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Walgreens turns to LED lighting in Illinois store to improve energy costs, customer satisfaction

In looking to improve shopping experiences for their customers and reduce energy usage, Walgreens has refitted its Buffalo Grove, Ill. store with LED lighting systems from Acuity Brands.

Previously using traditional fluorescent fixtures on its sales floor and metal halide fixtures on its external lighting outfits, the company installed RT Series LED luminaries from Lithonia Lighting throughout the sales floor in its 15,900 square-foot building.

LED strip lights were installed in its entrance hall, while LED downlights were chosen for its pharmacy. Track lighting was secured using PAR38 LED lamps from Acculamp, while additional luminaries were used in the back stock room and on the building exterior.

Twenty-five percent of Walgreens' total energy costs are derived from lighting, according to the company's director of energy and sustainability, Menno Enters.

"The Acuity Brands products are exceeding our expectations," he said. "As we fine tune our lighting design using LED fixtures, we will be able to reduce energy consumption even further and create a more visually appealing environment."

Reducing energy and maintenance costs alike
Not only will the light replacements help the company save on energy, but Walgreens has also reported a reduction in maintenance costs. The refitted Buffalo Grove store's service calls have dropped from a monthly basis to only as needed.

The LED lighting also improves the store's environment, as the new lighting can give customers a more comfortable experience, according to Enters.

"It is a very natural light that reduces eye strain for customers and employees alike," he said

The lighting retrofitting project comes as Walgreens aims to create more energy efficient stores, according to The New York Times. In creating what they call a "net zero energy store" north of Chicago in Evanston, Ill. that produces more energy than it takes in, the company has began to follow a plan to reduce energy use 20 percent by 2020 across all of its more than 8,000 stores.

LED lighting and green lighting systems are part of the store's strategy.

LED savings compared to traditional lighting
LED lamps consume only one-fourth as much energy as incandescent lamps, according to tech reports from the Department of Energy, and the bulbs are expected to further decrease energy usage by half of their current total by 2015.

Further, energy savings in 2012 from nine separate lighting applications studied found that LED lighting created an energy cost savings of about $675 million, and if all studied groups of lights switched to LEDs, the energy cost savings could grow to $37 billion.

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