Auto Dealer Achieves All-LED Aspirations with GE’s Collection of Lighting Solutions
EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio — Dec. 12, 2013 — (NYSE:GE) — Can light travel at the speed of ambition? “Instantly!” is the answer at Mercedes-Benz of Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, where Collection Auto Group, with help from GE, is realizing its dream of the ultimate automotive dealership—an all-LED lighting facility inside and out that drives the client experience beyond expectations.
“Our goal was to build the greatest dealership in the world,” said Bernie Moreno, president. “We designed the building to be intuitive—there are lights that clearly guide you to each area. Every single lumen on the property is LED, from the post tops out front to the hanging fixtures in the showroom to the lights in the service bay. GE did more than deliver the products we needed—it found solutions to the obstacles we faced.”
Meet the Neighbors
“When Mercedes-Benz asked us to come into the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky market, everybody said this property couldn't become a car dealership,” recalled Moreno. “The residents had three concerns—lighting, lighting and lighting. We had to rally community support to rezone the area and it was important to make a positive first impression.”
The dealership uses GE Evolve™ LED Area Lights and Evolve™ LED Post Tops to illuminate its driveway and inventory. Advanced optics aim light precisely where it’s needed and away from neighbors’ yards adjacent to the property.
Added Moreno, “I’ve since received calls from several residents: ‘I love your lights!’ they all told me. We wouldn’t have been able to get the rezoning passed without GE’s fixtures.”
Cruising for Control
“Mercedes-Benz of Fort Mitchell also wanted to bring a new level of sophistication to its facility and optimize energy use based on client needs,” said Austin Ashe, regional sales manager for GE Lighting. “We provided intuitive touch screen lighting controls that allow the staff to easily customize settings whenever needed.”
Dimming and on/off scheduling of all indoor and outdoor LED fixtures is managed by GE’s LightSweep™ control system. Inside, GE’s Aware™ photo sensors also adjust light output automatically to changing daylight conditions while at night, Aware occupancy sensors keep lights turned down until movement is detected.
“People are blown away when they come in and see the amount of lighting and the control of the lighting—the way it doesn't overwhelm, the way it spreads and provides a natural color for everything throughout the dealership, inside and outside,” Moreno said.
Intelligent lighting controls also enable GE’s LED area lights to be dimmed to 10 percent lumen output between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., with each fixture using just 28.5 watts of electricity. For security, the lights instantly return to full brightness when motion sensors identify a vehicle entering the lot.
“Essentially what you have is a system that thinks about energy savings for every second of every day for you,” added Ashe.
Illuminating the dealership’s lavish showroom, inviting offices and captivating client areas, including a café, is a collection of GE’s fashionable Lumination™ LED Luminaires, from troffers that blend into the ceiling to linear bands of light integrated within it. Throughout the service center, suspended pendants and blade-like fixtures also help cut a striking aesthetic while simultaneously slashing costs along with an assortment of efficient GE LED PAR20 lamps.
Meanwhile GE Albeo™ LED High Bay fixtures deliver crisp, uniform light across the shop floor, detail bay and parts department, meaning mechanics won’t be left in the dark whether under the hood or in the pit—where LED lighting is also installed.
The world’s first all-LED Mercedes-Benz dealership further uses GE’s Evolve LED Garage Lights in an attached canopy and car wash, and Evolve LED Wall Packs to illuminate the building’s perimeter. GE’s Tetra® PowerGrid and LED Architectural lighting also adds visual appeal to signs among other decorative elements.
A comparison showed that Mercedes-Benz of Fort Mitchell will use about 40 percent less lighting energy with LED than with conventional technologies, saving $46,000 a year with the added benefit of less maintenance due to the long life of GE’s LED lighting. Project payback is projected at less than two years.
“When we looked at the energy savings we're getting, and that it’s really the right thing to do for the environment, it's just a win-win for everybody,” Moreno explained.
Saving Full Circle
When Collection Auto Group began updating its 14 Northeast Ohio locations with GE’s LED area lights nearly two years ago, Moreno still had doubts that soon became convictions in the bottom line benefits of LED lighting.
”When we converted our Cleveland operations, it was about improving the exterior lights,” he said. “Our concern was that we would see diminished performance. But nobody even noticed a difference in the lighting—that is until we got our electricity bill, and then we really noticed!”
“We've chosen to continue our relationship with GE for several reasons: They're the standard of the lighting world, and they're a great partner, so we've embarked on a process where every dealership we build going forward is going to be a 100 percent all-LED dealership, starting with this one.”
To learn more and to request a free lighting audit, visit www.gelighting.com/auto. To learn more about GE’s commitment to innovative solutions to today’s environmental challenges, visit www.ecomagination.com.
About Collection Auto Group
Collection Auto Group is a privately owned business composed of multiple automotive dealerships and an on-site performance center. Moreno and his staff have earned many recognitions from within the automotive industry, including: Mercedes-Benz "Best of the Best" Award 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011; #1 Mercedes-Benz Dealership in Ohio; #1 Mercedes-Benz Dealership in the Central USA; #1 McLaren SLR dealer in the world; #1 Porsche dealer in Ohio; #1 Porsche dealer in the Central USA; First German "Autohaus" designed Mercedes-Benz dealership in North America; and #1 Lotus dealer in Ohio. For more information, go to www.collectionautogroup.com.
About GE Lighting
GE Lighting invents with the vigor of its founder Thomas Edison to develop energy-efficient solutions that change the way people light their world in commercial, industrial, municipal and residential settings. The business employs about 14,000 people in more than 100 countries, and sells products under the Reveal® and Energy Smart® consumer brands, and Evolve™, GTx™, Immersion™, Infusion™, Lumination™, Albeo™ and Tetra® commercial brands, all trademarks of GE. General Electric (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter to build a world that works better. For more information, visit www.gelighting.com.