Shedding Light on C-store Lighting

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Shedding Light on C-store Lighting

By Antony Corrie , Harvard Technology - 03/13/2017

Convenience stores do not simply turn off the lights when the last customer leaves. Along with using lighting during often-prolonged opening hours to influence shoppers and highlight particular brands, c-store outlets also require lighting that is safe and appropriate for staff who are restocking the shelves outside of regular hours.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that lighting accounts for around 53 percent of all electricity consumption in an average retail store; therefore, it is vital that spiralling energy costs are kept to a minimum.

With this in mind, many leading retail brands in the United States have already made significant savings by switching to innovative LED solutions. However, by further embracing the latest technology, they could achieve even more impressive reductions.

In the past, installing lighting management systems has proved a tricky and often disruptive process. For many, the reduced selling time and complicated installation process meant that, economically, these systems were simply not viable.

The latest advancements in wireless technology, though, are proving to be something of a game changer. Innovative systems developed are now completely wireless, allowing for a simple and smooth installation and commissioning process.

Revolutionary wireless systems also offer the capability to control LED lighting in different areas, all from one electronic device. An example is, during opening hours, lighting on the sales floor can remain at 100 percent while luminaires in unoccupied storage areas can be dimmed to a far lower level. In areas that benefit from natural light, fixtures can be reduced to a lower output or turned off completely, while accent lights can be dimmed to set a scene or influence a purchase.

Relying on busy staff to make decisions on lighting areas — even if dimming capabilities are available — is no longer necessary. Wireless control allows managers to switch off or dim luminaires, either collectively or individually. This is a real bonus when certain areas of the store are not always in use.

New-age wireless lighting control systems can now be accessed through the internet on a laptop, tablet or smartphone. Intuitive dashboards provide live information about the energy savings being achieved. Dim the lights in your stock room and you can immediately see the effect. Systems can even pinpoint potential lamp failures.

Crucially, for larger businesses or those that are part of a chain, managers have the freedom to commission, configure and completely control their own interior lighting across a range of stores from one single device.

Harnessing the latest wireless lighting control technology enables retail store managers to accomplish a substantial reduction in energy consumption, and therefore the cost of lighting in any retail store.

Editor’s note: The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of Convenience Store News