Top 50 Indie Highway Stops Retail is considering introducing LED lighting at more of its sites after a successful pilot at its Belgrave service station at Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.

Development director Tony Head said the company began investigating new lighting options because it was not satisfied with existing equipment.

He explained: “Light levels were too low, the colour was rather orangey and not great, and they seemed particularly inadequate in winter when it gets dark at 4pm. There was a clear health and safety issue to be addressed here, as well as a desire to create a more comfortable environment, especially at night.”

He said that the potential of the latest fixtures to achieve long-term cost-savings was another prompt behind the project. The was not only in energy efficiency but also maintenance, where every time a light went scaffolding had to be set up in the middle of the forecourt, which was costly, as well as being disruptive to customers and sales, and a safety challenge.

After meeting with a number suppliers, Highway Stops opted for Energys Group’s family of New Vision LED lamps for the replacement of legacy metal halide and SON lights. The New Vision LED SON replacements make it possible to deliver a retrofit solution.

Head said: “They carried out a full site survey and a risk assessment in advance – and so were able to demonstrate the quality of the products and identify a potential savings and payback period.”

The resulting installation at the Belgrave facility included the canopy area and car wash was estimated to pay for itself (including installation costs and a five-year warranty) in 10 months.

He added that the upgrade is paying off not only in financial terms but also in an overall improvement to the station environment that has been acknowledged by staff and customers.

“The quality of the light is much better – brighter and lighter,” said Head. “Indeed, we’ve received comments from women and elderly customers about how improved the lighting is. Additionally, the station is now more visible from a distance, allowing potential customers to see the facility from afar and make a decision in time to turn in to use the station.”

He added: “My perception of LEDs in the past had been that they were something of an ‘unknown’, but the project at Belgrave has successfully dissipated all of those doubts. For a start, Energys was eager to please and carried out the installation in just a few days – working around the station’s peak period and avoiding the rush hour completely. Then, since the installation, it’s become clear that the LEDs are comfortably outperforming the previous lighting.”

The energy efficient nature of the new fixtures also chimes with a focus by Highway Stops on sustainability, and further Energys deployments are under consideration.

“I am delighted by the impact that the new lighting has had at Belgrave, and I hope that in time it will be possible to go completely LED across all of our service stations,” concluded Head.

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