Trade Ally Network Northwest

Controls help business park reduce costs, add flexibility

Case Studies |

Seattle’s South Lander Business Park boasts a variety of tenants from small offices to large warehouses – all with differing lighting needs that may change over time. Starting in 2016, the owners knew they needed to upgrade their outdated fluorescent lighting to something more adaptable, flexible and cost-effective. The answer? LED fixtures with luminaire level lighting controls (LLLCs).

After first learning about LLLCs, the executive team at the 50,000 square foot South Lander decided to test out the technology in some of its smaller tenant spaces. With embedded sensors in each LED fixture, LLLCs offer innovative control strategies that provide maximum energy savings, easy installation and maintenance and flexibility in space utilization.

With the help of Seattle City Light and their energy efficiency incentives to offset the cost of LLLC projects, South Lander installed the Cree SmartCast LLLC system in several 2,000- 3,000 square foot tenant spaces and the Philips EasySense LLLC system in a 30,000 square foot space occupied by BNSF. These installations revealed both owner and tenant could reap benefits from energy savings to reduced maintenance costs – for essentially just the added cost of a sensor.

For the South Lander owners, installing an LLLC system meant they didn’t have to worry about time intensive and costly wiring in the event a tenant’s lighting needs changed, or a tenant moved out. The owners worked with contractor Re-Lite LED to make installation even simpler.

“With just a phone app, I can now reconfigure the lighting in a space, which gives us way more flexibility for switching things over when a tenant moves out,” said South Lander Business Park Owner Joe Mitter.

Largest Tenant Makes the Switch

After successfully using LLLC in several of its spaces, South Lander helped BNSF, its largest tenant, make the switch. According to Mitter, BNSF has nearly 30,000 sq. ft. of space across two buildings and has unique tenant needs: they regularly change over their spaces for different uses, and employees have varying lighting preferences throughout various offices and conferences rooms.

With LLLCs, the building owner has addressed all of those challenges – including the ability to create lighting zones in their warehouse so they don’t have to turn on lights in all 5,000 sq. ft. at once. In terms of energy savings, BNSF and the business park’s other tenants have significantly cut their utility bills – for many, the system now pays for itself with energy costs lower than the monthly costs of the system. And, they’ve eliminated maintenance and ballast replacement costs. In just the first year alone, BNSF has saved $7,500 on its utility bills.

“In almost all cases, I would tell people to spend the extra amount for controls because they give you so much future flexibility. We’re future-proofing our lighting for the next 15-20 years,” observed Mitter. “The maintenance savings are just as great as the energy savings.”

Case study provided courtesy of BetterBricks