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Acuity Brands posts firm LED growth as California adopts street luminaires

Acuity, the Atlanta-based manufacturer of lighting systems, posted positive third quarter gains as more municipalities look to efficient commercial lighting like the Acuity Autobahn street luminaire to lower utility costs.

Investor's Business Daily reported the CEO of Acuity, Vernon Nagel, said that growth in light emitting diode (LED) sales doubled in year-over-year comparisons in the third quarter, which fueled its overall earnings. Currently, LED product sales comprise 20 percent of Acuity's overall sales, a trend that is expected to increase as the company shifts its focus to high-growth product categories. This focus includes a greater emphasis on energy-efficient light bulbs, lighting controls and product renovations that are less dependent on new construction markets. According to Nagel, Acuity "meaningfully outperformed" the current North American lighting market growth rate, with sales topping $541.5 million – a gain of 11 percent and overshooting projections by more than $20 million.

"Third-party forecasts and leading indicators suggest the growth rate for the North American lighting market, which includes renovation and retrofit activity, will continue to be in the mid-single digits during the remainder of calendar 2013," Nagel added. He said Acuity has, thus far, not made any changes to its fourth quarter forecasts. As for their growth, Nagel attributes it to the lights. "We believe this is reflective of our strategy to aggressively introduce innovative and energy-efficient lighting solutions, expand in key channels and geographies, and enhance our customer service."

Street lights
In an effort to reduce energy consumption and maintenance costs that many municipalities across the country are also considering, the City of Chula Vista, Calif., recently purchased and installed an estimated 4,000 American Lighting Autobahn LED series roadway luminaires from Acuity Brands, Inc. 

"The Autobahn LED luminaires are aesthetically pleasing and they do the job," said Jim Filanc, director of business development for Southern Contracting, the California-based electrical construction contractor hired to install the LED fixtures. "And, the quality of the light is apparent."

Per the Darky Sky ordinance enforced in Chula Vista's neighbor, San Diego, the Autobahn LED series luminaires feature zero uplight, reducing light pollution and aiding the city to adhere to the mandate's requirements. Using photocell controls to eliminate day burning, the Autobahn LEDs operate 11 hours a day – approximately 4,150 hours per year – reducing the city's energy consumption by 45 percent. Chula Vista used a mix of 70-watt Autobahn ATB0 luminaires and 140-watt ATB2 series luminaires to replace 250-watt cobrahead fixtures and high pressure sodium lights.

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