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A change in furniture showroom lighting saves energy

That nice furniture you look at on a showroom floor usually has light cast on it for effect – and those lights can be on 12 or more hours a day.

It represents another area in which going green can save money, plus have a better effect on the products being showcased in stores and warehouses across the country.

European Furniture Warehouse, a Chicago retail business that imports modern classic and contemporary European style furniture, is an example of a company that relies on precision lighting to highlight its products. The furniture importer recently replaced 1,030 75-watt halogen bulbs in their showroom floor with Energy Brite solid-state LED lights that use only 15 watts without sacrificing the quality of the lighting.

“We had heard about other businesses saving on energy costs by using LED lighting,” said Randy Racana, vice president of EuroFurniture. “We did the research and added up the potential savings. The decision to switch was simple, the math was very clear,”

EuroFurniture sought out the help of Go Green Technologies, a Schaumburg, Ill., company specializing in energy-reducing green technologies, to make the switch.

“We looked at the existing lighting of EuroFurniture and evaluated their needs,” says Ron Bender, vice president of Go Green Technologies. “We presented them with an LED alternative and showed them the benefits.”

Those benefits, and the math that was attractive to Racana, showed that over the course of a year, EuroFurniture would save nearly $30,000 or about 80 percent on energy costs.

But the new bulbs represented other savings.  Unlike halogens, the LED lights generate very little heat, so EuroFurniture is able to cut 15 percent of its air conditioning bill. With the 50,000-hour life expectancy of an LED, or about 11 years, halogen bulbs would need to be replaced nearly 20 times more than a single installed LED bulb.

The old halogens used a flood pattern, but the new LEDs have a 45-degree beam. “The spot-lighting is a much better way to showcase our furniture,” says Racana, “Rather than flooding the showroom, we are now displaying our furniture like pieces of art.”

Over time the furniture stands to benefit as well. Ultraviolet rays from halogen bulbs deteriorate artwork and furniture, while LED lights transmit no ultraviolet emissions. LED lighting also does not attract bugs. Some businesses install LED lighting in entryways just to keep buzzing insects from entering their establishments.


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