Corporate Responsibility

High-intensity fluorescent lighting retrofits cut energy usage by 60 percent at two Kimco shopping centers

Posted by: Will Teichman Will Teichman
on February 24, 2012

Kimco recently completed outdoor lighting retrofit projects at two of our shopping centers, Oakcreek Village in Durham, N.C., and Chatham Plaza in Savannah, Ga. Our goal was to improve the quality of nighttime lighting while also reducing energy expenses. The results were significant.

We evaluated a variety of lighting technologies for this project, seeking fixtures that would provide the best balance of light quality and energy efficiency. At Oakcreek Village, for example, we elected to replace 23 high-pressure sodium pole lights and over 60 under-canopy and wall pack lights with high-intensity fluorescent (HIF) fixtures.

HIF fixtures have robust fluorescent bulbs that can provide better color, a longer life, and more light output than some high-intensity discharge (HID) alternatives. HIF fixtures are energy efficient and have virtually no warm-up time.

HID technology includes mercury vapor, metal halide, and high-pressure sodium lamps. Both HIF and HID fixtures are typically used in large areas where high levels of light are required, including parking lots, warehouses, gymnasiums, sports stadiums, and gas stations.

HIF lighting is a relatively new technology for Kimco, and is one that we expect will gain traction in open-air retail centers over the coming years. There is a tremendous amount of innovation taking place across all lighting technologies, and we are excited about the prospects for fluorescents and others — since no one single technology is appropriate for all functional situations.

As a result of our retrofits, our electric usage is now down by roughly 60 percent at both centers, and the savings will easily pay for the upfront investment required for the projects.

These before and after pictures show some of the results of our lighting retrofits at Oakcreek Village:

The main parking field at Oakcreek Village at night. Note the dramatically whiter color on the right. Tenants at the shopping center have told us the light quality is significantly improved.

The main parking field at Oakcreek Village at night. Note the dramatically whiter color on the right. Tenants at the shopping center have told us the light quality is significantly improved.

One of 23 light poles in the Oakcreek Village parking lot during the day. We replaced all of the poles' aging high-pressure sodium fixtures with high-intensity fluorescent fixtures.

One of 23 light poles in the Oakcreek Village parking lot during the day. We replaced all of the poles' aging high-pressure sodium fixtures with high-intensity fluorescent fixtures.

Another view of the Oakcreek Village shopping center at night. This is taken standing at the front of the shopping center looking out across the main parking field with U.S. 15-501 in the background.

Another view of the Oakcreek Village shopping center at night. This is taken standing at the front of the shopping center looking out across the main parking field with U.S. 15-501 in the background.

Wall pack light at Oakcreek Village during the daytime. We replaced 12 aging metal halide wall packs at the rear and sides of the shopping center with a high-intensity fluorescent alternative.

Wall pack light at Oakcreek Village during the daytime. We replaced 12 aging metal halide wall packs at the rear and sides of the shopping center with a high-intensity fluorescent alternative.

Wall pack lights at Oakcreek Village at night. The new HIF fixtures provide more consistent light dispersion, dramatically reducing the spotlight effect shown on the left.

Wall pack lights at Oakcreek Village at night. The new HIF fixtures provide more consistent light dispersion, dramatically reducing the spotlight effect shown on the left.

These lighting retrofit pilots at Oakcreek Village and Chatham Plaza are part of Kimco’s larger sustainability program, which is focused on improving the environmental and economic performance of our properties. These retrofits fall under our Building Controls and Lighting programs within our sustainability program.

Our Building Controls Program focuses on delivering improved performance of lighting and other key building systems by remotely monitoring and managing run-times, equipment status, and maintenance needs. Kimco’s Lighting Program is focused on improving the efficiency and quality of common area lighting at our shopping centers.

Both of these programs are gaining speed, and we expect to bring them to dozens more properties within Kimco’s portfolio over the coming year.

2 COMMENTS

The new HIF lighting looks great. Are there any energy rebates, grants, or tax incentives available to work these upgrades into the budget sooner? We work with some groups that specialize in ROI optimization for energy efficiency upgrades.

February 27, 2012

Hi Ryan,
There are a number of rebates available in support of lighting and other energy efficiency projects. Incentives such as rebates differ by locale, and in the case of lighting are often driven by the local utility provider. Typically rebate programs are designed to incentivize those projects that could drive significant energy savings, but whose high upfront cost potentially place the financial returns beyond typical investment hurdles.

Will Teichman

March 5, 2012


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