J&J Collision, Seattle, Washington
Annual Cash Savings: $695
8,000 Sq. Feet
Energy savings: 9,264 kWh
Payback period: 2.6 years
Prevented 11,135 pounds of pollution
Seattle City Light
How do you get a dent out of a car if you can’t see it? How do you repaint a scratched car door if you can’t match the color? Quality lighting is essential to finding every ding and matching that special shade of firecracker red.
Since 1955, J&JCollision has provided the Seattle, WA, area with superior auto body repair. The lighting system in the 8,000-sq.ft. facility, although constantly upgraded, did not provide the technicians with the distinct advantages of the new technology fixtures.
Owner Chris Nelson checked into new lighting technologies and learned about the improvements that could result from their use. The idea of changing all of the lighting seemed overwhelming and costly to a small business owner like Nelson. She decided, however, to take advantage of the Small Commercial Rebate Program available through Seattle City Light. It was easy! Staff helped her analyze her lighting needs and find a lighting contractor. Seattle City Light also offered J&Ja rebate to cover more than half of the cost to retrofit the lights.
The first step was determining needed lighting changes. Most of the auto body work took place in the main bay area and the paint booth. With the high ceilings in the bay, the shop needs a good distribution of light at floor level where the work actually takes place. The lighting in the paint booth needed to be bright enough to ensure that the paint being mixed matched the original color.
Nelson replaced each 2-lamp, 8-foot fixture with two 4-lamp, 4-foot, T-8 lamps and electronic ballasts. A total of 46 fixtures in the bay area and paint booth were upgraded.
In the offices, the flickering of old lights had become a nuisance. Nelson upgraded the old 2-lamp fixtures with T-8 lamps and electronic ballasts to stop the flickering. She also added reflectors to increase the light level in the offices, where six fixtures were retrofitted.
The 52-fixture upgrade or improvement cost Nelson $4,000. With a rebate from Seattle City Light, she spent only $1,800 on the entire project, and with savings of approximately $700 annually, the upgrade or improvement will pay for itself in less than three years.
And were the results what Nelson expected? “The results are spectacular!” Nelson declared. The increased lighting levels have improved visibility in the shop and the truer color rendition has substantially increased productivity in the paint booth. The technicians are thrilled with their new work environment and morale is up.
Nelson is not only saving money on energy costs; her shop also looks brighter, cleaner, and more attractive to both her customers and her employees. “This was the easiest way I could imagine to change the lighting, and the results are spectacular.”