Application Story: Good Lighting Isn’t Hard to Find – Wood’s Ace Hardware & Mercantile

Challenge: While the cost of LED technology continues to drop, it’s not uncommon to still encounter roadblocks to implementation from a price perspective. This is especially true with smaller businesses that assume they don’t have the resources or scale to make LED achievable.

This was one of the sticking points with the owners of Wood’s Ace Hardware & Mercantile in Summerville, S.C., and their outdated CFL lamps. The interior lighting was in desperate need of a renovation and way past due for an overhaul, but the perceived costs of ideal LED products didn’t add up for the owners.

The owners were also frustrated by the high cost and frequency of necessary maintenance to maintain the already poor lighting levels. Some aisles appeared to have little to no illumination at all, and the owners had begun to see a decrease in sales and staff efficiency.

ROI and cost aside, the new lighting solution would have to demonstrate long life, stellar performance and quality aesthetics.

Solution: Lyon Lighting Solutions developed a relationship with the owners of Wood’s Ace Hardware and performed a few formal audits of the existing lighting system compared to new LED solutions.

When Columbia Lighting launched the MPL Megaplane™ industrial LED highbay/lowbay, Lyon Lighting Solutions immediately knew this would be a winning solution. A formal audit revealed it was the product that would provide maximum ROI at all ends of the spectrum for the owners. A formal payback analysis showcased how the MPL, a low-cost, high-efficiency luminaire with directional luminance that is slender, attractive and functional without appearing bulky, was the perfect solution for their needs, especially when they learned the MPL’s patented TIR directional linear optics would offer superior aisle lighting performance in a modern design.

The MPL is the first of its kind in the industrial category and was designed primarily for retail, design-build, back of house, warehouse and commercial storage applications. Traditionally, products in this class with comparable lumen output were only available in larger housings or included more than one driver, adding cost and bulk.

Benefits: The 4′ MPL can exceed 12,000 lumens while only consuming 96 watts, averaging 106 to 131 lumens per watt with one driver. Hence, the new MPL fixtures have reduced the annual energy consumption of Wood’s Ace by half, and at the same time increased lighting performance by five to ten times the volume of light. Near one-to-one uniformity is being met in the general commons areas, and light levels across the board have increased by a factor of ten or more in some cases.

The annual kWh was cut in half to a little more than 22,000 kWh per year and the owners are expecting to reduce the annual cost of energy by $4,100. The estimated return on the initial investment is expected to be less than three years. By the time the MPL fixtures reach their L80, or 14 years of use, the system will have saved nearly $60,000 in energy savings alone.

“In addition to the ROI, energy savings and lighting performance, we’ve seen a significant reduction in maintenance costs and aggravation. Employees are energized and customers are having an easier time finding what they need. And the look of the store is much cleaner, the aesthetics of the MPL are much more pleasing than the old Maglite fixtures. We’re really happy with Columbia’s MPL.”

– Kris McLawhorn, operations manager, Wood’s Ace Hardware & Mercantile