Garage Isla Verde, LLC, has been the premier Mercedes-Benz dealership for Puerto Rico, distinguished by the quality of its employees, ultramodern facilities and famous customer service. From humble auto shop to destination dealership, this highly successful vehicle seller has always looked for ways to evolve its business and take the experience of buying a Mercedes-Benz to another level. And now with Current, powered by GE, along for the ride, Garage Isla Verde, LLC, is innovating once again by bringing style, savings and security to its properties with the latest LED lighting and controls solutions.
New Lighting for New Construction
When Garage Isla Verde, LLC, added certified preowned Mercedes-Benz vehicles to its inventory, it built a new showroom, service bay and training center to excite customers and staff. For Project Engineer and Construction Manager Luissette Goyco P.E., the building had to be visually elegant but operationally efficient, mirroring the style and refinement of the Mercedes-Benz brand.
Ownership also placed special emphasis on conserving energy in the new space, considering electricity costs hovered around $0.23 per kilowatt hour (kWh). Sacrificing customer satisfaction for savings was not an option, however, as Goyco was determined to find the best building solutions that could meet both criteria.
When it came to lighting, she already knew LED was the answer for reducing energy use compared to standard options. Initial plans called for a variety of eye-catching lamps and fixtures to be sourced from several manufacturers, but Goyco wanted to simplify lighting management moving forward, so she was connected with lighting systems agent Technical Resources International Corp, and local electrical products distributor JLM Solutions Corporation for a second opinion.
Savings Never Looked So Good
Ricky Hernandez is a lighting specialist with JLM who knows products are just part of an exceptional customer experience. Rather than transfer the dealership’s lighting schedule to a different spec sight unseen, Hernandez’s team took the time to conduct a complete photometric analysis of the new building that considered everything from ceiling height to target lumen levels to color rendering. Technical Resources worked closely with the GE lighting designer to specify fixture models and light levels, and to ensure the lighting design was in accordance with the Mercedes-Benz Design Guidelines and the preferences of Garage Isla Verde, LLC.
This allowed JLM to present Garage Isla Verde, LLC, with an optimized lighting layout for its preowned vehicle showroom that wastes no opportunity to set the right mood or save more energy. At the same time, it uses LED solutions exclusively from Current to keep operations and upkeep streamlined.
High-bay Albeo™ ABH4 LED luminaires were first located throughout the showroom to meet the specific light level requirements established by Mercedes-Benz USA. These powerful fixtures also deliver high CRI values, helping customers discern dark blue paint from black paint, for example.
Meanwhile, in offices and meeting rooms, JLM selected the Lumination™ LET 22 Series LED luminaire to give the new building an edge.
Sleek and efficient Albeo ALC5 linear LED luminaires were also placed in storage areas where the low-profile lights lend an appeal lackluster fluorescent lamps can’t match; and Albeo ABV2 LED luminaires were added to the car delivery area to help techs see the smallest details clearly. In addition, stairwells, restrooms and storage closets were outfitted with LED solutions to maximize savings for Garage Isla Verde, LLC, even in spaces customers don’t necessarily see.
“JLM distinguished itself from start to finish as the best partner for this project,” said Goyco. “They showed us how we could eliminate a fixture here, use edge lighting there or add lamps without it being overkill. As each phase wrapped up, we would flip on the switch and the results were remarkable. Everyone was impressed, especially our management group.”
Enhancing Outdoor Security
Seeing the dramatic difference LED could make, Garage Isla Verde, LLC, decided to add new lighting to its outdoor lot as well. To fit the bill, JLM supplied Evolve™ EALP LED Area Lights on reinforced poles designed to withstand hurricane-force winds. Now the dealership can relax knowing each square foot of its property is fully illuminated by durable fixtures rated for 50,000 hours.
These 160-watt luminaires are also far more efficient than the standard 400-watt metal-halide fixtures typically used to illuminate vehicle inventories, which will save the dealership significant energy use in the coming years.
“The light is so uniform it’s like having an extra layer of security we didn’t have before,” Goyco added. “Everything looks so bright and crisp, and there are no dark spots between poles. At night, the lot really shines, and you can see that sparkle in the vehicles—they look amazing.”
Controls Add Convenience, Reduce Costs
To tie the dealership’s new lighting installation together and make it even easier to save energy, JLM also commissioned a LightSweep™ modular control system. Technical Resources helped specify the optimal lighting controls tailored to the dealership’s preferences, and the resulting scalable solution uses sensors and software to make energy-reduction schemes possible, including daylight harvesting and dimming based on time schedules.
Using LightSweep, Garage Isla Verde, LLC, can control each Albeo LED fixture in its showroom individually, making it a snap to adjust lighting in an instant. And outside the building, Current’s area lights can ramp up from 10 percent output to full brightness when motion is detected at night, dimming down again after visitors have left the lot.
While Garage Isla Verde, LLC, likes this fine-tuned control, it loves that LightSweep is accessible via the internet and integrates easily with third-party products like a building automation system (BAS).
“It’s not a system we have to trust someone else to manage,” said Goyco. “It’s easy to go in and create custom zones or presets, and we can potentially expand the life of our fixtures by running them at lower outputs at certain hours. We’ve never had that level of convenience before, where it’s all possible with a few clicks or taps of a screen.”
The Road Ahead
Already, JLM and Garage Isla Verde, LLC, are accelerating plans to retrofit the dealership’s existing new vehicle showroom with LED lighting. This future phase will also see a large maintenance bay and car care station converted to LED as well.
“The new building was a lot to prepare for, but Ricky and his team took lighting completely off our list of concerns,” Goyco added. “They also supplied about 95 percent of what we needed from one manufacturer, so we don’t have those complications now. We know we can depend on JLM and Current to get it done, whatever it is.”
From added style to extra savings to enhanced security, this Mercedes-Benz dealership found a winning formula with LED lighting and controls that bring new flexibility to its facility.
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