10 January 2011

Cree’s LED downlights installed in Denny’s restaurants across US

LED lights from Cree Inc of Durham, NC, USA have been chosen by Denny’s Corp, America’s largest full-service family restaurant chain, as the preferred lighting standard for all its new and remodeled stores across the USA. Cree’s LR6 six-inch downlights are being specified in various applications, including dining areas and restrooms in all newly constructed and converted facilities.

“We evaluated numerous LED light fixtures from a variety of manufacturers to ensure that we chose the best possible product and partner for this major lighting specification,” explains Mitch Riese, corporate architect, senior manager of design & construction at Denny’s. “With the Cree LR6 fixture, we found the best value for our money, helping us deliver beautiful, warm light, while significantly reducing our energy consumption and maintenance requirements.”

Pete LaBarre, a Denny’s franchisee in Colorado Springs, CO, has already installed more than 400 Cree LR6 downlights in the dining rooms of his five restaurants, saving about $15,500 per year in energy costs alone. LaBarre has hence decided to use the six-inch LED downlights in other applications, including replacing 500 fluorescent bulbs and tubes with 200 Cree LR6 fixtures illuminating the perimeter of each restaurant. “Our lights stay on all the time, so we did a watt comparison of what we had in place before the LR6 downlights,” says LaBarre. “We found that we used 6000kW-hrs less per month in the store that had the Cree fixtures versus the store that had the fluorescent lighting.”

Another early adopter is Joey Terrell, a Denny’s franchisee in Illinois, who opened his second restaurant in Joliet (a suburb of Chicago) in 2009. Built according to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standards, the Joliet Denny’s includes a combination of natural lighting and Cree LR6 LED downlights to reduce the restaurant’s lighting load. According to Terrell, this lighting design reduced lighting costs by 83%, and the electricity bill is now about $1000 per month instead of the expected $2100 per month based on the average costs for his location in Mokena, IL. “Restaurants use 285% more utilities than the average commercial building,” says Terrell. “The easiest way to reduce these costs and improve energy-efficiency is to switch from traditional fluorescents to daylighting and LEDs,” he adds.

“Denny’s is a great example for any restaurant chain looking to become more energy-efficient,” claims Craig Lofton, Cree LED Lighting VP of sales.

Tags: Cree LEDs LR6 downlights

Visit: www.cree.com

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