Polich, an architect by trade who knows the lighting industry well, states: “The rest of the market couldn't come close to what Cree offered. Lighting on every project is always a challenge. With other manufacturers, it’s up to ten weeks to receive fixtures. With Cree, it was stocked and shipped. We were able to get the product quickly — that’s a huge thing that not everybody does.” Sheila Reed, Facilities Administrator at Grace Lutheran, seconds the opinion: “When I learned what the turnaround times were for most lighting products, I was appalled. It seems to be an industry issue and one that Cree appears to have a superior position in. When I was placing orders or making minor changes, everyone from Cree was patient, helpful and very service-oriented.”
The Cree luminaires offer a 10-year limited warranty, providing significant maintenance savings over the installation’s lifetime. As Reed says, “Historically, replacing bulbs was a very time-consuming and never-ending process. In the fellowship hall, we had fluorescent lights with ballasts and bulbs that would fail. It was constantly one light or another going out. We don’t have a highly technical staff, so when it was a ballast, I would have to call someone in, which adds cost and time. The beauty of the new Cree® lighting is that we’re not doing any maintenance.”
According to Polich, “The previous lighting was non-functional in terms of being able to show a movie or presentation, host a dinner or even have the room appear appealing.” The new Cree LED fixtures operate with a dimming system that provides better control and allows the congregation to adjust the light levels as usage requires.
The building committee, facilities staff and congregants are all thrilled with the new lighting. As Reed notes, “We have many members who volunteer around the facilities. Once they tried the new lighting system, saw the results and the zone control we were able to have, and heard about the energy savings and the fact that we won’t have to change bulbs, they were ecstatic. They loved it. The new lighting is getting a lot of good vibes from the congregants.”