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The Palms at Town & Country

 Kendall, FL  Outdoor lighting

A Cree LED Lighting® solution delivers energy and maintenance savings, and an enhanced shopping experience at night.


The Palms at Town & Country is an 80-acre, open-air, Mediterranean-themed shopping center located along the Florida Turnpike in the community of Kendall in Miami-Dade County. Owned by Weingarten Realty, one of the nation’s premier real estate investment trusts, The Palms at Town & Country features a wide range of retailers and a selection of restaurants that cater to the affluent customer with discretionary income.

In keeping with its corporate-wide GreenForward initiative – through which it embraces environmental responsibility as both an obligation and an opportunity – Weingarten Realty was eager to reduce energy consumption at The Palms at Town & Country. Switching to LED lighting for the parking lot was an obvious choice, and WLS Lighting Systems was tasked with the job.

Lower energy consumption means lower energy costs. By reducing the overall cost of shopping center operations, Weingarten could pass some savings along to its tenants.


Shopping centers across the nation are increasingly moving to LED technology for their exterior lighting, and Robby Rudasill, Vice President of Energy Services for WLS Lighting Systems, has been closely scrutinizing LED lighting providers and their products for several years.

“We really vet these products,” Rudasill says, “and since 2012, Cree has been our benchmark. We gauge all other providers against Cree.”

“We went to Weingarten,” he continues, “and said, ‘We have what we feel is a very good LED solution. We feel this is the best bang for your buck. You get a nice 10-year warranty. The energy savings are going to be fantastic. The output is likewise going to be fantastic. It’s a good-looking fixture. And Cree is a strong partner; they’re going to support their product.’

“They took our word on that.”

The Cree® solution Weingarten Realty selected to replace 1000-watt metal halide fixtures included (108) 413-watt OSQ High Output luminaries and (35) 215-watt OSQ™ Area luminaires. Installation began in late September of 2017 and was completed within two months.


The result is a resounding success.

Energy consumption was reduced by 83%, and maintenance costs dropped significantly. “We were able to remove 102 light poles and almost entirely eliminate pole maintenance,” attests Gina Fongyee, who manages The Palms at Town & Country for Weingarten. “That looks to be saving us perhaps as much as $3,000 a month.”

Rudasill is a huge fan of the OSQ™ High Output luminaire: “The technology of this platform is extremely advanced. It’s so easy to install, it’s an attractive fixture, and it’s efficient – saving our clients a lot of money.”

Fongyee echoes Rudasill on the ease of installation. She says the vendor, Riverside Electric, worked quickly and efficiently with little disruption to the shopping center’s daily flow. “It seemed like they were in and out in no time – no delays, no issues.”

And there have been no issues with the lighting since. Improved lighting uniformity also makes her job easier.

“From a property-management perspective,” she explains, “if I can see a pothole at night, it’s good light. With the metal halide fixtures we had before, you couldn’t see the details in the parking lot or around the site.”

The LED lighting also ensures heightened security. Fongyee says her clients are “extremely happy with how well-lit the parking lot is now. There used to be dark spots that are now completely illuminated. I’ve gotten comments from some women saying they feel safer.”

The next lighting project Weingarten will probably be looking into for The Palms at Town & Country is an upgrade for its under-canopy lighting. It’ll be no surprise if Cree is once again selected for the job.

“We continue to look at all options, just so we know that what we’re offering our customers is the best available product,” Rudasill says. “But at the end of the day, when we factor everything in, Cree has consistently been our customers’ best solution. We’ve had great success selling Cree products.”

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