Whenever Kimco Realty acquires a new retail property, lighting is one of the first features evaluated by its management team. Friendly illumination is necessary to create a welcoming environment and keep shoppers safe at night.
With anchor tenants such as Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, David’s Bridal, Home Depot, and Marshalls, 280 Metro Center is a high-traffic location with over 1,440 parking spaces. A third-party assessment determined that the original HID fixtures did not provide sufficient coverage or produce the right appearance in the evening.
Though both metal halides and LEDs were modeled for the retrofit, LEDs were able to provide better distribution along the aisles.
“When you have large pole spacing, you can have pronounced spots with concentrated light and then dark areas. Because LEDs are a directional light source, they throw light evenly both under and around a pole,” explains Will Teichman, Kimco’s director of sustainability.
The LEDs also include dimming capabilities. The previous HIDs used a control system that could only turn off fixtures completely rather than scale them back. Now the lamps burn at full brightness from dusk to approximately 11 p.m. and then uniformly reduce by roughly 50% after hours, Teichman says.
Another advantage of the new LEDs is motion sensors. When vehicles drive onto the property after hours, the sensors trigger the lights to go back to 100% for a period of time, Teichman notes. This acts as a deterrent as it gives the impression that the site is being watched, as well as increasing security should an employee need to be on the premises when it’s dark.
Lastly, Kimco was able to add more lighting throughout the parking grid. The property’s electrical infrastructure was already at the top end of its wattage capacity with the HID fixtures. Because the LED area lights draw less power, more coverage could be secured without stressing the circuits, Teichman says.
The lighting retrofit reduced common area energy consumption by 32%, saving approximately 60,000 kWh or $10,000 a year, adds Teichman. The project’s second phase will address building and canopy lighting later in 2015. These fixtures use less energy than pole lights, but there are more of them. Improved parking lights should enable the property to scale back the number of decorative lamps.
“We broke up this project to help manage the investment costs for our tenants,” Teichman explains. “We want to be good stewards of expense management and avoid overwhelming tenants with large capital expenditures in a single year.”
For more real-world lighting projects:
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