The Partner of Choice

JHM logomarriot logo

Project Name: North Charleston Marriott

Type of Facility: Hotel

Location: Charleston, South Carolina

“JHM Hotels takes pride in being a value oriented company, always striving to find and use high quality construction products that provide real value to our hotels. Establishing mutually-beneficial relationships with suppliers of these products is a key component to our success. We trust Current Lighting as our lighting partner to identify the best products at the best price for each project’s purpose. This relationship is important as technology continues to evolve. Any major renovation, conversion or ground-up project at JHM will start out with LED conversions or new LED products, and we’re looking forward to having Current help us map out these projects to ensure we are getting the best overall return on our investment.”

– Darwin Brumley, Director of Design & Construction, JHM Hotels

Just a short ride outside of historic downtown Charleston, S.C., sits the 14 story, 289-room North Charleston Marriott hotel. The facility, originally built in 1983, features more than 12,000 square feet of flexible indoor and outdoor spaces and more than 14,000 square feet of conference space, including nine versatile meeting rooms. The newly renovated guest rooms feature sleek décor, luxury bedding, wall mounted flat screen TVs with streaming services and spa like bathrooms.

The facility is owned and operated by JHM Hotels, a family run business that features a portfolio of 37 hotels, representing various franchises, with more than 7,000 rooms in six states. A key element of the organization’s growth strategy is to identify properties in need of renovations that sit in ideal locations and make the right investments to bring the property back to life. These smart investments include updates to the exterior, public spaces, dinning, lounge and meeting areas and often a complete overhaul of the guest rooms.

Challenge

When JHM acquired the North Charleston Marriott Hotel in 2014, it developed a comprehensive renovation plan that would include new lighting to replace outdated, inefficient technology. Research shows that obsolete lighting can consume up to 23 percent of electrical costs at a typical facility.

The team knew it wanted to upgrade the lighting but at the time the ROI of LED technology was inconclusive. While intrigued, the company decided to hold off from significant lighting renovations until the ROI could be proven.

In the meantime, JHM, also based in Greenville, S.C., had engaged in discussions with Current about its portfolio of LED lighting and controls products. Having established its expertise as a company that can successfully renovate an aging facility from top to bottom, another one of JHM’s key strategies at an operations level is to establish close relationships with the manufacturers it selects to help with these projects.

JHM was searching for a supplier that was solutions based, offered competitive pricing, demonstrated an ability to work with preferred distributors and provide local support. Additionally, JHM strives to find and use high-quality construction products that provide tangible value to its properties. Current would have to prove it would both deliver on its promises and demonstrate the ROI of its products.

Specifically related to the lighting challenge, Current and its partners had to outline a lighting solution that would utilize long-lasting LED luminaires that would free up maintenance staff, contribute to a better customer experience and enhance the look and feel of the entire hotel, all within the confines of a strict budget.

Solution

Current’s national accounts team, led by hospitality vertical manager Jeff Moreau and its local agent Carolina Architectural Lighting and Design, outlined a plan for the lighting in the facility’s guest rooms, bathrooms, lobby, public, meeting and office areas, meeting space, the fitness room and various hallways and corridors. Current’s full suite of indoor lighting products demonstrated that it could provide the best performing fixture for all of these applications.

Current was also able to provide these fixtures in a cost effective manner by providing national pricing through its network of select distributors.

Guest Areas

The team selected Prescolite’s LB6LEDA, to establish a cohesive, glare free color throughout the facility. The LB6 meets today’s most stringent energy codes, such as California’s Title 24 requirements for commercial buildings, ensuring the longevity of the investment. More than 300 units were installed throughout the property.

Prescolite’s specification grade D2LED is an award winning LED downlight that combines superior brightness control with energy savings and low maintenance costs. The 2” fixture comes standard with 0-10V diming capability, making it an ideal candidate for applications that call for both function and ambiance. It can also be easily removed from below the ceiling if service or future upgrades are required. Nearly 300 units are used throughout the lobby and public areas.

Meeting Space

Charleston being one of the premier conference destinations in the U.S., the lighting team set out to improve the comfort of guests who would be visiting the 14,000 square feet of conference space. Columbia Lighting’s LCAT, which features a sleek center lens appearance and architectural simplicity, was used in the common areas and the nine versatile meeting rooms. The LCAT’s high efficiency acrylic center lens features linear prisms for high performance without pixilation, making it a high-volume best seller for applications like meeting spaces, classrooms, offices and healthcare facilities. It is designed for projects that need a budget conscious architectural look.

Benefits

Current Lighting’s portfolio of products has delivered on its promises, establishing its distinction as the preferred lighting partner for JHM’s renovations and new builds.

The facility has reduced its overall energy costs. In addition to lower energy use, JHM has secured a $20,000 annual rebate from SCE&G, the local utility. Current specializes in helping its customers secure utility rebates through a national network of professionals who understand the precise requirements of these programs.

From the guests’ point of view, the lighting plays a critical role in establishing the ideal ambiance of the hotel. Soothing, uniform light levels throughout the space have been cited in customer feedback surveys as enhancing the overall experience. The lighting has also improved the image of the property, making it easier for the sales team to secure top-tier meetings and conventions.

Staff have also benefited from the lighting renovation. Improved quality of light is having an impact on employee satisfaction, especially in the office areas where lighting made regular tasks difficult. The maintenance staff have also reported a decrease in time spent on lighting-related activities. The fixtures selected feature electrical components that are fully accessible from below the ceiling for true sustainability, maintenance and future upgrades.

Bottom line: The exquisite renovation and rebranding of this luxury hotel has created significant value, and the property continues to generate strong financial results. Current Lighting has established itself as the partner of choice for the hospitality industry by being a leader in advancing LED and controls technologies that improve efficiency and reduce costs.