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5 Areas Food & Beverage Providers Can Save Energy with LEDs
Food and beverage (F&B) service providers have numerous benefits to gain through light-emitting diode (LED) application. Advanced controls such as LED dimmers can help restaurants create a comfortable ambience for patrons in the dining rooms. A specialty meat store may utilize more robust LEDs because of their ability to withstand harsh environments, such as freezers or cold storage areas. Processing facilities or food warehouses may want to use LEDs to improve visibility.
Regardless of the setting, F&B LED lights can keep production and workflow consistent, improve product quality, manage energy consumption, prevent health and safety risks, and reduce expenses for the long term.
LED benefits for Food & Beverage
LEDs' scalability and integration across numerous food service settings can help businesses save money on energy and drive improved productivity. Because of their energy efficiency, LEDs help facilities reduce operational expense and energy consumption. Their capabilities can also help food service providers address the different challenges they face. Some of the areas that can benefit from F&B LED lights include:
- Warehouses: Businesses can replace interior high-intensity discharge (HID) or fluorescent high-bay and low-bay fixtures with LED lighting to achieve consistent and reliable high-quality white light.2 Warehouses can take this step to improve visibility and add to safer working conditions.
- Grocery stores: Better external signage can help generate additional revenues and profits. Innovative LED lighting retrofits and installations can also bring in more customers and save money due to lower maintenance costs. For example, by switching from incandescent exit signs to LED exit signs, the lighting product lifespan can increase from 750-1,000 hours to 7,500-10,000 hours.3
- Food processing centers: LED lights can provide consistent illumination for measurement and sorting systems in food processing plants. Such facilities can implement LED lighting to maximize throughput on production lines and reduce blind spots in critical areas. LED-based sorting systems, for example, can be used to detect defects in food products and reject food that does not meet required standards.
- Dining establishments: Color rendering, LED dimmers and controls allow restaurants to better control the brightness and color scheme of an area to set a pleasurable atmosphere for patrons. Using such restaurant lights also helps businesses reduce energy where it is not needed, which helps save operational expenses.
- Freezers and cold storage areas: LEDs that feature a robust design can be a great solution for food storage areas or distribution coolers where withstanding hot or cold temperatures is key.
Continuous energy reduction
Initiatives such as demand response programs from PG&E provide food service providers the additional tools to meet their requirements of LED lighting retrofits and installations. Customers who voluntarily reduce their energy use during peak demand events can be rewarded with incentives that can be used to help fund an LED lighting project. The program also suggests additional ways F&B service providers can reduce energy consumption:4
- Turn off all non-essential indoor/outdoor lighting, signage, window displays and office equipment when not in use.
- Turn off all decorative features when not in use, such as fountains, lighting, and ambient audio and video displays.
- Pre-cool work areas, then cycling constant air volume and using programmable thermostats to reduce heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) energy usage.
For more tips to reduce energy consumption caused by inefficient lighting, or to take your lighting application to the next phase, download the "How to Get the Best Results from a Lighting or HVAC Project" eBook from PG&E. Learn what rebates and programs can help you replace traditional lighting with innovative LEDs today to lower operational expenses and achieve immediate savings and energy efficiency for the long term.
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