Can light travel at the speed of ambition? "Instantly!" is the answer at Mercedes-Benz of Fort Mitchell, Ky. , where Collection Auto Group , with help from GE, is realizing its dream of the ultimate automotive dealership—an all-LED lighting facility that drives the client experience beyond expectations.
"Our goal was to build the greatest dealership in the world," said Collection Auto Group president Bernie Moreno. "At the first meeting our neighbors brought up three concerns—lights, lights and then, lights. GE flew somebody out and he went through the entire dealership, making sure that every single lumen was optimized: What was the appropriate dimming level? When should that dimming occur? Do you have an even spread of the lighting?
"You fast forward and now the comment is, 'We can't believe how great the lights are!' so it's really been a true testimony to the power of LEDs when it comes to community acceptance, which is just fantastic.
"GE did more than deliver the products we needed—it found solutions to the obstacles we faced."
Mercedes-Benz of Fort Mitchell uses GE's Evolve™ LED Area Lights and Evolve™ LED Post Tops to illuminate its driveway and inventory. Advanced optics aim light precisely where it's needed and away from neighbors' yards. Intelligent controls also allow the LED area lights to be dimmed to 10 percent lumen output between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., with each fixture using just 28.5 watts of electricity. For security, the lights instantly return to full brightness when motion sensors identify a vehicle entering the lot.
Decorating the dealership's showroom, offices and client areas are fashionable Lumination™ LED Luminaires , from troffers that blend into the ceiling to linear bands of light integrated within it. Meanwhile, Albeo™ LED High Bay fixtures deliver crisp, uniform illumination across the shop floor, detail bay and parts department.
The world's first all-LED Mercedes-Benz dealership also uses Evolve LED Garage Lights in an attached canopy and car wash, and Evolve LED Wall Packs to illuminate the building's perimeter, as well as Tetra® PowerGrid and LED Architectural lighting to add visual appeal to signs and other decorative
Results & Benefits
Mercedes-Benz of Fort Mitchell will use about 40 percent less lighting energy with LED than with conventional technologies, saving $46,000 a year with the added benefit of less maintenance due to the long life of GE's LED lighting. Project payback is projected at less than two years.
"Our customer also wanted to add a new level of sophistication to its facility and optimize energy use based on client needs. We provided intuitive touch screen lighting controls that allow the staff to easily customize settings whenever needed," said Austin Ashe, regional sales manager for GE Lighting.
Dimming and on/off scheduling of all indoor LED fixtures and outdoor LED area lights is managed by GE's LightSweep™ control system . Inside, GE's Aware™ photo sensors also adjust light output automatically to changing daylight conditions while at night, Aware occupancy sensors keep lights turned down until movement is detected.
"Essentially what you have is a system that thinks about energy savings every second of every day for you," Ashe said.
Added Moreno, “People are blown away when they come in and see the amount of lighting and the control of the lighting—the way it doesn't overwhelm, the way it spreads and provides a natural color for everything throughout the dealership, inside and outside.
"We've chosen to continue our relationship with GE for several reasons: They're the standard of the lighting world, and they're a great partner, so we've embarked on a process where every dealership we build going forward is going to be a 100 percent all-LED dealership, starting with this one."