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Bright Lights, Big Savings – Macy’s LED Lighting Retrofit Powers Forward

POSTED UNDER Energy & Lighting

By now, you probably know LED lighting is a smart option. LED bulbs are incredibly energy-efficient, emitting 80 percent of their energy as light instead of heat. (For comparison, traditional incandescent lights emit only about 20% of their energy as light, with the rest being lost to heat and other forms of energy.)

LEDs also have a much longer lifespan than incandescent bulbs – they can last 20 years or more, according to lighting solutions company LED Luxor, which means less maintenance, reduced waste in our increasingly jam-packed landfills, and lower costs in the long run.

It’s no wonder, then, that Macy’s is continuing its conversion to LED lighting in our stores and distribution centers throughout the country. The current retrofit encompasses 380 stores and 460,000 lamps according to New York-based Facilities Project Manager Derek Moskal, who’s leading the project.

In addition to their energy- and cost-saving benefits, LED lights are brighter as well – and associates and customers alike are noticing the difference, he says. “A Chicago associate in Men’s Suits said his sales went up immediately when the new fixtures were put in,” reports Moskal. “He said ‘You can really see the suits so much better – it makes the merchandise look great!’”

While there’s no hard data tying the retrofit to sales, the difference really is noticeable. The Barton Creek store in Austin, Texas was the first store completed in the current conversion project, and Moskal’s team got immediate positive comments from store associates: “It modernizes the store – I’ve never seen it look this great!” said one.

Back-of-house and distribution center associates are seeing things in a more positive light as well. “LEDs give a truer color rendering,” Moskal says, “so associates see more accurate, brighter color. It also makes it easier to read text on paper.”

Of course, it’s also cost-saving. The 380 store retrofit, which involves three different types of LED fixtures, will save an estimated 22,165,000 kilowatt hours (KWh) – the equivalent of 1,752,788 gallons of gasoline – enough to drive 37,332,776 miles in an average passenger car, according to the EPA’s greenhouse gas equivalencies converter.

Advances in technology over the past two years have made the retrofit project economically feasible, says Moskal. “It’s brought materials costs for the lamps we’re using down 25 to 50 percent. It’s made it much more cost-effective.”

That means Macy’s is able to retrofit more stores and distribution centers – and that means a brighter future for everybody.


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