It’s not just the fruits and vegetables that are “green” at this grocery store, so is the lighting.
Before opening its latest 51,364-sq.-ft. store in Geneva, N.Y., several months ago, Northeast grocery retailer Tops Friendly Markets opted to install energy-saving LED lighting fixtures instead of the T5 fluorescent tubes normally specified for its stores. Cree CS18™ luminaires and CR24™ troffers were selected to illuminate the aisles, specialty departments such as floral and bakery, and the pharmacy for an estimated energy savings of 70 percent over the typical T5 fluorescent lighting that grocery chain usually installs.
“Tops Markets has always been progressive in designing energy efficiency into its store. When we heard about the Cree CS18 linear luminaire, we conducted a test installation in Buffalo and the results were excellent,” explains Dan Jaskza, energy consultant for Tops Markets. “Not only did the LED lighting product offer us 70-percent energy savings, but also improved lighting quality without compromising lighting levels.”
The lighting was also evaluated for exceptional color rendering that would help improve the visual shopping experience for customers by making the merchandise colors more vibrant and appealing. Therefore the selected fixtures offer color rendering greater than 90, which visually translates to mean more colorful flowers, redder meats, and more appetizing breads.
The troffers also solve the need for strong vertical light levels when mounted on the store’s ceiling. “Consistent, high-quality light levels from top to bottom of the shelf are a critical need for retailers,” says Mike Bauer, vp/Lighting Sales at Cree. Merchandisers wanted to keep a spacious feel down each aisle and required that the fixtures be mounted at the established 13-foot height above the floor.”
Delivering up to 8,200 lumens, the CS18 luminaires allow Tops to use their wattage more efficiently with less power needed to illuminate every level of the merchandise gondolas. With LEDs’ longer lifetime hours (reportedly up to 100,000), the new lighting system will help Tops Markets reduce energy consumption by offering dimming capabilities, which is a key consideration for a 24-hour store. It is estimated that the new lighting will pay for itself within two-and-a-half years.
“For any supermarket operator today, whether they are building a new store or implementing an upgrade, LED lighting is a must-do solution,” Jaszka advises. “It offers energy savings, quality of light, and is also fantastic in terms of maintenance reduction.”
A second Tops Markets location featuring Cree CS18 luminaires and round interior pendants is currently under construction. Tops Markets has plans for an additional three stores in 2013, adding to its 153 full-service supermarkets in New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont.