Honda auto dealer in Pasadena installs Cireon LED lighting with short payback

March 12, 2014
A rebate from Pasadena Water & Power and a federal tax deduction will enable Honda of Pasadena to achieve payback on an LED-lighting retrofit project in less than six months.

While LED lighting has overcome early issues with light quality, the cost of solid-state lighting (SSL) remains an issue for many businesses considering an energy saving retrofit. Cireon, however, has released details of a Pasadena, California project in which new LED lighting installed by energy-efficiency specialist SoCal Image LED will deliver return on investment (ROI) in just over five months. Pasadena Water & Power partnered on the project, providing a rebate to Honda of Pasadena and helping to enable the installation.

Auto lots appear to be moving rapidly to LED-based lighting. We recently covered a Durham, North Carolina project at Michael Jordan Nissan that used Cree products. Moreover, Cooper Lighting provided LED lighting for a Brunswick, Georgia project.

Still, the projects are expensive. Both a rebate and tax accounting came into play in the Pasadena auto dealer justifying the project. The Pasadena Water & Power rebate totaled $66,337. The dealer will realize a $54,000 federal tax deduction on the project.

"The gross cost of the retrofit was $155,000," said James Rankin II, general manager of SoCal Image LED. "The two combined rebates make the net cost of the retrofit approximately $34,000. In addition, the energy savings that the new system will provide to the dealership is just under $6,759/month, meaning that the lighting system will pay for itself in just over five months."

The project included installation of 121 of Cireon's Cascade luminaires. The company offers the products over a range of 26W to 318W with a variety of lumen packages and beam patterns. While Cireon has been involved in a number of high-profile projects, the ROI of the Pasadena project stands out.

"I've been working in the LED manufacturing business for many years and I have never worked on a project that will achieve this magnitude of ROI this quickly," said John Gilmore, national sales manager for Cireon. "The amount of energy reduction that was secured for Honda of Pasadena while simultaneously improving the quality of light at their location is truly special."

Other recent projects for Cireon include lighting of a parking garage at Universal CityWalk in Hollywood, California. That project also used the Cascade luminaires, with 75 145W fixtures replacing 290W metal halide (MH) lamps. And in the case of the Universal project, the lighting had to meet stringent light pollution regulations.

"Our competitors' sample installations weren't even close to adhering to the ordinance," said Jim Dilbeck, general manager of Cireon. "We combined our optics and a specific luminaire energy level to walk right up to the line of the ordinance without stepping over. This gave Universal the best possible lighting system that adhered to the required guidelines."