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100-Store Grocery Retailer Switches to 28W T8s

Case Study

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A large grocery chain was approached by the lighting sales team at GE and Graybar with a strong business case for switching from 32 watt fluorescent lamps to 28 watt lamps in its stores. “We highlighted the main benefits of switching to low wattage T8 lamps—less energy consumption and longer life, all without sacrificing quality light or light output,” said Greg Wimmer, the retailer’s GE area sales manager. 

“Less energy consumption and longer life, all without sacrificing quality light or light output.”

On average, the grocery retailer purchases 127,000 lamps per year; and with 101 stores running 24/7, the company’s savings potential was significant. Switching to 28 watt lamps would also enable the company to meet energy requirements across all seven states in which it operates. “It was an easy decision for them to make the switch to 28 watt T8s,” added Wimmer.

The supermarket chain first started installing 28 watt T8s in newly constructed retail locations about four years ago. Upon seeing the benefits and quick payback, the company began replacing its 32 watt T8s with 28 watt lamps at existing sites through its replacement program in early 2015. 

Because low wattage T8 lamps last longer, the retailer was also able to extend its group re-lamping schedule by another year.

The replacement process is made even simpler by the fact that low wattage lamps do not differ physically from standard ones, meaning no ballast changes for their maintenance crews. All of this, in addition to the lamps’ very low failure rate, has contributed to substantial savings for the company.

“The company lives by its pledge to run its operations as efficiently as possible,” said Darin Osterhout, Boise branch manager at Graybar. “So it’s no surprise they embraced the opportunity to meet the highest energy-efficiency standard through these low wattage T8s.

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