If you’re in the grocer or supermarket industry, you may have noticed a recent trend towards installing LED lights in refrigerated cases. But does switching to these lights really make a difference, and does it make sense for your business? We feel that, yes, in most cases it is worth it to swap out the old bulbs in your refrigerators for modern LEDs. Why? Here are six important reasons.
1. Environmentally Friendly
First off, refrigerated LEDs are better for the environment than typical grocery store lighting. They use less energy, contain no hazardous materials (like mercury), and have incredibly long lifespans. So, not only are they more efficient, it will also be a long time before they end up in a landfill and, even then, you won’t have to worry about special disposal fees or leaking harmful substances into the ground.
Besides having a clean conscience, being environmentally friendly is good for business. More and more consumers are choosing to spend their dollars at ethical companies that care about the planet. Switching to LEDs is one step you can take to let your customers know you are trying to be part of the solution and not the problem.
2. Lower Energy Use
As mentioned, refrigerated LEDs have fewer energy requirements — even when producing the same (or better) amount of light. Lighting is a major expense in many supermarkets, which means it’s not unusual for a store to see a 38% or more reduction in total energy costs. If you have a chain of stores, this can result in saving hundreds of thousands of dollars every year.
Furthermore, LEDs emit less heat when compared to traditional lights. This keeps the interior of refrigerators cooler and consequently lessens the strain on the machinery. Not overworking your refrigerators results in lower ambient heat and reduces HVAC costs.
3. Reduced Maintenance Costs
In addition to saving money from smaller energy bills, refrigerated LEDs are cheaper to maintain. When you consider the amount of bulbs at any particular grocery store or across a chain of stores, keeping that huge number of lights functional and optimized is a full time job. With ordinary bulbs, inevitably one or more is constantly burning out and needing replacement. This isn’t always convenient, as it means getting into the cases while trying to stay out of the way of customers or dealing with the task after hours.
LEDs, on the other hand, have long lifespans and, instead of dying instantly, slowly fade in light output. You can expect high quality LEDs to maintain 70% of their initial lumen output after 50,000 hours of operation. Therefore, you’ll have to deal with bulb replacements far less often, and you won’t have unprofessional-looking refrigerator cases with completely burned out lights.
4. Fast Installation
Today there are many “plug-and-play” LEDS that work with your existing lighting fixtures and don’t require any electrical rewiring. This makes for quick installation and lowers contractor labor costs. With such a speedy, cost-effective install, you can switch all your stores to LEDs in a matter of days or weeks.
5. Enhances Product Appearance
One of the biggest benefits of LED refrigerator lights is that their bright, uniform light makes your food look better. Produce pops, meat looks fresher, and the attractive lighting generally draws more attention to the products. Having fresh, appealing food is essential for building customer confidence and creating an overall pleasant environment.
Some LEDs have lenses that diffuse the light from the separate LED diodes, which helps to eliminate spots or reflections that can detract from the food’s appearance. And thanks to the LED’s high color rendering index (a CRI of 90+), produce, prepared foods, and other merchandise are seen in their best coloring and as naturally as possible.
6. Quick ROI
With smaller energy needs, lower maintenance costs, reduced HVAC and refrigerator strain, and possible energy-efficient lighting rebates, most grocery stores can recoup their refrigerator LED investment in just over two years. After that, it’s pure savings. Perhaps even more significant is the boost in customer satisfaction and increased sales that will likely come when your products are displayed in clean, aesthetically-pleasing light.