Sustainable LED Lighting

Sustainable LED Lighting

Washington Beef is busy – the Toppenish, Washington company processes and ships nearly 300 million pounds of beef throughout the country annually. As orders come in, forklifts travel up and down the long aisles of the processor’s 21,000-square-foot warehouse – picking a product and staging it on loading docks for delivery.

“It’s an active area, and our main concern is safety,” said Burt Ross, Washington Beef’s director of facilities. Ross said lighting plays an important role.

The company was replacing the high-pressure sodium lighting in the warehouse about every three years – a task necessary to maintain adequate illumination, but one that took up considerable time and maintenance dollars. The lighting wasn’t the most energy efficient either.

New technology provides solution 

“We were looking to increase our lighting capability and save money at the same time,” said Ross. “We were at a point where we needed change them and thought this is a good time to upgrade if we could make it feasible.”

Washington Beef had worked with Pacific Power on energy-saving improvements in the past, so they looked to the utility’s Wattsmart® Business incentives for help to make a switch to LED lighting.

“Washington Beef is always looking for opportunities to save energy and reduce their operating costs,” Pacific Power corporate account manager Toby Freeman said. “They’re good about taking advantage of the program to implement energy efficiency projects that help them do that.”

The meat processor worked with Platt Electric, a Pacific Power Wattsmart Business vendor, to replace high-pressure sodium lighting in the warehouse and freezers with high bay and wall pack LEDs.

“LEDs are perfect for refrigerated spaces – they produce less heat than other technologies, so you don’t have your lights fighting with your refrigeration,” said Freeman.

‘A win-win-win situation.'

Washington Beef’s lighting improvements are saving nearly 132,800 kilowatt-hours of electricity and $7,750 in energy costs annually. The company received $8,670 in Pacific Power incentives to help with the upgrades, taking more than a year off the simple payback.

According to Ross, the energy and cost savings were factors in making a successful business case to get the project approved and the availability of incentives sealed the deal.

“With the new LEDs, we’re getting more light, using less energy and they’ll last longer – up to 15 years we’ve been told,” said Ross. “It’s a win-win-win situation.”

Ross also noted the feedback from forklift operators “has been very positive – they can see much better and be safer when they’re driving and lifting products off the high racks.”

For more information on Pacific Power’s energy efficiency services for business, please contact your account manager, call a participating vendor or visit
Source: Originally Published in Washington Pacific Power Business Customer Newsletter in the Fall of 2014

Tagged as: Sustainability