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Every little helps

The installation of LED freezer lighting across the Tesco UK estate is resulting in claimed carbon savings of around one tonne a year for each cabinet. RAC reports

Philips Electronics has installed its Affinium LED freezer lighting system across Tesco’s store estate, leading to major energy savings. The bespoke installation is the largest roll-out of its kind to date in the world, with Philips replacing the interior fluorescent lighting of the supermarket’s freezer cabinet estate in more than 750 stores.

The manufacturer says the project has reduced Tesco’s freezer lighting energy by around 60 per cent, while ensuring excellent light quality across the cabinets.

The retailer says the switchover worked on both aesthetic and economic grounds. “We chose the Philips Affinium lighting solution because it clearly addresses our current business needs,” said a Tesco spokesman. “Given the current challenging economic backdrop, the LED solution not only makes significant inroads in
reducing our operating costs, but it achieves this while supporting our own commitment to provide customers with a better place to shop.”

Philips is sufficiently confident in the product that the Affinium system has been designated a Green Flagship product, which the company awards to products that have been independently measured as the best environmental choice in their market.

It says: “Retailers clearly need their lighting to work hard for them, showing a return not only in terms of increased business, but also in increased bottom line profitability through reduced running costs. In simple terms, they want better lighting that costs less.”

The manufacturer says the improved illumination of the goods on display was achieved by integrating Affinium modules within the side panels of the freezer doors and the upper edge of the internal cabinet, giving all-round light distribution.

“Good quality lighting, together with consistent uniformity of light, provides a professional appearance in line with brand values and company image,” says Philips. “Tesco was impressed with the potential cost savings, a fact reinforced by the fact that they do not come at the expense of reliability and longevity, which are clearly important in the retail environment. The Affinium freezer modules will offer Tesco virtually zero maintenance.”

The LED installation will also assist in the retailer’s targets to halve carbon emissions in its existing stores by 2020 - energy savings per freezer are estimated to
equate to more than one tonne of CO2 per freezer per year. This calculation is based on replacing typically 80 W/door fluorescent lighting with an average 20 W of LED lighting, thus reducing the input power of a five-door freezer from lighting from 400 W to 104 W.

The lamps are switched on for 100 hours a week, consuming 1.5 kWh. The additional savings are as a result of the fact that if heat is not put into the freezer, the condenser needs to work less hard to extract it.

Philips says the environmental benefits of the unit are further enhanced by its long life. “Each Affinium LED module is expected to have a useful life of up to six years in store. In comparison, fluorescent lamps are affected by factors such as continuous opening and closing of cabinet doors, and do not particularly like the freezer temperature environment, which curtails useful life down to just 6 to 12 months in practice.”

Maintenance is also an important factor, the company says: “Heavy usage sometimes means fluorescent lamps become broken inside the freezer. But the Affinium LED solution means that spoilage of frozen foods and risk to customers of being exposed to glass fragments is also eliminated.

Obviously, store image is
important, and any downtime in
freezer lighting or opening hours
caused by maintenance issues is
potentially disruptive for customers and, ultimately, affects the retailer’s turnover.

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