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Finding the light solutions with LED technology

LED lighting technology reduces energy consumption while creating a beautifully-lit selling environment, says Philip Fritz, product manager for LED retail display lighting, GE Lighting Solutions.

What trends are impacting retailers' refrigerated display and lighting decisions?
PHILIP FRITZ: A key issue that is driving change across the supermarket industry is increasing energy costs. Over the past few years, LED lighting technology has evolved to create tremendous energy savings compared to linear fluorescent. Now retailers have a powerful tool that they can use to combat rising energy costs.

The amount of energy consumed by an LED system is dramatically less than that of a traditional linear fluorescent system. From an energy savings perspective, our GE LED refrigerated display lighting systems can save a retailer between 60% and 80% in energy costs, depending on the linear fluorescent system that a company is currently using in their refrigerated cases.

Our LED refrigerated display lighting systems also offer a longer rated lifetime, lasting an average of 50,000 hours compared to the 10,000 to 20,000-hour lifetime of a typical linear fluorescent tube. This impressive long life helps reduce maintenance costs.

Beyond energy and maintenance savings, many retailers look to GE Lighting Solutions for a quality, reliable LED solution, especially as they remain focused on delivering a superior quality of light. GE Lighting Solutions is leading this category with a product that delivers a clear, uniformly lit viewing surface.

What are some of the challenges retailers are facing in this area?
The key challenge is determining whom to partner with. Not all LED systems are the same in terms of quality and reliability. At GE, our LED lighting systems are backed by our 100-plus years of experience in the lighting industry. We extensively test not only the LED Systems as a whole, but the individual LED components as well to offer reliable performance that grocers can trust for the long haul.

GE, for example, has more than 1 million LED light bars installed within vertical refrigerated cases in the marketplace. GE strives to be best in class from an energy point-of-view, as well as a quality of light standpoint. Our LED systems distribute bright, uniform light across case shelves so customers see an evenly-lit, non-glaring surface. To achieve this, we focus light on the food packaging, not the light bar. By hiding the light bar from view, our customers see only a beautifully lit viewing surface.

What are the key areas these lights improve at store-level?
There are two critical applications: the fi rst is vertical refrigerated display cases and the second is horizontal refrigerated cases. Our Immersion LED Refrigerated Display Lighting Systems address both of these displays. Our Immersion RV40 series supports vertical refrigerated display lighting applications, which illuminate products such as frozen foods. The Immersion RH10 series is designed for horizontal cases, which feature meat and dairy products, for example.
Discuss the role of GE's Immersion LED refrigerated display lighting innovations and why the line is popular among grocers.

GE's Immersion portfolio has been commercially available since 2005 and evolved over multiple generations, giving our team a deeper insight into customer needs for this application. GE is leading the revolution in LED refrigerated display lighting. Grocers considering LED solutions have pre-requisites, including signifi cant energy savings, high-quality light levels and a reliable, quality solution that reduces maintenance costs. They also want to improve their environmental responsibility, and GE has developed products that incorporate all of these needs.

How are grocers using the technology to differentiate themselves in the marketplace?
Many customers rely on lighting for advertising and displays, but they are still eager to decrease energy consumption and stay true to their commitment to environmental responsibility. At the core of these projects is creating a more attractive selling environment for their customers.

We work with our retail partners to understand their display needs, including color and size. To meet these varying needs, we offer multiple product lengths, as well as cool and warm color temperatures. Ultimately, Immersion LED Refrigerated Display Lighting Systems offer exceptional visual and financial performance to help retailers achieve a competitive advantage.