LEDs Drive Headquarters Into High Gear

Energy-saving installation puts Porsches in a new light.

LED lighting from Forest Lighting provided the high-quality presentation required for Atlanta’s Porsche facility.

Porsche, with its unmatched international reputation for automotive engineering excellence, opened its new Atlanta facility in 2015. Known as the Porsche Experience Center (PEC), the facility is home to the company’s North American headquarters, business offices, a Porsche museum, sales office, test track, and public restaurant.

The PEC parking garage was originally fitted with fluorescent lighting, but it soon became clear to the facility-management team that since the lights are on 24/7, electricity use would exceed planned levels. Greencents (greencents.com), local experts in energy-saving lighting systems, was called in to partner on the project. The initial discussions centered on the garage lighting and the carwash bay adjacent to the garage. It was agreed that energy use in the garage needed to be significantly reduced, but the goal in the carwash was simply better lighting. The company is meticulous about the appearance of test vehicles as well as new vehicles about to be delivered to customers, and the current wash-bay lighting was not adequate.

The parking garage was originally fitted with fluorescent lighting, but since the lights are on 24/7, electricity use would quickly exceed planned levels.

LED lighting from Forest Lighting, Atlanta (forestlighting.com), was selected for the project. “When we installed new Forest LED lighting in the wash bay, the difference was instantly apparent,” said Trevor Smith, national sales director for Greencents. “At 6000 K, the new bright white LEDs allow car wash personnel to complete their task in one step, making sure there are no water spots or places that don’t sparkle.”

Porsche AG headquarters in Germany, as part of its international initiative to reduce its carbon footprint and save energy, supported this action plan. As part of the process to retrofit the garage lighting, Greencents began with an energy audit. The results were clear that the payback, even with a fairly low rate for power, would be very short. They looked at LED lighting options, and, again, Forest Lighting was the leading choice. The project team noted that while the old garage lighting was adequate, the new LED lamps provided a crisper, brighter light. The secondary benefit was maintenance savings, since the LEDs last 3 to 4 times longer than fluorescents. Changing out lamps in a 24/7 parking garage with among Porsches is a bit daunting, with no room for error. The LEDs would also solve that concern.

The company is meticulous about the appearance of test vehicles as well as new vehicles about to be delivered to customers, so excellent lighting is a priority.

Powers Electrical Solutions of Smyrna, GA, installed the LED lamps. “We’ve used Forest Lighting LEDs before, but no job this big,” said Paul Powers, president. “The install went very well and we got done on time, although my electricians had to be on the lookout for Porsches playing ‘Le Mans’ through the garage. There have been no callbacks since we completed it, which is so important in my business. The Forest Lighting T8 LED is a good looking, solid product, making it easy to sell, and the quality of light in the garage is clean and bright. It’s a great lamp.”

Because the parking garage is separately metered, Porsche management has the opportunity to prove the LED lighting retrofit is saving energy, and they are working now to identify the next opportunities to improve lighting and save more energy at the Atlanta facility.

“Forest Lighting and Greencents were great partners to work with on this project, and we know we can count on them in the future,” the Porsche facility team concluded.

“It was a successful team effort,” said Matt Russell, vice president of sales, Forest Lighting. “Porsche, Greencents, Powers, and I kept the lines of communications open, and we got it done. And as predicted, the result is a ‘win’ for all parties.”

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