Best of Three

by Katie Lee

LED luminaires solve three common lighting challenges in retail spaces.

By Ryan Ramaker

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

While the most talked about benefits of LED are also the most compelling reasons behind why more and more retail spaces are converting to this source, there are also additional benefits that are often overlooked. Quality LED lighting can put storeowners and managers at ease with the ability to solve some of the most common problems experienced with lighting. Here we explore the top three:

Retail Inside Ceilings1.  High Ceilings: A Maintenance Manager’s Nightmare 

High ceilings — often 10 feet or higher — have become more common in many of today’s spaces. With ceiling heights on the rise, there is never a convenient time to pull out a ladder and replace a light bulb. Traditional bulbs can burn out frequently in common areas and many retail spaces may not have a ladder tall enough to reach the lighting in their stores. This leaves added responsibility of a property management group or maintenance staff to haul a ladder around changing light bulbs throughout the facility — which may mean lighting is burned out when customers are in the store.

This is specifically why rooms with 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

The scene is not uncommon with traditional luminaire: There is beautiful outdoor or pathway lighting, but one bulb is out, dimmed or flickering and you are immediately drawn to it. Or even worse, the floodlights and perimeter lighting installed for customer security are out and cause complaints. Often, the lighting in your 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 the long lifespan of 10 or more years provides facility managers and residents assurance that their lighting will be long-lasting and reliable. Crisp, white LED light can revive dark or poorly lit areas to improve visibility and safety. And unlike other light sources, LED luminaires do not lose their lumen output over time like traditional fixtures, 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. 24/7 Lighting:  Drains Energy and Requires Ongoing Maintenance

Properly illuminated hallways and corridors are extremely important for safety and functionality in retail developments. Because these areas 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 challenges with this type of application. 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 product marketing manager for Lithonia Lighting®, a division of Acuity Brands. 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 multifamily solutions.

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