The LED lighting was installed in stages over the course of about a month, and Gabbara says the comparison of a newly lit section against one with the previous lighting was striking: “It looked like the difference between a bright sunny day and an overcast day – it was that significant.”
Szott Ford keeps evening hours two days a week, and those hours are typically the busiest of the week. “We’re doing a lot of business under those lights,” Gabbara says. Then, after those business hours, a controller allows them to dim the lights down to, perhaps, 10 percent. Motion sensors bring them back up to full power. The dealership is thereby enhancing security while saving energy.
In sum, Gabbara says, because of the optics, the lights can be directed as needed. “It’s not like doubling the light; it’s more like quintupling it.” Moreover, the dealership is avoiding the hassle of having to regularly swap out bulbs, projecting to save hundreds of dollars a year in maintenance. Estimated payback for the Cree LED lighting solution is 2.3 years.
“I’m very pleased,” Szott concludes. “The color looks great from the highway; it looks great underneath. It’s more uniform. And you can definitely better appreciate the colors of the cars. We certainly have gotten better light out there. And that’s good for business.”