Paving the Way for LED Technology – The Palace Pier
By: Ashley McDonald
In 2008 the Palace Pier Condominium, a multi-residendential high-rise building situated on Etobicoke’s waterfront, embarked on a mission to make their building more energy efficient. Among air conditioner and chiller upgrades they decided to look into new lighting technology. According to the RDH Group, a typical multi-unit residential building can use as much as 21% of annual electricity for common area lighting. Replacing the existing energy-hungry incandescent corridor lights, with more efficient LED lights appeared to be a good starting point for the sustainable upgrades. The Palace Pier contacted CRS Electronics, who provide cutting edge LED lighting solutions.
Palace Pier Maintain their Standards for Luxury with Energy Efficient Lighting
The lighting upgrade at the Palace Pier was the largest interior LED retrofit in North America and took place two years before LED technology became prominent in the market. When asked what factor led to the decision to use LEDs for the upgrade of the corridor lighting Jim Lord, President of the Palace Pier Board, said “We looked at; how can we be best in class? … LED looks like it’s going to be the one of the future.” Their decision-making criteria included; energy savings and waste reduction, cost of the product and payback, and product quality.
Over 1,300 bulbs were replaced in the 47 storey corridors of the Palace Pier. By opting to replace the existing 35watt fixtures with 4.5watt LED bulbs they realized over 75% energy savings and a total of 340,000kilowatts saved annually. This huge reduction in annual electricity use has quite the impact the bottom line.
In addition to the decrease in energy use, the Palace Pier was interested in addressing the costs of maintenance and waste. The existing bulbs had a life span of less than 2,000 hours (approximately 4.5 months). The LED technology, provided by CRS, lasts over 45,000 hours (roughly 5 years), which means the bulbs that were installed in 2008 will continue to shine brightly until 2013. The increased lifespan will save over 25,000 bulbs from landfill over the 5 year period and Jim commented that this will greatly reduce costs associated with waste as the City of Toronto charges for all waste collection.
Over 5 years, the lighting upgrade in the corridors of the Palace Pier will ultimately result in cost savings of $180,000, through reduced energy use and elimination of maintenance and waste. Despite the premium price for the technology in 2008, the observed payback has been just over 1 year. This lighting retrofit has been a model of success to inspire other building owners.
Finding the Right Product for the Palace Pier
Throughout the process of choosing the right bulb for the Palace Pier, Jim said CRS was “customizing things, changing things, tweaking things to our suggestions. It was a very interactive process and they very much listened to feedback from [us].” Jim’s goal was to find a lighting solution that would add to the feel of luxury the condominium had to offer, while achieving the energy savings that the technology had to offer. CRS adjusted their product to suit the specific needs of the Palace Pier; “find a cost saving lighting solution that didn’t compromise the look of the corridors”. Jim worked with the designers at CRS to create a bulb that would “punch out the patterns and colours” of the carpeting and walls, while maintaining low energy use and maintenance. The results at the Palace Pier are clear, the corridors have the feel of luxury, electricity use for their lighting has decreased by 75%, and the LED technology requires little maintenance.
The LED retrofit initiative at the Palace Pier is an example of a viable economic and sustainable solution. Investing in a high quality product can provide reliable cost savings in the short as well as the long-term, while helping to lessen your company’s impacts on the environment. For more information on LED technology and its current place in the market see: Saving Energy with LED Lighting
CRS Electronics is a Canadian designer and manufacturer of lighting technology, specializing in LED solutions. They have created reliable and efficient product lines, recognized by federal authorities, such as the U.S. Department of Energy’s recognition in 2010 for going above and beyond LED practices to improve technology and produce a high quality product. CRS has developed an online LED Cost Saving Calculator, have a look to see how your business can benefit from LED lighting.
By Ashley MacDonald – special to Monster Commercial