And what a difference, by all accounts, the LEDs have made.
“Every time our Senior Manager for Food Safety and Warehouse Compliance walks in here,” Hale attests, “he says, ‘Man, this lighting is great.”
Jessica Whichard, the Food Bank’s Senior Manager of Communications, says her team is already taking advantage of the superior lighting to herald the new facility throughout the community.
“We’ve been shooting quite a few videos,” Whichard explains, “and the production teams have been really impressed with the lighting. The facility looks just phenomenal in the videos.
“This new lighting has allowed us to get our story out to the community in a much brighter fashion than we otherwise could have.”
Whichard adds that the Food Bank’s graphic designer has also taken full advantage of the new look by experimenting with paint colors and decals that are accentuated by the lighting. Those then make for interesting backdrops for volunteers to take pictures of their experience at the Food Bank to share on social media.
“That’s something we couldn’t do before,” Whichard says. “It’s allowed us to enhance our social media presence with quality images. It gives a great sense of who the Food Bank is.”
The LED lighting also provides an enhanced workspace for the volunteers who repackage and sort food items. “Coming here is a fun team-building activity for companies,” Hale says. “But at the same time, they’re working, and you’ve got to have good lighting to do it correctly. After all, we’re talking about food safety.
“Now when they’re reading a label, they don’t have to shine their cell phone flashlights on it.”
Another strong consideration in the renovation was energy savings – “Obviously, we wanted to be as frugal as possible given we are largely community-funded,” Hale affirms – and Cree has helped deliver in that regard. It’s estimated that the Food Bank will be saving 48 percent in energy costs compared to traditional lighting options. Meanwhile, thanks to the Cree lighting, it’s earning incentives from its utility company.
Ultimately, Hale says, “this lighting solution was an opportunity to install something that is not only more energy efficient but avoids maintenance issues. These lights will last quite a long time before anything at all needs to be done to them.
“They pay for themselves very quickly, and you’re trouble free for years to come.”
That’s a testament to a solid community investment.