Echelon’s Lumewave outdoor lighting control solutions can help dealerships balance their desire to have bright, shiny, sparkling cars with their need for energy efficiency, safety, and security.

There are approximately 18,000 automobile dealerships in North America, plus another 3,000 truck dealerships.

These dealerships represent a specialized outdoor lighting use case in which the parking lot is also the showroom. Echelon’s Lumewave outdoor lighting control solutions can help dealerships balance their desire to have bright, shiny, sparkling cars with their need for energy efficiency, safety, and security.

The Challenge

Cars for sale and dynamic lighting go hand in hand. Displaying automobiles in their best light can affect sales, revenues, and competitiveness for auto dealers, which maintain notoriously low profit margins averaging only about 2.2%. In essence, the right lighting sells more cars. Auto dealerships are typically located in high-traffic areas, with bright lights atop tall poles illuminating the cars to make sure that people—including potential buyers—can see the vehicles. For security and safety reasons, dealerships prefer not to have very dark areas in their lots. At the same time, they need to make sure that their bright lights aren’t disturbing the businesses and residents in their vicinity. Powering the lights consumes large amounts of energy—averaging more than $110,000 per year per dealership, for a cumulative expenditure of $2.3 billion annually in energy costs. More than half of that energy usage is devoted to lighting. Dealerships need to find a happy equilibrium between attractive, secure, neighbor friendly illumination and reduced energy costs.

Many auto dealerships are replacing their existing outdoor lighting with LED luminaires, which can reduce energy costs as much as 50%. The adoption of LED technology also makes it possible for them to add control systems, which can yield another 35%+ of energy savings, or more, through adaptive lighting options.

The Solution

Many auto dealerships are replacing their existing outdoor lighting with LED luminaires, which can reduce energy costs as much as 50%. The adoption of LED technology also makes it possible for them to add control systems, which can yield another 35%+ of energy savings, or more, through adaptive lighting options.

Lumewave by Echelon wireless controls enable lighting levels to be varied based on:

  • Grouping and schedules
  • Sunlight levels (via photocells)
  • Time of day
  • Variable high-end 0-10 volt output
  • Direct motion detector input—enabling adaptive control, unified group operation, or control based on direction of travel of either pedestrians or vehicles

The Lumewave TOP900 module, mounted externally on individual light fixtures or pole caps, provides tremendous flexibility in adaptive lighting options.

For example, a typical dealership lighting schedule could be as follows:

  • At sundown, all lights turns on to high (100%) output.
  • At 10 p.m., all front lot and building lighting dims to 70%; back lot lighting dims to 30% output with motion detectors enabled.
  • At midnight, lighting near the showroom building dims to 40% and front lots dim to 30% output.
  • One hour before sunrise or at prime drive time, all front lot lighting goes back to full output.
  • At sunrise or at the owner’s preferred time, all lighting automatically turns off.

In addition, the Lumewave control system can use data from motion detectors to selectively and automatically brighten lighting to full levels when any movement is detected in the vicinity of the sensors.

The Lumewave LumeStar software features simple setup, scheduling, commissioning, and programming. Dealerships can confirm their energy savings via daily reports of energy use (via revenue-grade metering) and fixture health. Performance history can also be used for predictive maintenance and system tuning.

The Results

By installing Lumewave by Echelon wireless control technology for their outdoor LED lighting systems, auto dealerships can expect results that could include the following:

  • Auto dealerships can aesthetically illuminate their lots while still achieving energy efficiency and safety goals.
  • Dimming light levels at low-traffic times, such as after midnight or 2 a.m., can reduce energy costs significantly, over and above the savings from switching to LED lighting alone.
  • Additionally lowering light levels on lots behind showrooms or more distant from the front lots can further reduce energy usage and costs.
  • Use of Lumewave’s software can enable dealers to optimize their lighting system performance and achieve cost-saving predictive maintenance.
  • Lighting can be dimmed to levels that reduce light pollution and avoid disturbing neighboring businesses or residents.
  • The use of motion detectors to brighten lights to full levels in response to detected motion can help improve security (e.g., by allowing security personnel to quickly locate and identify the source of the movement and respond accordingly).
  • Auto dealerships can find their own ideal lighting levels to optimize vehicle sales, energy savings, security, and good corporate citizenship.