WearGuard-Crest, a division of ARAMARK, set an ambitious goal: to replace all the lighting fixtures throughout 280,000 square feet of office, manufacturing, and retail space at its headquarters in Norwell, Massachusetts, just south of Boston. Furthermore, the company wanted the project to pay for itself in energy savings.
J&R Wiring, Inc., took up the challenge. After researching the most advanced lighting control systems on the market today, J&R Wiring identified the one technology with the most powerful return on investment (ROI)—DCL® (Demand Control Lighting) from Universal Lighting Technologies.
Only DCL technology can reduce power to lighting ballasts as much as 50 percent without the need to install expensive control wiring. The DCL Control System can be operated manually or automated for “set it and forget it” simplicity. The control system communicates with the ballasts at the circuit level. Each lighting circuit can be controlled individually for zone programming. By eliminating the need for extra wiring, DCL technology is simple to install in retrofit projects or new construction.
After identifying DCL as the ideal solution, J&R Wiring worked with Universal Lighting Technologies to design an automated lighting control program that would optimize energy savings throughout the WearGuard-Crest facility. Lighting fixtures in the office, lobby, and hallway areas would be divided into eight zones with photocells for daylight harvesting between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. In addition, the entire facility would be controlled by scheduling software so that lights would automatically adjust to 50-percent power at 6:00 p.m. for cleaning crews and then zero percent at 11:00 p.m. Under this plan, J&R Wiring projected an energy savings of 539,531 kilowatt-hours, which represents a 45 percent reduction in power being consumed by the facility’s lighting fixtures. Next, J&R Wiring approached the local electric utility, National Grid, to discuss possible incentives for WearGuard. Through its Energy Initiative program, National Grid provides incentives for energy efficient retrofits for its commercial and industrial customers. For this project, National Grid performed an independent review of DCL technology and its benefits for WearGuard-Crest and provided significant incentives. Another advantage to WearGuard-Crest was that DCL allowed them to participate in National Grid’s Demand Response Program. Although no longer offered, this program gave National Grid the ability to request that participating companies voluntarily slash their demand by a set percent when the local electrical grid is approaching capacity.
This is occasionally necessary during peak hours for energy use, which is—not coincidentally—when electricity rates are at their highest. Cutting energy use during peak hour rates is a significant source of financial savings for companies with high energy bills. These savings are simple to achieve with DCL technology whether or not the company is part of a Demand Response Program.
In Sept. 2008, the installation began. First, J&R Wiring replaced the facility’s outdated lighting equipment with DEMANDflex™ ballasts from Universal Lighting Technologies. These high-efficiency T8 ballasts can be individually “tuned” by the installer to the appropriate power level (ballast factor) in order to ensure just the right amount of light for the application. This helps eliminate overlighting and wasting energy.
According to J&R Wiring President Jim Killian, the DEMANDflex ballasts at WearGuard-Crest were tuned ten to 20 percent below full power during installation for immediate energy savings even before the DCL Control System was installed.
Installation of the DCL Control System began in January 2009. The daylight harvesting zones and automated scheduling software have performed exactly as demanded.
“The installation went off without a hitch,” said Chris Hart, senior electrician for WearGuard-Crest. “This is a powerful front-end control system that is also extremely economical.”
Once WearGuard-Crest has recouped its investment in DCL technology, the energy savings will continue to compile month after month.
“Daylight harvesting is knocking down power consumption significantly,” said Killian. “And I’m impressed with the extremely subtle and extremely smooth changes in lighting.”
National Grid encourages its other customers to aggressively investigate the power of energy-saving lighting technologies, especially “whole-building” solutions such as DCL technology.
“Addressable lighting control systems like this one have a lot of potential for energy savings and carbon footprint reductions,” said Thomas Coughlin, commercial/industrial lighting program manager for National Grid. “We’ve had a very good experience,” said Killian. “I’m very happy with the product overall.”
ARAMARK is a leader in professional services, providing award-winning food services, facilities management, and uniform and career apparel to healthcare institutions, universities and school districts, stadiums and arenas, and businesses in 22 countries around the world.
With more than 500 employees at its facilities in Norwell, WearGuard-Crest has been America’s premier direct mail retailer of work clothes and personalized uniforms for almost 50 years.
For more information about Universal Lighting Technologies, visit www.unvlt.com.