Practical Solutions for Long-Term Lighting Problems

06/28/2013 | By Janelle Penny

Address maintenance, durability, and sustainability goals

Facing a lighting challenge? You’re not alone.

Learn how these companies tackled three common lighting issues – they may spark an idea for your own retrofit.

1) Time and Labor Costs
The problem: The Westlake Village, CA headquarters of Dole Foods features a lobby with a 35-foot ceiling, which caused maintenance nightmares when lamp replacement was needed. Other spaces utilized inefficient incandescent lighting, and some – namely laboratories and test kitchens – were occupied 24/7, so lamp failures made it difficult to work.

The solution: Dole first installed LEDs in the lobby because their long lifetime cut down on the frequency of lamp changes, which required scissor lifts or scaffolding and special scheduling, according to Richard Myers, vice president of PIXI Lighting, which provided the flat LED ceiling light replacements.

After the results met their expectations, they began a phased installation in the spaces operating around the clock, as well as conference rooms, executive offices, hallways, and an underground parking garage.

2) Breakage and Abuse
The problem: Light fixtures at two Trillium Family Services campuses in Portland and Corvallis, OR, were constantly breaking. The behavioral health provider, which offers inpatient psychiatric treatment for youth ages 5-17 at both places, required constant lighting replacements when clients intentionally damaged the incandescent and old-style fluorescent lighting to hurt themselves or others.

“Our end goal is safety,” explains Mark Elledge, director of facilities for Trillium. “We want to protect our clients and our staff, and when things are breakable, it creates a major safety hazard.”

The solution: During major renovations at both sites, the Trillium team searched for fixtures that were both highly durable and aesthetically pleasing.

“You always want to create a homey atmosphere to try to make the kids feel comfortable, yet provide safety measures too,” Elledge explains.

The fluorescent fixtures that were ultimately installed feature tamper-proof screws and housing that held up while a Trillium FM tested them with a baseball bat.

“It’s always good to have a higher standard when it comes to safety,” Elledge advises. “It really comes down to durability and the length of time the fixtures will be installed.”

Trillium also achieved notable labor savings by eliminating the broken fixture problem. “The primary driver on this project wasn’t ROI, but one staffer had been on-call to fix the old lights on an emergency basis prior to the installation of the new light fixtures,” explains Mark Bolton, West Coast regional sales manager for Kenall Lighting, which provided Trillium’s new fixtures. “Now this on-call retainer is no longer a necessity.”

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