In the Spotlight: LEDs

A stellar retail panel — Mark Friedman, manager of retail facilities, Coldwater Creek; Eric Johnson, director of store planning, design and construction, Brookshire Brothers Ltd.; and Bob Valair, director of energy and environmental management, Staples — shared first-hand accounts of their LED deployments and plans going forward at the SPECS session, “LED Lessons Learned, Strategies for the Future.”

Brookshire’s Johnson said the use of LED lighting has reduced maintenance and the related cost burden while creating crisp, consistent lighting in the freezer cases. Brookshire also employs LEDs outside the store, in building signs and pylon signs and in parking lot lighting.

“LED lighting has improved visibility in our parking lots,” Johnson said, “and enhanced our brand image with bright, uniformly lit signage.”

Johnson told attendees Brookshire’s current standard for new stores, remodels and maintenance replacements includes using LEDs for gas station canopies, parking lot lights and site lighting, signs, all refrigerator cases, walk-in coolers and freezers, any lighted decor and specialty lighting.

“As to what’s next, we are researching using LED on the general sales floor in two new small-format stores that are currently under construction,” Johnson said.

Staples’ Bob Valair discussed the office supply retailer’s LED strategy, which includes applications in stores, building signs, parking lot lighting, security lighting, wall packs, dock lighting and coolers.

LED lighting has provided Staples with an array of benefits, from reduced energy savings to brighter, crisper light to the flexibility to place the light where you need it. And the long life of LEDs has resulted in reduced maintenance costs, Valair noted.

With so many LED companies marketing products, Valair advised attendees to do their homework before deciding on a supplier and product.

“Talk to those you trust,” he said. “Do your research, test and ask hard questions.”

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