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Sentry Equipment

 Oconomowoc, WI  Indoor Lighting Outdoor lighting

Sentry Equipment Corporation chose Cree's Edge™ area luminaires to illuminate their 51,000-square-foot parking lot as part of the building's green design.


When 85-year-old, Wisconsin-based Sentry Equipment began the process of designing and constructing a new facility, it researched using high-efficiency LED lighting and discovered the tremendous payback these lights would provide. Because of his commitment to the environment and making prudent business decisions, the CEO of the company, Michael Farrell, set out to build the facility to meet green standards.


“We don’t want our energy use to add greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. So we’re measuring our impact and reducing where we can, such as using high efficiency lighting,” commented Farrell.

Working with design/build firm Opus North Corporation, several options were considered for the company’s outdoor illumination, including simply installing more high pressure sodium (HPS) fixtures. However, one of the challenges with other lighting technology is that 30 percent of all U.S. outdoor lighting is wastefully directed skyward. Since LED fixtures use dozens of individual LEDs, light control is managed via individual optics on each LED, making it inherently easier to prevent light pollution. Considerable attention was also given to the issues of spill light control and glare.

Farrell championed the building’s green design and challenged Opus to find technologically advanced solutions to accommodate his commitment to the environment. With this in mind, the team turned to Cree, a leading manufacturer of high-quality, specification-grade LED luminaires. Rob Ezerins, Senior Design Architect with Opus North Corporation, began working with the Cree team to determine appropriate luminaires for the 51,000-square-foot parking lot.


The Cree Edge™ area luminaire was chosen. One advantage Sentry is anticipating is the estimated 53 percent reduction in energy usage versus their former facility’s HPS lights. Farrell expects their energy bill will be slashed from $75,000 per year to $35,250 per year and virtually eliminate maintenance costs. Sentry Equipment also installed a remote mounted photo control system to further maximize energy savings. Because of the highly-efficient lumen output of the Cree Edge™ luminaire, one-third fewer fixtures were used than if more traditional lighting sources were installed.

“Working with Cree has been both a logical business decision and a responsible choice for the environment,” said Farrell. “I know we’re going to realize an excellent ROI on these lights. Their long life and virtually maintenance-free operation made it an easy choice.”

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