Shopping in a Whole Foods Market is a sensory delight—from colorful produce displays to tasty take-out counters. The bright, inviting illumination drives purchasing decisions, but just as critical to store operations are energy efficiency, lower consumption, shopping convenience and customer and employee safety.
Addressing concerns, such as energy efficiency, lower consumption, shopping convenience, and customer and employee safety, Whole Foods partnered with lighting and energy specialist ReGreen of Los Angeles and Nora Lighting for a major renovation at the chain’s Ft. Apache store near Las Vegas.
Turnkey energy solutions provider ReGreen specializes in commercial and institutional renovations, offering lighting solutions and innovative technologies that typically exceed energy goals while improving the visual environment and overall profitability of a business. Since its founding in 2007, the company has completed more than 3,000 projects in more than 500 million square feet of property.
Whole Foods Initiative
The Ft. Apache update is part of an Whole Foods Market initiative to reduce the company’s carbon footprint and promote a sustainable environment through the utilization of environmentally friendly technologies, such as LED lighting, next generation fluorescent and sophisticated controls. As part of the renovation process, ReGreen performed an energy and design assessment of the 35,000-square-foot market, along with a review of the visual environment and design deficiencies. “Every project starts with a complimentary audit/survey to identify areas of concern, along with current energy usage, layout deficiencies, product presentation and overall customer experience,” says Chad Clark, president of ReGreen.
Upon completion of the audit, ReGreen researches alternative technologies, luminaires and controls across multiple manufacturers. They create a design package with an energy analysis that finds a medium among maximum energy savings, ROI, design and cost efficiency.
This package also includes available rebates and incentives that may help offset the initial investment. “The process can take from two to four weeks and is also complimentary to our clients,” says Clark. The Whole Foods renovation consisted of a complete overhaul of the store lighting in order to minimize the number of lights needed, maximize energy reduction, lower maintenance costs, and allow for a clean, crisp environment throughout the sales floor that puts the focus on products while providing smart navigation. “We also want food products to last longer so minimizing heat and specifying the right color temperature and color clarity are equally important,” says Clark.
In order to accomplish these goals, ReGreen specified Nora Lighting’s Sapphire LED Series of architectural downlights to provide general and display illumination, primarily in the produce and prepared foods areas. The Nora fixtures were installed alongside Whole Foods’ existing, square-paneled skylights. The Sapphire LED Series, available from NSPEC, the architectural and commercial division of Nora Lighting, has one of the highest efficacy ratings in the industry. The luminaire achieves a bright 97 lumens per watt and, with a CRI of more than 90, the new fixtures brightened up the market’s displays by accurately rendering the colors of the foods. The fixture was a practical choice to help ReGreen achieve its goals of providing general and accent illumination while significantly reducing the amount of heat being emitted. The Sapphire LED fixtures at Whole Foods have an 8-inch aperture, 3000 Kelvin temperature and 3000 lumens. The luminaire’s deep cone reflectors provide visual comfort and feature Cree’s integrated TrueWhite LED package, which emits one of the most natural white lights in the industry for commercial applications. The new installation took approximately six weeks and the store was able to stay open throughout the renovation since work was scheduled after hours. “The new Nora LED downlights were a major part of the overall lighting package and saved Whole Foods Market more than 40 percent in lighting-related energy usage within the first two months,” says Clark. “It was a challenging project, but it has really paid off in energy efficiency and store aesthetics. This assignment was our 13th store renovation. Whole Foods has been so pleased they are planning similar retrofits in more locations.”
ReGreen’s confirmed energy calculations demonstrate the efficacy of the Sapphire Series LED Downlights:
- Lighting-related energy consumption reduction of more than 60 percent.
- CO2 reduction of 216 metric tons (45 gas vehicles) per year.
- Utility rebate contribution of 15 percent.
- Five-year warranty on all materials.
- Simple payback within 2.75 years.
- Enhanced product presentations throughout sales floor.
- Dramatic improvement customer experience.
Nora Lighting’s Sapphire LED Series is also available in 4- and 6-inch apertures with 850, 1250, 2000 or 3000 lumen packages and 2700K, 3000K and 4000K color temperatures with dimmable Cree LEDs and LED drivers. It is specifiable in 120V or 277V for commercial jobs of all sizes and is ENERGY STAR certified and cULus Wet Label listed.