Saving nearly $78,000 per year in total lighting costs following a lighting retrofit

SmartWatt Energy conducted a construction-grade energy audit of the facility that included offices, loading docks, laboratories, storage and freezer space. It then engineered a plan to replace the existing lighting system with energy-efficient T-8 and T-5 fluorescent lighting in most of the spaces and install LED lighting in all of the freezer space, the firm stated.

“The ice cream freezer was the latest phase in a larger energy-efficiency project we’ve been working on with SmartWatt Energy for the last couple of years,” said Gary Dake, President at Stewart’s Shops. “We appreciate their ability to help us reduce costs, while helping us achieve ambitious sustainability goals. Their execution was flawless — clearly cold storage projects are their specialty.”

The new lighting will save 783,481-kilowatt hours of electricity per year. The project is expected to pay for itself in 16 months.


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Shining A Light On The LED Opportunity

By Tom Pincince

Smart investors know that, often, the biggest growth opportunities are the ones you can’t invest in – yet. New technologies typically have the most potential for growth when they are still under development or in the early phases of market penetration. At that point, fledgling companies have infinite possibility and tremendous risk and need investors who are accustomed to this type of deal. If you have the ability and fortitude to invest in an emerging company at this critical stage, the rewards can be significant.

The creation of new markets is often dependent on component technologies opening up opportunities, rather than the development of entire supply chains of products. This creates interesting supply-demand curves, which has been happening in many areas of clean tech, including in the LED markets.

Established LED players – Cree, Rubicon and others – have successfully built powerhouse businesses around the LED chip itself, investing persistence and cash to bring LEDs to where they are today. Now, LEDs are ready for a broad range of applications and are able to successfully displace conventional lighting technology.

Many manufacturers are addressing this market with an evolutionary approach – incorporating LEDs into traditional lighting fixtures and replacement bulb form factors. Others are taking a more revolutionary approach and using the LED chip as an opportunity to rethink the lighting value proposition and leverage LEDs as highly controllable illumination sources that open up new types of applications


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Bright idea: How LED technology is key to future smart buildings

Article by Casey Talon. Published August 15, 2012

Cost and functionality have traditionally been two big hurdles for the widespread use of LED lighting technology in commercial buildings. With technical improvements and increasing awareness of LED energy efficiency beneits, there has been some limited adoption in parking and exterior applications.

But the convergence of building automation and information technology that is transforming the facilities management industry — and helping define the smart buildings market — presents a significant opportunity for deployments in LED (light emitting diode) applications.

Smart buildings are defined by integrated controls and automation that optimize how equipment operates to manage costs and improve efficiencies. Lighting is one of six key smart building technology segments, as outlined by IDC Energy Insights, that enable building systems to respond to internal policies, weather, or even utility price signals to balance the occupants’ needs, in this case for lighting, and business objectives.

We’ve outlined three distinct benefits a business can reap with a smart building lighting system. And when the lighting technology is a LED, the benefits are amplified and illustrate an opportunity for investment that can trump the pushback on upfront cost.

Energy Efficiency: LEDs have long been touted for their superior energy efficiency benefits in comparison to other lighting retrofit options. This benefit is counterbalanced by the challenge for consumers to incur a significant cost premium.

The industry continues to evolve with innovation improvements in chip and driver technology, the components engineered to deliver light, are helping drive down this pricing challenge.

Even more, when integrated into a smart building lighting solution, the automation and controls of the LED system amplify energy savings potential by optimizing lighting in response to daylight and occupancy.

Operational Efficiency: The energy savings generated by an LED system can be quantified in terms of a reduction in demand and illustrated in real dollar savings by comparing utility bills.


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