Public Storage is the world's largest owner and operator of self-storage facilities with more than 2,000 unique company-owned locations. Its bright orange and purple box signs and pole signs help the company stand out, but with as many as eight signs at one property, Public Storage wanted to improve energy efficiency and reduce maintenance costs.
The company recently began replacing existing T12HO fluorescent lamps with GE's LED sign lighting solutions that are expected to save $1.9 million in combined energy and maintenance costs each year.
"We've had previous experience with other LED manufacturers, and a lot are now out of business. We wanted a stable company that would be here to be a partner for the longer term. GE Lighting is a pioneer in the industry and has an excellent reputation with quality, reliable LED systems," said Robbie Williams, vice president of facilities for Public Storage.
Public Storage initially considered switching to T8 fluorescent lamps, but chose to focus on LED sign lighting technology as pricing has become more competitive and light quality has improved. After meeting with several manufacturers and reviewing data on a number of LED products, Public Storage chose GE Tetra® PowerStrip LED sign lighting to replace the T12 fluorescent tubes in its single-sided and double-sided box signs at each of its more than 2,000 properties.
"Each property is unique. We have multiple buildings at each location that can be single-story or multi-story buildings, which has made it difficult to standardize lighting and has led to varied repair and maintenance costs throughout our portfolio," Williams said. "A third party maintains our LED signage lighting, which costs up to $1000 per year per location including energy and upkeep. We really needed to standardize lighting and maintain information in one database while reducing our costs."
Results & Benefits
Approximately 150 locations will be retrofitted this year with all properties completed in the next three to five years. Each property is expected to reduce sign lighting energy consumption by 73 percent, saving an average of $799 over five years—equating to $1.6 million over five years once all installations are complete (based on a $.11 kWh electricity rate and 10 hours of use per day).
With a 50,000-hour life rating—or the equivalent of more than 13 years at 10 hours of use per day—Williams anticipates even larger savings to come from reduced maintenance costs. She said the average lifespan for signage bulbs today is approximately three years, but that can vary by location because there hasn't been a single lighting standard to date. At an average cost of $500 to $800 per location per year for maintenance, Public Storage has the potential to save between $1 and $1.6 million annually.
"We now have one spec with GE Tetra PowerStrip so we will have standardized signage lighting across all locations and the ability to track warranties. When combined with long life and quality construction, we will greatly lower ongoing maintenance costs and maintain brand consistency by minimizing sign outages," added Williams.
The GE Tetra PowerStrip LED sign lighting system also offers easy installation through a low-voltage rail system that does not require the construction of sockets for mounting. The system can be cut for easy installation in retrofit signs of any size. The system delivers improved visual performance through OptiLens™—a patented optical lens technology that helps spread light across a wide viewing angle for uniform light distribution across the entire sign face.