Commercial and industrial buildings across the U.S. are wasting millions of dollars on inefficient lighting every year. As a result, many facilities managers and building owners are now switching to wireless lighting controls to cut costs and boost performance. AZ Ice in Peoria recognized the savings that could be achieved and has installed a wireless monitoring and management lighting solution to provide savings and improve performance.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, commercial and industrial buildings account for approximately 50 percent of all energy used and 40 percent of CO2 emissions across the country each year, with lighting contributing to a huge percentage. However, new technologies are offering businesses a solution to minimize energy consumption and reduce emissions from their lighting, with the added benefits of financial savings and improved performance.
Wireless lighting controls have already brought huge benefits to those businesses that have reviewed their lighting needs and upgraded accordingly—an easy decision when with utility rebates, Return on Investment (ROI) can be as little as six months. AZ Ice in Peoria, Ariz., home of the Arizona Hawks, is one company that is already reaping the benefits of such a switch.
Site manager Jim Curley was hired to reduce costs and improve profitability for the rinks, with lighting becoming a prime target because of the large impact it had on operating costs. Metal Halide fixtures installed used an expensive switching system that operated high/medium/low, creating bright and dark spots.
Curley invited comments from solution providers and although he found the savings from LEDs were fantastic, they weren’t enough. Paradigm Energy provided the breakthrough, with Harvard’s EyeNut solution, installed alongside wireless enabled fixtures from Advanced Energy Ideas. This gives Curley complete control to monitor lighting across the entire AZ Ice site, providing energy and cost savings.
Previously, 103 250-watt Metal Halide high-bay fixtures were installed above AZ Ice’s two rinks, with 15 low-bay fixtures in the skate lobby and rental area. These were all upgraded, with 150-watt LED EyeNut enabled fixtures installed above the ice rinks and 100-watt LED EyeNut enabled fixtures in the other areas.
To minimize downtime, the fixtures from Advanced Energy Ideas arrived on site pre-wired so they could be plugged in and commissioned immediately through the wireless Graphic User Interface (GUI). This was a major benefit to AZ Ice as all the competing solutions shortlisted not only had higher electrical costs but also complex electrical wiring obstacles.
Now installed, EyeNut provides AZ Ice with full monitoring and lighting control at any time through the intuitive GUI, which can be accessed over the Internet on a computer, laptop, tablet or even a smartphone. Lighting levels can be changed at any time to suit the activity taking place on the ice. Lights can be brought up to full brightness at the touch of a button in case of emergency, which allows AZ Ice to optimize management of the lighting, resulting in better uniform lux levels and in turn improving the customer experience.
Another added benefit is the in-built mapping feature, which allows AZ Ice to upload a floor plan of the facility. The clever function means lights can be individually grouped, controlled and monitored based on their location. Curley also found the profiling feature useful, which allows lighting schedules to be set in advance based on pre-planned activities taking place on and off the ice.
AZ Ice has seen substantial benefits from the installation, with an immediate drop in operating costs of $800 a month achieved from energy savings alone. In fact, the savings were so great that AZ Ice was able to finance the project on future energy savings. As lighting controls were used, the company also qualified for utility rebates, making the Return on Investment just more than six months.
The installation has also had a positive impact on AZ Ice’s Corporate Social Responsibility. In-depth reporting metrics available through the EyeNut GUI highlight the benefits and savings achieved. Because of the success of the installation in Peoria, AZ Ice is now planning to roll-out EyeNut at a further two sites—all of which will be managed through the one GUI over the Internet.
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