As a manufacturers rep agency covering Tennessee, Arkansas, and Northern Mississippi, John Moore & Associates (JMA) had been singing the praises of Universal Lighting Technologies’ DEMANDflex™ ballasts and DCL® control systems since they were first introduced to the market in 2008. And yet, the company was still using 400-watt metal halide ballasts at its 100,000 sq. ft. warehouse just outside of Nashville. Finally, in August 2010, they decided it was time to stop wasting money and start practicing what they were preaching.
“The cost of waiting is something too many people don’t take into account, and we fell into that same trap ourselves,” said Troy Jennings, owner of John Moore & Associates. “First, every month you wait is another month of paying too much on your power bill. And second, it’s another month that could have been part of your payback schedule. If we’d acted a year or two ago, this installation would have already paid for itself.”
Now, the JMA warehouse is a showcase for the company’s customers to see DCL technology in action. When you first walk in, you’ll notice that most of the fixtures are dark. But as you approach an aisle, motion sensors activate the DEMANDflex high-efficiency T5 ballast in each four-lamp fixture several yards before you reach it.
The T5HO fixtures with DEMANDflex ballasts provide more light—and in a wider area—than the old metal halide system. As a result there are fewer dark spots, making it much easier to read boxes located halfway between two fixtures. When the motion sensors haven’t detected anyone for 20 minutes, the fixture automatically shuts off.
“We couldn’t do motion sensors with metal halide because of the warm-up time,” said Jennings. “DEMANDflex ballasts switch on instantly. Plus, we’ve installed photocells around the dock doors for daylight harvesting. When the door is open and sunlight is pouring in, we don’t need the motion sensors triggering the ballasts in that area. Aisles that have skylights are also dimmed to take advantage of energy savings with the natural light.”
When the lamps are off, the energy savings is (of course) 100 percent. But even when they’re on, each fixture requires only half as much power as before (232 watts vs. 464 watts). With a total of 158 fixtures in the warehouse, the company is saving 35 kilowatts even if the entire facility is lit and every ballast is activated.
“Even without the motion sensors, we’ve cut our warehouse lighting consumption in half,” said Jennings. “Then when you walk into the warehouse and see most of the fixtures are off, you know they’re using zero watts.”
JMA selected a DCL control system because it is designed to communicate with DEMANDflex ballasts at the circuit level without the need for additional control wiring. This kept the overall cost of the retrofit project at a minimum, allowing for a short payback period. DCL technology is able to precisely adjust the power level of a DEMANDflex ballast anywhere from full power down to 50 percent, in addition to turning it off and on. DCL control systems make it simple to integrate occupancy sensors, daylight harvesting, or scheduling software that will automatically adjust power to the lighting fixtures at specific times during the day.
In addition to the energy savings, JMA wanted to bring DCL technology to its warehouse in order to experience the installation from a customer’s point of view, including filling out all ofthe paperwork necessary to receive power provider and EPACT incentives.
“There’s no substitute for experience,” said Jennings. “We know exactly what our customers can expect when installing DEMANDflex ballasts and DCL control systems. We’ve been through the process from start to finish, and now we’re reaping the rewards.”
For more information about Universal Lighting Technologies, visit www.unvlt.com.