A source from above saved a few businesses in town.
LED lights shining down on parking lots at the National Corvette Museum, Leachman Buick GMC Cadillac and Gary Force Toyota of Bowling Green saved each location thousands of dollars in energy costs since they installed them within the past two years.
Those three businesses join a few others in town that have done the same.
In comparison to the majority of outside lights in town, the LED panels are thin, sleek and illuminate brighter and a wider area than the old metal halide lights.
Matt Stumbo, sales manager at Gary Force Toyota of Bowling Green, said the dealership had the lights installed a little less than a year ago and that the cost was a major driving force to switch from metal halide lights.
The Toyota dealership had been spending close to $30,000 each year on utility costs, according to TVA. Now, it spends about $6,619.
The dealership replaced 63 1000 W metal halide fixtures with 240 W LED luminaries.
“It was pretty expensive to change the lights ... but ... it’ll pay for itself,” Stumbo said.
Stumbo said they changed the old bulbs every three or four months. They haven’t changed the LED bulbs since they’ve had them.
Jeff Gatzow, national sales and marketing manager of Optec Lighting, who supplies the lights, said LED lights typically result in about 75 percent energy savings and can last up to 20 years.
Directing the light exactly where it needs to go and maximizing energy in the electrical structures as light rather than heat make a big difference in greenhouse emissions and cost, he said.
“With metal halides, you have a lot of heat energy and a lot of waste,” Gatzow said.
Bob Hellman, facilities and displays manager at the Corvette Museum, said the museum gradually changed interior and exterior lights beginning in July 2011. Some lights in the building are a different kind of fluorescent lighting, but the Sky Dome, displays and parking lot use LED lights.
Changing 44 fixtures to LED saves the museum about $11,300 each year in energy and maintenance.
Hellmann said if other businesses see that LED lights have worked for the Corvette Museum, perhaps they will switch their lighting and reap the benefits while reducing greenhouse emissions. “If it helps other companies to make that transition, then yeah, that’s super,” Hellmann said.