As part of the project, the City did a mock-up study of various LED lighting manufacturers, and two clear solutions emerged: Cree and Lutron. Together, they offered complementary pieces of the lighting and control picture to deliver an ideal solution for the Albuquerque Convention Center.
The Cree solution for the Convention Center Complex included the Cree CR Series architectural LED troffers, the CS14™ LED linear luminaire, and the CR6™, SR6™ and LR6™ LED downlights. Powered by Cree TrueWhite® Technology, these Cree LED fixtures provide an exclusive combination of industry-leading efficacy, exceptional quality of light and consistent color temperatures. The Cree® luminaires with the Lutron Ecosystem® control system not only provided significant reductions in energy and maintenance costs, but they added new dimension to the staff’s ability to sell the space.
According to Tony Gurule, the decision was “primarily based on the energy saved and the payback period in which we will recover the initial installation investment in cost savings on the operating side.” But lighting quality was important as well.
“The reason Cree was selected was the light output, the quality of light and fixtures, the warranty and how they interacted with Lutron in terms of controllability,” states Gurule. Light output was important. Not only did the fixtures make the space seem brighter, they were also more efficient.
With the Cree and Lutron LED lighting solution, the Albuquerque Convention Center now has the ability to tailor the lighting regardless of whether it’s a large event or a more intimate use of the space. Bright lighting for educational events can easily transition to dimmable lighting for weddings and quinceañeras. The controllable lights can now even be used to personalize the space with initials or a special message — a key differentiator when potential customers are evaluating venues.
The winning combination of quality lighting with the flexibility of controls allowed the Convention Center staff to improve already-popular spaces. According to Tom Curtis of Resource Lighting, "In all cases, it appears that the light levels are higher. We were replacing old T12 cool white lamps with 90+ CRI Cree TrueWhite® Technology. It’s truly amazing how much more of the building is usable now compared to before. The building seems much larger because of this.”