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LED Luminaires Solve Three Common Retail Lighting Challenges

BY CSA STAFF

By Ryan Ramaker, Acuity Brands

LED lighting is a growing trend in buildings today and with very good reason. It delivers significant energy savings compared to traditional light sources, and the illumination, lifespan and color qualities of LEDs continue to impress.

But there are also additional benefits that are often overlooked. Quality LED illumination can help retailers solve some of the most common retail lighting problems. Here are the top three:

1. Changing lamps in high ceilings: High ceilings – often 10-ft. or higher – have become more common in many retail spaces. With ceiling heights on the rise, there is never a convenient time to pull out a ladder and replace a lamp. Traditional bulbs can burn out frequently in common areas and many retailers may not have a ladder high enough on site to reach and change out the lighting in their stores, which may mean lighting is out when customers are in the store.

It’s for this reason that high ceilings are a prime location for LED lighting. Delivering as much as 50,000 hours of continuous light output, quality LED luminaires can last for years without worry — reducing the time, hassle and inconvenience of changing light bulbs.

2. Maintaining proper outdoor lighting for security: In a not uncommon scene with traditional luminaires, beautiful outdoor or pathway lighting is often spoiled by a burned out, dimmed or flickering bulb. Or even worse, the floodlights and perimeter lighting installed for customer security is out, resulting in complaints. Often times, the lighting in a retailer’s outdoor space stays on all night, 365 days a year. Whether lighting pedestrian walkways or parking areas, this outdoor illumination is important for both aesthetics and the safety of shoppers.

LED lighting is an excellent solution for outdoor spaces because its long-lifespan of 10 or more years provides facility managers assurance that the lighting will be long-lasting and reliable. Crisp, white LED light can revive dark or poorly lit areas to improve visibility and safety. And LED luminaires do not lose their lumen output over time like traditional fixtures, thus ensuring overall uniformity.

By adding controls, such as motion and dusk-to-dawn sensors, energy usage can be reduced or automatically dimmed when there is no activity or natural light becomes present. This saves on energy costs, reduces labor costs and extends the life of the fixtures — helping property managers keep outdoor areas well-lit.

3. The challenge of 24/7 lighting applications: Because many areas in retail facilities require constant illumination, lighting can be not only a big expense, but a hefty task to maintain as well.

LED lighting offers a host of benefits making it perfect for solving the challenges of 24/7 applications. While quality illumination and energy savings alone make LED lighting an ideal choice, many LED fixtures are commercial-rated for 24/7 operations. LED fixture options such as flush mounts, wall mounts and recessed lights — many requiring no bulb to change — marry LED technology and versatile designs to deliver years of worry-free performance and peace of mind.

Additionally, the use of AC-driven LED boards eliminate “buzz” and flickering to provide an even more comfortable and attractive lighting experience. For switch-operated spaces like hallways and closets, LED lighting is instant-on and the life is not affected by constant switching from off to on as it is with incandescent sources.

While every facility is different, LED lighting can solve common challenges in retail developments. Options are available in many styles and fixture-types that fuse high performance LED technology with pleasing aesthetics to help reduce energy costs, decrease maintenance time and help increase safety and security.

Ryan Ramaker is a product development manager at Acuity Brands specializing in bringing new and innovative LED lighting products to market for use in residential, light commercial, hospitality, retail and multi-family solutions. He can be reached at [email protected].


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Crumbs Bake Shops shutters all stores

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Crumbs Bake Shops on Monday closed its 48 stores. The cupcake store chain has been struggling for some time. In a May filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, it warned that it "may be forced to curtail or cease its activities" if its operations didn’t generate enough cash flow.

Last week, Nasdaq suspended the trading of Crumbs shares on the grounds that the company no longer had at least $2.5 million in shareholder equity, or met benchmarks for an annual net profit.

"Regrettably Crumbs has been forced to cease operations and is immediately attending to the dislocation of its devoted employees while it evaluates its limited remaining options," the company said in a statement posted by The Wall Street Journal.

Crumbs was founded in 2003 and went public in 2011. For the three months ending March 31, it reported a loss of $3.8 million, compared to a loss of $2 million from the same period a year ago.

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Home Depot enters connected home market

BY Dan Berthiaume

Atlanta – Following Staples’ expansion of its Staples Connect home and office automation platform to 500 stores, The Home Depot is making Wink-enabled connected home products available for purchase in its nearly 2,000 U.S. stores and online.

The Wink platform unites close to 60 devices with 15 manufacturers of home products ranging from light bulbs and locks to window shades, irrigation systems and water heaters. All Wink-enabled products are operated through the free iOS and Android Wink app that lets consumers personalize their experience. For example, a consumer can operate just one light bulb or all of the light bulbs in a particular room, or they can group the light bulbs with other products in a particular area of their home.

Wink has also developed Wink HUB to support products that do not connect directly to the Internet. The Wink HUB works with connected products from other brands, allowing for control of any smart product from the Wink app. The Wink HUB MSRP is $79.99. However, through Labor Day at The Home Depot, the Wink HUB is priced at $49.99. With the purchase of one Wink-compatible product from The Home Depot, the price of the Wink HUB drops to $24.99, and with the purchase of two Wink-compatible products, it drops to $0.99. The Wink HUB has no monthly fees or contracts and supports protocols including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth LE, Z-Wave, Zigbee, and Lutron ClearConnect.

In addition, the Wink app will be available to download for Google’s Android Wear, allowing Android users to receive alerts and operate their connected home products from anywhere.

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