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How To Reduce Wattage By 65% in a Body Shop


A Change In Energy Efficient Lighting For Crippen Buick GMC Mazda Volvo

A body shop environment should include lighting that not only lights the area, but it should also duplicate natural light as close as possible.  When we approached the project at Crippen, we had two goals in the Body Shop area:

  1. Increase Lighting Levels
  2. Reduce Energy Consumption


Crippen Buick GMC Mazda Volvo Paint Shop Before

How We Increased Lighting Levels

The traditional thinking with increasing lighting levels is basic; just add more lights.  That is not the approach we took with Crippen.  Instead we chose a light fixture that maximized wattage reduction and also increased lighting levels. 

We chose the Ultralux T5 4 lamp fixture manufactured by Everlast Lighting, located 30 minutes from the Crippen project. 

We chose this fixture because it not only reduced wattage, but it also utilizes a 5900 Kelvin (K) (..see definition of Kelvin light values here) light fixture that maintains a color rendering index of 95+.

This makes the light as close to natural light as we could get.  By using the higher Kelvin value and CRI values, we are able to trick the eye.  The footcandle meter will not measure the true footcandle value as the eye perceives it.  In this case we were still able to double the "metered" footcandle values:

  • Before : 35 fc
  • After: 65 fc
Check out this video where Crippen Buick GMC Mazda Volvo Body Shop Manager talks about his new lights:

How We Reduced Energy Consumption

We decreased energy consumption two ways:

  1. Use lowest wattage T-5 Fixture, 190 Watts
  2. Reduce the number of total fixtures

Crippen Buick GMC Mazda Volvo Paint Shop After

The two methods above may seem counterintuitive to some people, but in this case we were able to remove half of the fixtures due to the lumen output and light value characteristics we listed above. 

Retrofitting for energy efficiency is more than just going in and replacing fixtures one for one.  This application proves that by doing the proper photometric layout first, you can save the customer even more money.  Replacing all 37 fixtures with the T-5 would have reduced the wattage (237 Watts vs 190 Watts) but not as much as we were able to do by eliminating half of the fixtures. 

  • A 1 for 1 replacement would have reduced wattage by 1739 Watts or a reduction of 19%
  • Redesign using lower wattage fixture and reduction in fixtures reduced wattage by 5729 watts or a reduction of 65%

So we were able to reduce the wattage by 65% and DOUBLE the footcandle values creating a much brighter work area for the body shop and paint areas.

Key Takeaway:

Don't assume that a retrofit is just replacing the existing fixture with another fixture.  Today's technology allows for much better lumen output.  By measuring the existing light and designing for new lighting values, you are able to provide a more efficient, brighter application.



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