Customers are taking note, Martin says.
“We’ve had a lot of positive feedback from our professional drivers and other customers who come into our stores on a regular basis,” he says. “They notice right away; the stores just look more modern.”
The collective feedback from the Facility Maintenance - Signs and Lighting group echoes that, saying the LEDs create a “more welcoming environment.”
But beyond bolstering aesthetics, one of the main considerations drivers have is going to an inviting environment, according to the group. Pilot Flying J travel centers are open 24 hours a day, and many are in remote locations. “In having a well-lit parking lot, we’re able to bring more customers into the facilities.”
And with these enhancements come savings – both in energy and maintenance. Facilities say that there is an energy savings of 30 percent associated with the LED lighting conversion.
Martin says a substantial chunk of the savings in going with a Cree solution is maintenance costs. “We have to rent equipment, hire contractors and pay for labor,” he says. “It gets expensive to just change a light bulb.” “The goal is not to have to do any maintenance for basically 10 years,” he says.
Martin also believes that in creating a more attractive sales floor, they’re seeing an increase in purchases per customer. “We haven’t yet attributed increases in sales to the lighting, but I think logically you’d have to say that it does help.”
Most important for the Pilot Flying J team – underpinning the entire experience – is the fact that they’re working with a company they can trust.
“One of the biggest reasons for selecting Cree is their reputation for providing reliable and innovative products that meet the demands of their customers,” says Martin, Pilot Flying J’s Energy Manager. “We’ve worked with Cree in the past as part of our new construction and remodeling activities, and we’ve considered them a strong partner that works well with us to find solutions to our lighting needs.”
“Overall, it’s been a great experience, a great product,” Martin concludes. “We’re seeing energy savings, we’re seeing improved light outputs, and then a reduction in maintenance costs.
“It’s a huge improvement.”