The new department is the brainchild of Ian Senesac, who brings eight years of experience working with a national corporate sign company to the local, family-owned business based in Loveland, Colorado. Senesac contacted Schlosser Signs with the idea for a service team dedicated to evaluating the energy efficiency of customers’ existing signs and lighting, and performing retrofits to those fixtures to reduce energy costs by as much as 80 percent.
Schlosser’s new service team also offers expertise in taking advantage of regional rebate and incentive programs through local utility companies, which help to offset the initial cost of the retrofit upgrade.
LEDs (light emitting diodes) used to replace existing light sources are powered by just 12 volts, compared to traditional neon or fluorescent fixtures, which typically use between 120- and 15,000-volts. LEDs can be used in parking lot lamps, canopy lighting, cabinet signs, and more. An LED sign uses up to 40 percent less energy than other electronic signage.
Retrofitting a neon sign can lead to a 75 percent reduction in energy costs. While the initial cost of LEDs is more than the cost of older, less-efficient technologies, the differential is more than made up by the savings in electricity use over the lifespan of the fixture and the reduced level of maintenance required.
Traditional bulbs have a life span of about 20,000 hours, or about two and a half years. An LED, however, has a lifespan of 60,000 to 100,000 hours (or about 7 to 12 years). Because LEDs last longer, there are significant savings realized because they require less maintenance. This becomes especially important for places like parking lots, where changing burnt-out bulbs on tall pole lights can be a time-consuming and dangerous task. A car dealership can light their entire lot, display their merchandise under a more flattering spectrum, and save up to $30,000 a year on energy costs.
“Ian recently did an energy-efficient retrofit of the signs at my Fort Collins Perkins Restaurant & Bakery,” said Eric Spanier, managing member of Northern Colorado Pancake, LLC. “He recommended that I convert our signage from neon to LED. The project was seamless in every way from beginning to end. He even took care of the rebate paperwork, saved me $2,500 on the new lighting equipment, and $1,800/year in energy usage.
“The signs look like new again, and are much brighter.”
Customers considering retrofitting their signs can take advantage of rebates offered by regional utility companies to offset the initial cost of the retrofit. Programs like Platte River Power Authority’s (PRPA) LightenUP project provide funding for energy-efficient lighting retrofits at commercial and industrial facilities. LightenUP offers incentives on a first-come, first-served basis, to a maximum of $50,000 per customer per year. Rebates are offered as part of the growing clean energy movement along the Front Range and throughout Colorado, which has gained a national reputation for its commitment to converting inefficient energy technologies to solar, wind, LEDs, electric transportation, and more. The benefit is mutual, as customers save on their energy bills, and utility companies are able to put off building new plants by helping new and existing customers make more efficient use of the energy now being generated, making the capacity of the generating plants currently on line go much further.
To learn more about all of Schlosser Signs’ products and services, call 970/593-1334 or 888/309-5571 or visit www.schlossersigns.com.