Retailers curb energy use with lighting retrofits

January 5, 2014 at 12:45 am  •  Posted in News  •  0 Comments

Retailers including Whole Foods and Walgreens are curbing energy use by installing bigger windows. The process to bring in more natural light, which involves adding glass frontages and skylights to existing box stores, can reduce a store’s lighting-energy use by as much as 50%.

So why aren’t more retail big-box chains adding daylighting into their stores? The opportunity for energy savings from a lighting retrofit may appear to be significant, but it is often unclear when to intervene to make the retrofit cost effective. A single expenditure that is not coordinated with other improvements can be costly and have an unacceptable payback period.

Timing a lighting retrofit with major planned capital investments such as a roof replacement, equipment replacement, and non-energy-related renovations such as branding upgrades is critical to realizing maximum energy savings without leaving efficiency opportunities on the table.

Re-designing electric lighting layout with lighter interior finishes to accommodate larger spacing between fixtures and acceptable target illumination levels also can reduce the amount of fixtures that need replacing, which lowers yearly maintenance costs.

It’s important to find a balanced approach by lowering illumination values by 25 percent and energy use by 25 percent — with 40 percent optimizing the lighting and energy conditions.

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