Public Storage, a self-storage real estate investment trust, is expected to save up to $1.9 million in lighting costs annually after changing the way it illuminates its exterior signage. The company recently began replacing existing T12HO fluorescent lamps with GE Lighting’s LED sign-lighting solutions at its more than 2,000 locations, with as many as eight signs at each facility.
“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,” said Robbie Williams, the company’s vice president of facilities. “A third party maintains our LED signage lighting, which costs up to $1,000 per year per location including energy and upkeep. We really needed to standardize lighting and maintain information in one database while reducing our costs.”
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 its properties.
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 per property over five years (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 year for maintenance, Public Storage has the potential to save between $1 and $1.6 million in annual maintenance costs.
“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 offers installation through a low-voltage rail system that doesn’t require the construction of sockets for mounting. The system can be cut for installation in retrofit signs of any size. It delivers 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.
GE Lighting develops energy solutions for commercial, industrial, municipal and residential settings. The business employs more than 16,000 people in more than 100 countries, and sells products under several brand names including Energy Smart, Immersion, Lumination and Tetra.
Based in Glendale, Calif., Public Storage has interests in 2,056 self-storage facilities in 38 U.S. states with approximately 131 million net rentable square feet. Operating under the Shurgard brand name, the company also has 189 facilities in seven European countries with approximately 10 million net rentable square feet.