Family-owned Riddle's Jewelry opened its first store in Webster, South Dakota, in 1959. More than half a century and many stores later, Riddle's still prides itself on offering a warm, friendly atmosphere in all of its locations across nine states. Lighting plays an especially important role at Riddle's, from the subtle shimmer of precious stones to the setting of an elegant, inviting atmosphere.
“We began researching LED jewelry store lighting about five years ago and got really serious about two years ago when Dakota Supply Group introduced us to GE,” said Dan Casanova, vice president of Riddle's. “After looking at a number of options, GE's LED replacement lamps offered the best combination of energy savings and the best look for our merchandise once it's out of the cases.”
Riddle's Jewelry locations house between 80 and 210 spotlight fixtures, depending on store size. The retailer is moving from 75-watt halogen lamps to GE's 20-watt PAR38 LED replacement lamps, a product of GE ecomagination℠. Working with Dakota Supply Group, Riddle's has installed GE's LED replacement lamps in 47 stores and plans to complete the project by the end of 2013.
GE and Dakota Supply assisted Riddle's in analyzing rebate opportunities from local utilities for each store, then applying for the rebates as rollouts occurred. At its Rapid City, South Dakota, store, Riddle's received a rebate of $11.25 per lamp. At another in Minnesota, Xcel Energy provided a rebate of $27 per lamp.
Results & Benefits
At locations that have used GE's LED replacement lamps for more than one year, Riddle's has seen lighting energy cost savings between $100 and $150 a month in smaller stores (80-100 fixtures) and from $175 to $225 in larger stores (up to 210 fixtures), based on a $.10 per kWh rate and 4,000 hours of operation annually. Once all 57 locations are complete, Riddle's expects to save about $100,000 a year in lighting energy costs not including reduced maintenance as the result of longer-lived LED technology.
These savings are also the result of reduced loads on building cooling systems―each Riddle's store, even those in colder climates, typically runs its air conditioning throughout the year because of the heat generated by in-store halogen lighting. GE's new LED replacement lamps stay much cooler than the halogen bulbs, and though Riddle's has not yet recorded exact load reductions, store managers have reported a noticeable decrease in the cooling demand on HVAC units.
“With rebates, we expect a 14-month ROI per store. In markets with no rebates, payback becomes 20 to 22 months, which is still a good return,” said Casanova, adding that Riddle's plans to specify GE's LED lamps for all jewelry store lighting projects moving forward.
“Store managers have been amazed the way the bright, white LED lighting accentuates the natural brilliance of the diamonds. With halogen, they looked good. With LED, they look amazing,”