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Carl's Jr.®

 Carpinteria, CA  Outdoor lighting

By upgrading the parking lot lighting to Cree® LED luminaires, this popular restaurant significantly increased lighting performance while meeting California's aggressive Title 24 requirements for exterior lighting.


CKE Restaurants, Inc. (CKE) operates popular U.S. regional brands in quick-serve restaurants including West Coast-favorite Carl’s Jr.® The company owns 40 percent of its restaurant locations while the rest are franchise-owned. When company-owned Carl’s Jr.® in Carpinteria, California was remodeled, CKE looked for ways to improve lighting performance while achieving the efficiency necessary to meet the state’s aggressive Title 24 requirements for exterior lighting. Additionally, the location required zero light trespass on neighboring properties — a standard that is on the rise in residential and business zoning across the United States.

To meet the mandates, Juliann Rogers, energy manager for CKE, decided to compare LED and metal halide luminaires before making a purchase decision. Her goal was to find the most energy-efficient product that provided the desired application level lighting performance.


Rogers selected the Cree Edge™ area luminaires for their versatility of placing the right amount of light precisely within the parking lot boundaries while using less energy than the same number of metal halide fixtures. Carl’s Jr.® site lighting is consistent among each franchise location, providing a standard solution for meeting appropriate lighting. Cree Edge™ area luminaires are the perfect solution for multiple location installations because they offer the versatility of numerous optical selections and upgradable LED modular light bars. These product advantages achieve specific desired light levels and energy savings for each unique application while attaining the consistent goal of maximizing lighting performance and reducing maintenance.


The significant restaurant rebuild included a parking lot lighting redesign that retained the same number of poles for a one-to-one replacement. Nine Cree Edge™ luminaires consuming 257 watts were installed instead of metal halide high intensity discharge (HID) fixtures that consume 455 watts — translating into a total annual energy and maintenance savings of over $1,300 (calculated with 4,368 burn hours at a KW/hr rate of $0.12)*. Energy savings would be even greater for Carl’s Jr.® sites that retrofit the company’s standard 750 watt pulse start metal halide lighting solution with energy-efficient Cree LED luminaires. A calculation done for this typical installation achieves a combined annual energy and maintenance savings of over $4,500 (calculated with 4,368 burn hours at a KW/ hr rate of $0.12).

“Sustainable applications are very important to CKE so we are always looking for programs that are cost-effective and will help us reduce our energy use,” said Rogers. “The City was encouraging us to be green with the site, including the lights, but it wasn’t a requirement to install LED. They were very happy to hear that we decided to use Cree LED fixtures.”

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