Walgreens – the nation’s largest drugstore chain – is leading the movement to use LED lighting systems for cooler doors, sales floor, parking lot and pharmacy applications.
Walgreens Director of Energy and Sustainability Menno Enters explains, the tangible and measurable impact of LED lighting makes the eventual transition inevitable. “Approximately 25 percent of the total energy spend for all of Walgreens is on lighting,” said Enters. “So, it is easy to see why we want to be one of the first chains to make the switch to a smart lighting alternative.”
Enters targeted a 15,900-square-foot Walgreens store in Buffalo Grove, Illinois. The store was built in 1999 and was equipped with traditional fluorescent sales floor fixtures, and metal halide fixtures in the exterior soffits. Incandescent lighting was used in the coolers and freezers. Because of its size and age, the store was considered an ideal candidate for an LED retrofit.
Setting Retrofit Expectations
Throughout the sales floor, Walgreens installed the RT Series LED luminaires. Ideal for uplight and downlight retrofit applications, Z Series LED strip lights were installed in the vestibule for a long maintenance-free life. Additionally, Ecos™Square LED downlights from Gotham® were installed in the pharmacy for a more architectural appeal. Acculamp® PAR38 LED lamps were installed in track lighting throughout the facility. Walgreens also installed VAP ARCHWAY™ PASSAGE™ LED luminaires from Lithonia Lighting in the back stock room. On the building exterior, CSX LED luminaires were used for energy savings and quality illumination.
The lighting renovation was completed in several stages, allowing the store to remain open the entire time, and therefore, remaining productive during the retrofit installation.
Retrofit in Retrospect
Initial lighting renovation analysis confirms the LED retrofit is helping Walgreens reduce energy and maintenance costs.
“The Acuity Brands products are exceeding our expectations,” said Enters. “Regarding maintenance, we generally rely on a routine monthly service call to each store to assess and replace lighting, but with the LEDs, we have already shifted to an as-needed only service call basis, which to date, hasn’t been necessary. Our maintenance requirement dropped to nearly zero overnight.”
The LED retrofit installation has saved Walgreens on maintenance expenses and added to the aesthetic appeal of the store, while providing a more comfortable working environment for employees.