out, but it can also save costs in the cold vault as Eric and Tony Huppert, owners of the Spring Valley, Wis.-based Team Oil Co., recently found when they replaced 37 fluorescent tubes illuminating the doors of their beer, milk and pizza freezers with LEDs.
“We’re saving $1,200 per cooler per year on electricity,” said Eric Huppert, president and co-owner of Team Oil, which made the renovations to its largest store, a travel center in Spring Valley. “For what it cost to add the LEDs, that’s what it would have cost to re-lamp the fluorescents, which needs to be done every couple years. These LEDs should last several years, they use less electricity and they don’t put out heat, so it doesn’t take as much to cool the cooler either.”
LED retrofit is simple
What’s more, instead of hiring a company to install its latest LED upgrade, Team Oil Travel Center did the cooler LED installation using its own staff. “If you have a maintenance guy who can do the work, you can do it in-house,” Huppert said, who noted that he bought the LEDs online.
For coolers, it gives off a little less light, but it’s a different kind of light, so it does grab customers’ attention and it makes the labels on the products pop a little better.”
Many retailers are adding occupancy sensors to freezers and refrigerated display cases so that the lights turn off when shoppers exit the vicinity, thus saving energy. “LEDs are well suited for this because they work well in colder temperatures, they are an ‘instant on’ source, and their life is not adversely affected by the number of starts,” Baney said.
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