Backed by Cree’s industry-leading 10-year limited warranty, Cree LED lighting is offering Michael Jordan Nissan a more reliable light source, increased uniformity, improved color rendering and virtually no maintenance for 10 years.
According to Vrscak, “There’s nothing worse than customers walking onto a dark lot to look at a new car and they can’t see.” As to benefits over the previous metal halide solution, Vrscak replies: “It’s the maintenance. Every time the wind blew, I’d lose a ballast. I was spending about $12,000 a year and now, that goes to zero. Every dealer understands driving off his lot at night and there are three poles out. It’s painful because it looks bad and you’ve got to make that phone call the next morning. It’s a thousand bucks… every time. And since we’ve installed these lights, I haven’t had a light out. I don’t expect to have a light out for a long, long time. That’s payback.”
With the exterior lighting plan, Gontram and Vrscak did not want to tear up the parking lot or add more poles. With the new Cree Edge™ High Output fixtures, light levels are very similar to the previous solution, but seem much brighter because of the quality of the LED light. Full light cutoff ensures no light pollution spilling onto adjacent properties. Wattage levels will also decrease significantly, delivering an anticipated annual energy savings of 58 percent. By lowering energy bills and maintenance costs, the exterior lighting solution has an estimated payback of 2.8 years.
Another pleasant surprise for Vrscak was noise reduction: “I notice how quiet [the interior fixtures] are. You don’t have the buzz of the ballast. Definitely on the exterior as well. Those old metal halides were very, very noisy. These are just silent.”
When asked about the light quality, Vrscak replied, “When you walk the rows of cars and you can actually see the colors and the colors really stand out — that is the biggest difference I notice.” Vrscak and Gontram aren’t the only ones noticing the benefits. According to Vrscak: “Everybody loves the LED lighting. My parts manager was left out because no customers ever go in the parts department. He said, ‘I’d really like to have those LED lights like everybody else.’ ”
Cree also played an important role in securing rebates for the project, with up to 15 percent of the project paid for by utility incentives. As Vrscak states: “When you get a check from your power company — I’ve never seen one of those before — that’s a really good day.”