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Grocery Store Picks LEDs Over Fluorescents

April 11, 2013 By Linda Hardesty

Tops Friendly Markets, a grocery retailer in the northeast United States, recently selected energy-efficient LED lighting by Cree to illuminate its 51,364-sq-foot store in Geneva, NY.

The store, which opened in November 2012, features Cree CS18 luminaires and CR24 troffers lighting the aisles, specialty departments and pharmacy for an estimated energy savings of 70 percent over the T5 fluorescent lighting that Tops Markets had previously installed.

Cree CS18 and CR24 architectural troffers featuring Cree’s TrueWhite technology for color rendering, helping to improve the visual shopping experience. In addition, the Cree CS18 troffers solve the need for strong vertical light levels when mounted on the store’s 13-foot ceiling.

Designed to offer up to 100,000 lifetime hours, Cree CR24 troffers help Tops Markets reduce energy consumption by offering dimming capabilities – key considerations for the 24-hour store – in addition to decreased maintenance costs.

Tops Markets estimates the Cree system will pay for itself within two-and-a-half years. A second Tops Markets location featuring Cree CS18 luminaires and round interior pendants is currently under construction.

The latest Department of Energy Caliper report says that in a test comparing 24 pairs of fluorescent and LED-based ceiling troffers, generally the LED lighting was more energy efficient than the fluorescent; but the LEDs did not provide any gain in light quality, according to LEDs Magazine. The 24 fixture pairs included 3 legacy fluorescent T8 troffers as benchmarks, 5 troffers that had been retrofitted with LED-based tubes; 4 troffers that had been retrofitted with non-tube LED fixture-upgrade kits; and 12 purpose-designed LED troffers, reported LEDs Magazine.

Cox Enterprises has found that lighting upgrades offer one of the best returns on investment, but the company has not fully embraced LED technology. While the payback from replacing old fluorescent lamps (T12s) and ballasts with new T8s is as high as 40 percent; the payback to move from T8s to LEDs isn’t as good, yet, according to Cox.



3 comments on “Grocery Store Picks LEDs Over Fluorescents

  1. I am the Director of Store Planning and Refrigeration of Grocery Outlet and we converted 3 stores to 100% LED lighting and we have achieved an ROI of just over 3 years.. You must pick the right LED supplier and carefully plan the project to control install costs.. we choose Solar Electric Ways LED in NY as our partner, we have been using their products for 4 years and have had excellent results. we used the 8 foot and 4 ft led tubes to retrofit the existing fixtures ..
    their site is http://www.solarelectricway.com/

    Thank you

  2. We are an independent consultant/contractor and have used both LED and T8 solutions depending on the situation. T8 solutions usually provide the better ROI for indoor lighting and LED is coming on strong as a viable outdoor lighting solution, as well as freezer case retrofits. As always plan well and compare the life cycle costs of both solutions.

  3. There are several factors to consider during a retrofit from fluorescent lamps to LED, and the biggest cost we see is continued maintenance and shorter life of fluorescent fixtures versus LED. There is no getting around the fact that the lumens of a fluorescent lamp will start to decrease from day one until it is replaced whereas the lumen output of a LED fixture will not diminish over its stated life of say 4-7 years. That is a major payback when you consider the labor cost to replace lamps, recycling costs, and other bulb management costs.

    Agree the entire lie cycle needs to be studied to make the best informed decision.

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