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Lighting

LED Fixtures Provide Lighting Solution for TV Stationís Parking Garage

Michael Schratz

Plagued by seemingly never-ending lighting maintenance in its two-deck parking garage, Denver’s Fox31 television station has converted to high-efficiency LED low-bay luminaires. The retrofit slashed energy use by more than half and dramatically improved visibility inside the garage, while earning the station more than $10,000 in energy-efficiency rebates.

Like many multi-level enclosed parking garages, the station’s facility seemed a dark and cavernous space, made further uninviting by the low clearance (just 8-10 feet) between each deck. The facility’s 15-year-old metal-halide lighting fixtures provided inconsistent illumination and low light levels (as little as 1 foot-candle in some areas).

Maintenance was a never-ending chore due to the metal-halides’ inherently short lifespan and the high-profile news vans that seemed to hit the fixtures on a regular basis. The station was spending far too much time, about once a year, and money in replacing damaged lights and relamping all 147 fixtures.

Considering that many were difficult to access, especially those lighting the steep ramps between decks, the station was eager to find a more modern, economical and energy-efficient solution to shed some much-needed light on its “den.”

At the recommendation of Denver-based LED Supply Co., the station replaced the metal-halides with LED DuroSite Low Bay fixtures from Dialight Corp. Offering a ruggedized, low-profile design at less than 8 inches in overall depth off the ceiling, the new fixtures promised to put an end to the news vans knocking out the lights, while delivering a significant improvement in visibility at a much lower operating cost.

Because the new fixtures were fully compatibility with the existing wiring and mounting brackets, change-out of all 147 lights was quick and easy, completed in four days.

Consuming just 80 watts, the Low Bays immediately reduced overall lighting electricity consumption by nearly 55%, while delivering up to 20 foot-candles of crisp, clear white light.

“The improved visibility is quite dramatic, like night and day almost,” said Brian Stern, President and CEO of LED Supply Co. “Since the optics in the Dialight units are optimized for low-bay applications, they efficiently direct the light exactly where it’s needed and better illuminate the area while minimizing glare, which makes for a safer environment for drivers in the facility.”

Each fixture has an expected fixture life of at least 60,000 continuous hours of worry-free and maintenance-free performance. This means the station could easily go more than a decade without ever having to change a light bulb.

“This was one of our best facilities investments to date,” said David Harpe, Vice President of Technology. “We are a 24-hour facility with a staff of over 200 employees. There are relatively few opportunities for cost savings with a facility like this.

“Although we’d been looking at LED lighting for quite a while, we had a hard time finding a fixture with the performance and ROI numbers we needed,” Harpe said. “In addition to the cost savings and short ROI on these lights, we’ve been getting great comments from our staff about the quality of light we now have in our garage areas. We’re really pleased with our investment.”

As a result of the substantial energy reduction, the retrofit qualified Fox31 for more than $10,000 in energy efficiency rebates – equaling just over $70 per fixture – through Xcel Energy and the city of Denver. That helped significantly to offset the cost of the project. Given the rebates and the projected energy and maintenance savings, Fox31 expects a payback period of just over three years – a healthy return on investment for products that will last nearly four times as long.

 

Michael Schratz is director of marketing for Dialight Corporation. He can be reach at info@dialight.com

 

Article Abstract from July, 2012




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