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P-2 Energy Efficient Lighting Blog
Playing it Safe in the Lighting Industry
Monday, 18 August 2014 08:29
The TKD Retrofit Kit Installation Process

The other day, one of our employees was watching a video for a fluorescent-to-LED retrofit kit, similar to the TKD. Like our TKD Fluorescent to LED Troffer Retrofit Kit, this kit was designed to install quickly, and this manufacturer had even put together a video showing the installation process, much like we did for the TKD.

Partway through the video, our employee noticed that something was missing. The fluorescent fixture’s ballast was never removed.

If you watch our TKD installation video, at about 1:00 into the video you’ll see the technician removing the fluorescent fixture’s original ballast. It’s the proper way to do things, and the entire process of disconnecting the wires and removing the ballast adds maybe a minute or two to the kit’s 5-minute install time.

In the instructional video for the other product, the ballast is never removed. Instead, it’s disconnected and left inside of the fixture, sitting next to the new LED engine assembly.

This demonstrates a disregard for both environmental regulations and safety standards. As explained on this page from the EPA, older fluorescent ballasts may contain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). These ballasts can rupture, causing a health hazard. Even intact, non-leaking ballasts can release PCB into the air. Additionally, any PCB-containing ballasts are now far past their normal life expectancy, which would increase their risk of smoking, or even starting fires.

Even with newer, safer fluorescent ballasts, it’s a good idea to remove the ballast as part of the upgrade. Once the ballast is bypassed and no longer in use, it’s electronic waste and should be properly disposed of.

This also affects the UL certification of the retrofitted fixture. Replacing electrical components in a fixture requires a new UL sticker certifying the replacement electronics. Leaving an old ballast in the fixture after the retrofit means that there are electrical components in the fixture that are no longer UL certified.

We’re not going to link to the specific video here. Whether it was a simple oversight, or a deliberate attempt to make the installation process look faster, our point isn’t to call out a specific manufacturer.

Our point is to draw attention to the importance of safety in lighting retrofits. It may be tempting to cut corners to save a few minutes, but it’s our belief that doing it right pays off in the long run. That’s our philosophy as a manufacturer, and it’s a philosophy that’s shared by many of the energy-efficient lighting professionals we work with every day.

Let’s work together to make sure that our industry continues to hold itself to the highest safety standards.

Meeting the Better Buildings Challenge with Energy-Efficient Lighting
Wednesday, 23 July 2014 15:48
Better Buildings Challenge

If you’re not familiar with the Better Buildings Challenge, it’s a program worth looking into. Originally part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge has a goal of reducing the energy consumption in businesses across the country by 20% or more over 10 years.

The program’s spring progress report has some encouraging numbers. Since the program started, building owners and managers representing more than 3.3 billion square feet of real estate have joined the Better Buildings Challenge. Combined, they’ve so far implemented enough energy-savings measures to generate more than $100 million in annual energy savings.

Whether you’re doing it as part of the Better Buildings Challenge or on your own, a lighting retrofit is a great way to achieve cost-effective energy savings. Lighting accounts for a majority of commercial energy usage in the United States. Many of the energy-efficient lighting retrofits that use our products reduce lighting energy consumption by more than 40%, and some can even achieve savings of close to 90%.

That means a lighting retrofit alone could help many businesses reach about half of the Better Buildings Challenge’s energy reduction goals. And it certainly won’t take 10 years to implement.

That’s particularly good news since lighting retrofits often have one of the highest ROIs of any energy-efficiency upgrade. The specific payback will vary depending on the rebates available in your area and the specifics of your building, but it’s not uncommon to see paybacks of under two years in lighting upgrades that use [P2] products.

If you’re interested, our lighting retrofit calculator is a great place to start. If you’d like to get a more accurate estimate of the potential for an energy-efficient lighting retrofit in your facility, just get in touch with a lighting professional near you.

The New SNL LED Sanitube
Thursday, 10 July 2014 13:07
SNL LED Snaitube

We're happy to introduce a brand-new fixture. The SNL LED Sanitube Food Service Strip takes everything our customers and end-users love about the SAN Fluorescent Sanitube Food Service Strip, and adds an ultra-efficient LED light source.

With that new light source, the SNL can produce up to 100 lumens per watt and is rated to 80% lumen maintenance at 60,000 hours. The fixture is tested to the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) for use in splash zones, and meets IP65, IP66 and IP67 standards for high-pressure washdown and temporary immersion.

We designed the SNL primarily with food service applications in mind. But it's such a versatile fixture that we expect many of our customers will find it fills many other wet-location applications, like outdoor awnings, cold storage rooms, clean rooms, car washes and even breweries.

Speaking of versatility, the SNL is available in a wide range of configurations, delivering light outputs from around 3,000 lumens to over 17,000 lumens per fixture. When you order an SNL, you can also choose options like surge protectors and a range of watertight cords.

If you're interested in learning more, or ordering the SNL today, give us a call at (714) 386-5550 or get in touch with a lighting professional near you.

Download the SNL Specification Sheet

It Was Great To See You At LightFair, Unless We Didn’t
LightFair Las Vegas 2014

We wanted to say thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth at LightFair, or took a moment to say “Hi” sometime during the convention. Connecting with people like you is one of the biggest reasons we go to LightFair every year.

Of course, with over 500 exhibitors and more than 20,000 attendees, there’s some small chance you may not have had a chance to connect with someone from [P2] during the show. So here’s a second chance.

If you meant to connect with us at LightFair and didn’t get to, it’s not too late. We’d still love to hear from you.

Whether you wanted to say hi, ask a question, learn about [P2] products or give us some feedback, we want to hear what you have to say. Just fill out the contact form below, and we’ll count it as our very own virtual LightFair connection. And if you have questions that need answering, we’ll get them answered right away.

Fill out my online form.


Premier Lighting Cuts Warehouse Lighting Costs by 88% With QHCs, VTLs and Occupancy Sensors
Thursday, 26 June 2014 14:43
Woodenville Warhouse Before & After

In the energy-efficient lighting industry, it’s a rule of thumb that if you can present a customer with energy savings of 40% or more, you’re going to have an easy time convincing a business owner to take on a retrofit. Imagine what happened when Dick Olson from Premier Lighting presented a proposal to cut lighting costs by 88% for the Woodville Warehousing and Distributing warehouse in Woodville, Wisconsin.

We weren’t there in the meeting, but we do know its result: the facility’s owners, Ron and Lorri Riek, liked the sound of the proposal. Today, Woodville Warehousing and Distributing is saving more than $37,000 every year on their lighting costs.

The Woodville Warehousing and Distributing facility is about 40 miles east of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota in Woodville, Wisconsin. Originally just 20,000 square feet, today the facility is a 270,000-square-foot warehouse containing dry, frozen and cold storage areas for food industry customers. The Woodville facility uses the latest in warehousing technology and logistics, and contains a re-work and packaging area to better meet customer needs.

The only thing out of place in this technologically advanced facility was the lighting system. Before the retrofit, the lighting system was costing the Woodville facility about $44,000 per year in combined electricity, maintenance and cooling costs.

Working closely with [P2]’s North Central Regional Sales Representative, Aaron Voigtschild, the Premier Lighting team developed a two-pronged strategy to achieve these savings.

The first part of the strategy was to replace the warehouse’s outdated lighting with ultra-efficient LED lighting from [P2]. Premier Lighting replaced over one hundred 400W metal halide high bays with [P2]’s LED QHC high bays. The metal halides were pulling 460 watts, and Premier Lighting chose a configuration of our QHC that uses just 135 watts. They also replaced 36 T12 and T8 fluorescent fixtures in cold storage areas with our VTL LED vaportights. The fluorescent fixtures were using 237 and 112 watts, respectively, and the replacement VTLs use just 51 watts.

Premier Lighting also addressed accessory lighting, like loading dock lights and wall packs.

The second part of their strategy was adding automatic lighting controls. By adding occupancy sensors and step-dimming throughout the facility, Premier Lighting was able to cut over 3,000 burn hours per year for most of the lighting in the warehouse.

By combining ultra-efficient QHC and VTL LEDs with automated lighting controls, Premier Lighting was able to save about 278,299 kWh per year, reducing the warehouse’s lighting energy consumption by 88% and saving $27,830 per year.

But wait, there really is more. More efficient lighting produces less wasted heat, and in a facility that requires precise temperature controls, that heat has to be dealt with by an HVAC system. Beyond its direct energy reductions, the updated lighting system produced more than $7,200 in additional savings from its reduced load on the warehouse’s HVAC system.

Finally, the QHC and VTL offer significantly longer lifespans than the fixtures they’re replacing, which will result in annual maintenance savings of just over $2,000 per year.

Added all up, Premier Lighting’s retrofit delivered $37,200 in cost savings at the same time as it improved overall light levels in the warehouse by 20%. They were also able to secure just under $26,000 in energy-efficiency rebates that will help the project pay for itself in less than two years.


If you’d like a few more details, you can check out our case study PDF.

We’d like to thank Premier Lighting for the opportunity to be a part of this project, and congratulate Woodville Warehousing and Distributing on their new, improved and much more efficient lighting system.

Aaron was also instrumental in the success of the project. From initial planning to audits, meetings and closing, Aaron was there every step of the way to help the Premier Lighting team plan, develop and implement a very successful project. It’s a great illustration of how working closely with a [P2] lighting professional can add a great set of extra resources to a project.

If you’re thinking about a lighting upgrade in your facility, we have a lighting professional near you who would be happy to help.

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