Light Shopping

Arkon Power recently completed four new retail center installations.

Following a series of recent projects, Arkon Power recently announced shopping center lighting has become one of its fastest growing sectors. The Tampa Bay-based LED firm has completed four retail center installations across Florida over the last several months, company executives said.

“Shopping centers can be a highly demanding industry segment, and we’ve found our expertise in the area gives us a decided advantage,” Arkon’s Graham Brown said from the company’s Tarpon Springs headquarters. “These centers are often anchored by major national companies—CVS, Publix, Dunkin’, Tire Kingdom, Planet Fitness, Popeyes—and they require exacting LED lighting standards for all their locations.”

Arkon’s four recent installations include Cheddar’s Ocala Center in Marion County, Monarch Town Center in Broward County, Park View Shopping Center in Osceola County and Vero Beach Square in Indian River County. Arkon installed 14 direct burial concrete light poles and 20 LED fixtures for the Cheddar’s center, 91 aluminum light poles and 141 fixtures for Monarch, 34 concrete light poles and 39 LEDs for Park View, and 12 concrete light poles and 30 fixtures for Vero Beach.

Clients point to Arkon’s low up-front pricing, seamless project completion, customer service and ongoing support as its major advantages over the competition.

“We know Arkon is going to give us the best price,” one facilities manager said. “And beyond that, they just do the best job throughout the LED installation process.”

Arkon has long been expert at developing photometric plans for grocery-anchored shopping centers, and the firm has recently expanded its capabilities, working with national fast causal restaurants, sit-down dining chains and drugstores. Using its in-depth knowledge of photometrics, LED light fixtures and custom bracketry, Arkon delivers lighting to any shopping center’s specifications while saving the property owner money on energy and maintenance.

“It’s very specific by place,” Brown said. “Fort Lauderdale can be different from Miami—or Miramar for that matter. We deal with all local requirements, so our designs meet both regulatory and client needs.”

In addition to saving money, shopping center lighting upgrades attract new tenants, draw in customers, enhance safety and eliminate light pollution.

“Many of our latest jobs have been new construction, where we complete the entire design—photometric studies, footcandle requirements—and based on that make sure the light goes only where it needs to go,” Brown said. “We expect to do many more shopping centers in the near future.”

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Tennis Anyone?

Arkon Power has seen a rapid increase in athletic court lighting installations.

Arkon Power’s Graham Brown predicted in October 2018 that sports court lighting would be a growth market for the Tampa Bay-area company. But even Brown has been surprised at how successful the sector—including tennis court lighting, pickleball court lighting, basketball court lighting and other courts—has been.

“LEDs are just ideal for the outdoor recreational sports setting,” Brown said. “Not only are they less expensive to operate and maintain, they reduce glare and improve playing conditions. They’re a winner all around.”

Since 2018, Arkon has installed LED lighting over a significant number of tennis courts, as well as several basketball courts across the state of Florida. Arkon is not alone. Countless universities across the country have turned to LEDs for their athletics facilities, and installation data indicates municipal and private sports court managers countrywide are turning to LEDs to save money on high-quality site lighting.

“LED tennis courts are becoming the preferred solution in areas with high energy costs,” said one tennis court lighting expert. “Beyond extreme energy efficiency, LED luminaires reduce light trespass and virtually eliminate maintenance.”

According to Brown, tennis courts thrive under LED fixtures, usually hung at 18 to 22 feet. Unique lenses, recessed LEDs and directional lighting reduce glare. And the lights’ optical systems are optimized to illuminate courts’ primary playing area (PPA). The PPA extends 10 feet behind each baseline and 6 feet beyond the sidelines.

The light levels inside the PPA are measured through photometric studies, which Arkon completes in-house for every court lighting project. The criteria measured through the photometric studies include the average maintained horizontal footcandles, minimum maintained footcandles and maximum uniformity ratio of footcandles. The measurements determine the specific class of lighting installed on the court. The classes are based on play level—for example, Class I is professional and Class II is collegiate.

Included in the sports complex jobs completed by Arkon are Tampa Palms, a planned community in New Tampa just north of the University of South Florida. Arkon provided Tampa Palms a photometric analysis showing eight 450-watt LED area lights could provide ideal lighting across the entire playing area. The LED replacement of Tampa Palms’ legacy metal halide fixtures fit on four new concrete lighting poles, also provided by Arkon.

“We are very happy with the end result of the product—we are very happy with what Arkon came up with,” Tampa Palms North Owner Association Manager Deborah Paul said. “On the older halide fixtures, every time the lights went out, we had to bring out the lift, and it was quite expensive.”

Arkon has also completed multiple court lighting projects throughout Florida for The Valencia Del Sol Development in Wimauma (south of Tampa), the City of Safety Harbor, Live Oaks Reserve in Oviedo, Eastwood Tennis Courts in Orlando, Village of Woodland Hills in Palm Harbor and Advenir Magnolia in Orlando. For Safety Harbor, Arkon replaced 16 1,000-watt metal halide bulbs over two Marshall Street Park tennis courts with LED fixtures. Arkon engineers determined they could produce the required amount of light with just eight 600-watt LED lights. On Safety Harbor’s Marshall Street racquetball courts, Arkon replaced eight 1,000-watt metal halides with eight 320-watt LED streetlights.

“LEDs are a no-brainer for so many market segments, but perhaps none more than court lighting,” Brown said. “I’ll say it again—we expect this market to keep growing. And we’ll be there for folks when they decide to make the move.”

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Service With a Shine

An auto and tire center upgraded its car care with improved lighting from Arkon Power.

Goodyear Leone Auto Repair & Tire, Oldsmar, Florida, was having trouble with its lights, and the darkness was affecting all aspects of the auto service center’s business.

Goodyear’s technicians either couldn’t see what they were doing, or they dealt with sub-optimal conditions to account for the lack of lighting. Lighting maintenance and power costs were too high. And customers couldn’t be serviced quickly and efficiently.

Arkon Power had the solution to put the Pinellas Country-based Goodyear outlet on track to have a great year, replacing the company’s legacy lighting with LED fixtures throughout its service area.

“I am just really happy with the light quality itself,” company President Nick Leone said. “I can’t say anything bad about it. The techs are really happy, and the light quality is amazing.”

Prior to installing the new LED lighting—efficient high bays down the middle of the service area, and 4-foot linear low bays between each work center—Goodyear Leone operated 8-foot fluorescent tube lighting throughout its facility on Tampa Road. The lights often went out, and when they were working, they didn’t provide enough illumination for technicians to see what they were doing. The Central Florida service center frequently had to open its doors to let in enough light to work. On hot days, conditions were stifling. On cloudy days, light was still an issue.

“They wanted to replace the tubes in the existing fixtures,” Arkon’s Graham Brown said. “That would’ve helped, but it was not going to be the best solution.”

After completing a photometric plan, Brown and his team came up with the current configuration. The result was daylight-like lighting regardless of conditions and shadow elimination regardless of car positioning.

“Better lighting makes it easier to work—you can just see things better,” Leone said. “If it’s raining out or overcast, we still don’t have dark spots in the shop. The use of [supplemental] lights has gone down drastically.”

Leone said his Goodyear facility has also seen a drop in its energy bill, using nearly 1,000 watts less energy each month. And that reduction is even with longer hourly lighting use.

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Tampa Palms Partners With Arkon for Tennis Court Lighting Winner

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Tampa Palms just missed when it first installed LED lighting over its tennis courts using another lighting company. The planned community, situated in New Tampa just north of the University of South Florida, didn’t want to double fault.

“The first lighting was okay, but it just wasn’t great,” said Deby Paul, Tampa Palms North Owner Associations manager. “LEDs are supposed to provide much better lighting and huge savings on electricity, and we didn’t quite get that.”

Working alongside court surface provider Welch Tennis, Arkon was able to provide Paul and Tampa Palms exactly what they wanted.

Arkon’s Graham Brown and his team performed a photometric analysis of the Tampa Palms courts and determined they could provide high quality illumination over the entire surface using eight 450-watt LED area lights. The one-to-one replacement of Tampa Palms’ legacy metal halide fixtures would fit on four new concrete lighting poles, also provided by Arkon.

“We were able to cut their power use by more than half while giving them 50% more light,” Brown said.

Tampa Palms isn’t the only tennis court Arkon has upgraded. The LED provider has completed multiple court projects for the city of Safety Harbor and Advenir Magnolia in Orlando, and Arkon recently signed a contract on a large new construction project for LED lighting on tennis courts and pickleball courts in the Tampa Bay Area.

“Tennis court lighting is a huge industry, and we’ve mastered the necessary photometrics,” Brown said.

The new lighting at Tampa Palms, which reduced maintenance costs significantly compared to the metal halides

that preceded the community’s first set of LEDs, has been a hit with Tampa Palms residents, Paul said.

“We are very happy with what [Arkon] came up with—we’re very happy with the end result,” she said. “And our tennis players are much happier with the upgrades.”

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LED Lighting SHopping Center Jacksonville Florida North Florida

Florida Bank Makes Investment with Arkon

Wauchula State Bank contracted with Arkon Power to bring its exterior lighting up to code and save money in the process.

Wauchula State Bank in Florida needed new site lighting to meet state illumination requirements, and Arkon Power’s LED lighting was the first place the company turned.

“We were committed to LED because we knew it was more efficient, and we knew we would be able to get a lot more consistency out of it,” said Toby Sapp, Wauchula State Bank maintenance technician.

The banking group is in the process of transitioning its eight Central Florida branches to 100% LED lighting, and Sapp said Arkon Power has been nearly flawless in helping it achieve its mission so far.

“Arkon is easy to work with and has a representative we can reach out to and have on the phone and present usually within minutes, not hours,” Sapp said. “Arkon stands behind its product and gives us a level of confidence we are very much in need of.”

Since starting work with Wauchula, Arkon has updated the parking lot lighting at multiple branches to ensure it meets the safety requirements of customers and regulators. Arkon has also installed LED lighting under several of Wauchula’s canopies and provided wall pack lighting for drive through facilities. In all cases, Arkon has provided photometric plans to ensure Wauchula has the foot candles on the ground it needs.

“The customer and Sapp knew what they wanted in terms of light quality, and we knew how to get them there,” Arkon Technical Manager Graham Brown said.

Arkon has also provided interior lighting for Wauchula, and Sapp said the company has exceeded his expectations on all dimensions.

“Whenever we have the opportunity, we have recommended Arkon to others in the area,” Sapp said.

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Arkon Shines New Light on Florida Agriculture with LED Lighting Solution

Arkon’s partnership with a produce company has improved working conditions and the client’s bottom line.

Inside a Veg-King of Florida packing plant, summer watermelons pour in by the busload. Workers on the line sort each passing melon by hand according to size, shape and color. They shout numbers—“36! 45! 60!”—as they categorize each melon. Once they’re cleaned and packed, the melons are stacked on pallets to await shipping to your local supermarket.

For more than 55 years, the Harris family has operated Veg-King, growing the business from its early days as a 50 by 50-foot facility in the small town of Bowling Green, FL. But this year, the watermelon house is looking a lot brighter.

Instead of firing up outdated metal halide light fixtures, waiting through humming, flickering and a five-minute warm up, D.R. Harris can now get right to work when he arrives at the plant. Why? Veg-King and Arkon Power worked together in early May to install new high Bay LEDs,

Veg-King workers are now wasting no time waiting on lights, and with higher wattage fixtures over the sorting area, they are able to see the difference. “They’ve been great. We’ve been able to actually work faster now that watermelons are being sorted quicker,” Harris said.

And with supermarkets like Publix as customers, Veg-King has a lot of orders to fill.

“We’re sending out around half a million pounds of watermelon a day,” Harris said.

Veg-King plans to fit all its locations with high bay LEDs during the off season. That includes a packing house 50 yards from the watermelon facility, where they’ve been preparing produce since early spring. Veg-King is currently moving about 2,500 bushels of cucumbers a day.

Harris is a third generation produce broker who understands the importance of implementing new and innovative technologies into business operations. “Things are different from 55 years ago,” he said. “We have to adapt to new technology to keep the produce moving.” With Arkon’s cutting edge LED technology, that’s exactly what they’ve done.

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Arkon Works Closely With Electrical Contractors on Lighting Projects

Arkon Power has recently grown its customer base among electrical contractors, becoming the go-to lighting supplier for multiple firms.

“Arkon is our first call,” said Matt Gera of Preston Link Electric in Gainesville, Fla. “Arkon and [Technical Manager] Graham [Brown] have taken big steps to make sure we have the right documents for permitting offices and receive products in the right amount of time. We haven’t had any issues with our customers, and we’ve been very pleased.”

Electrical contactors like Preston Link rely on lighting suppliers to deliver the correct solutions to their commercial and residential customers. According to Gera, LEDs have become the standard in the industry. He often doesn’t offer his customers legacy fixtures like metal halides and incandescent bulbs.

“I pretty much price out LEDs and don’t really give them a choice,” Gera said. “The technology has come down in price a lot—that’s a big part of it.”

For Arkon, working with electrical contractors means its team can focus on designing layouts using photometric analysis and sourcing the perfect fixtures for each application. Brown and his associates then work with the contractor to ensure the installation portion of the job is done seamlessly.

“When electrical contractors see our product and use our product, they are always impressed,” Brown said. “Because of the detail we’re able to provide in terms of photometrics, the contractor can make sure everything goes in the right place. They don’t just slap them up and hope for the best.”

Arkon has also done multiple jobs for contractors like Strada Electric in Sanford, Fla., Windsor Electric in Orlando and Carpenter Electric in West Palm Beach.

“We’ve had some electricians switch firms and still come back to using our products and services,” Brown said. “We take all the pressure off from a lighting design perspective.”

Brown said electrical contractors have come to Arkon Power for new construction and retrofit jobs, including for parking lots, tennis courts, church exteriors, and other applications.

“The product sells itself,” Gera said. “The big name brands want twice as much as Arkon does for its fixtures. We started partnering with Arkon…and we’ve sold more and more products.”

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Shopping Center Lighting a Bright Spot for Arkon Power

A Winn Dixie-anchored outlet in Central Florida is the latest in a string of shopping center lighting jobs Arkon has completed.

Arkon Power continues to grow its position in the shopping center LED lighting space. The firm has completed dozens of lighting upgrades projects for customers across the country; the latest job brought upgraded lighting to the Mariner Village shopping center, anchored by grocery giant Winn Dixie in Spring Hill, Florida located in Hernando County.

“Arkon has done several shopping centers for us,” said Paul Frahm, construction manager for Bruce Strumpf Inc., which manages more than 4.3 million square feet of Florida-based commercial property, including Mariner Village. “Everyone is making the move to LED for energy conservation and cost.”

Frahm said Arkon has become his go-to provider for LED fixtures and technical solutions. He said Arkon is consistently lower on cost and more efficient than other suppliers.

According to Arkon Power Technical Manager Graham Brown, the LED lighting company has become an expert in developing photometric plans for grocery-anchored shopping centers. Arkon truly understands the needs of national grocers, Brown said. Winn Dixie, for example, typically demands 6 foot-candles on the ground throughout its parking lots. Publix-anchored shopping centers require 5 foot-candles.

Using its in-depth knowledge of photometrics, lighting design and custom bracketry, Arkon is able to deliver lighting to any shopping center’s specifications while saving the property owner money on energy and maintenance.

“In the case of Mariner Village, I said, ‘look, the guys from Arkon are going to give us the best price,” Frahm said. “And the improvement is a huge added value.”

In addition to saving money, shopping center lighting upgrades attract new real estate tenants, draw in retail customers, enhance safety for after-dark customers and eliminate light pollution.

“There is no way we would ever go back to putting high pressure sodium bulbs in,” Frahm said.

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Illuminating Service Areas for Car Dealerships

Arkon continues to grow its business in an overlooked area of car dealerships.

The lighting on the front line of car dealerships gets all the attention—that’s where customers see automobiles beautifully illuminated as night falls, and most managers know that’s where they can make a big difference by updating with LEDs.

But just as critical is an area in which Arkon Power continues to see business growth: Lighting in car dealership service areas.

“It’s an area that is often overlooked, but it’s extremely important,” Arkon Technical Manager Graham Brown said. “Service is a major revenue stream for dealerships, and proper lighting can increase productivity and safety.”

Arkon typically fits auto maintenance departments with standard high bay LEDs and linear high bays, providing ambient light throughout the space and a frame of lighting directly around automobiles in service. Arkon’s engineering department can provide revamped lighting layouts that achieve 70% energy cost reductions on average.

“The lighting layouts are critical,” Brown said. “You have to make sure light strikes all sides of the cars to eliminate shadows, even when they are raised up on lifts.”

LEDs also make the working area safer and reduce lighting maintenance, meaning decreased downtime for auto service centers. During the lighting installation project, Arkon works in stages to minimize work stoppages for renovation.

Arkon has completed recent service area lighting projects for Brandon Honda in Florida and BMW Fairfax in Virginia. Most dealerships making the investment report they can complete more jobs in a shorter amount of time due to the improved lighting, which eliminates the need for supplementary bulbs and headlamps.

“Every dealer we’ve worked with has been extremely happy, and some of the best feedback comes from the service technicians themselves,” Brown said. “They’re the ones working on the cars, and their appreciation means a lot.”

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Seeing the Future, 5 LED Forecasts for 2019

The LED industry is one of the most rapidly changing sectors in the world, with new technology changing the way we light—and pay to light—our spaces almost every day.

So what’s next for the LED industry? Following is a look at five important trends we see coming to the LED lighting space in 2019.

1: Taking Control
Lighting controllers are advancing at a rapid pace and likely to grow sales even more quickly than LEDs themselves in the next calendar year.

The control segment was valued at more than $3.4 billion in 2018, and the market is expected to increase steadily through 2025, according to recent reports. That means the LEDs used to light outdoor and indoor spaces will be even more efficient as consumers gain the ability to use them in precisely the manner they need. Modern controls offer the ability to adjust not only lighting brightness, but also color.

2: Getting Smart
In addition to seeing technological advances in controllers themselves, developers continue to find ways to make LEDs more compatible with smart phones and the internet of things. Networked lighting control systems, linked to all of the connected devices in a business or home, further enhance consumers’ abilities to optimize their lighting settings.

3: Convincing Consumers
Residential LED lighting has been at a tipping point for years, and multiple signs indicate LEDs will soon be overtaking incandescent lighting as the standard in U.S. homes.

Residential LEDs had grown to more than 40% of the market share by 2016, and the growth has continued in the last several years. Residential applications for LEDs comprise lighting for bathrooms, dining rooms, kitchens and hallways. And while many consumers considered LEDs too bright and expensive for their homes in the past, technology has made the bulbs more like the incandescents to which homeowners are accustomed.

4: Seeking Solar
Solar panel manufacturers continue to increase sales—with a slight dip reported due to last year’s tariffs on the devices—and that will mean big things in the years to come for 24/7 lighting operators.

Because of the high efficiency of LEDs, the lights can operate using far less solar power than legacy fixtures, making the traditionally unreliable solar source sufficient to keep lights going at all hours of the day.

5: Steady Growth
With all the changes coming to the LED market in 2019 and beyond, industry experts agree one thing is certain—LED use in general will continue to grow steadily in the near and long term.

According to Zion Market Research, the global LED lighting market sat at $26.1 billion in 2016 and is likely to cross $54.3 billion by the end of 2022, developing at a compound annual growth rate of almost 13% from 2017 to 2022.

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Arkon Provides LED Lighting to Secure Church

Orlando-based Church in the Son wanted to improve its parking lot lighting. LEDs proved to be a revelation.

As a worshipper was leaving Orlando’s Church in the Son one night in December, her son asked if she needed an escort to her car. “No thanks,” she said. “They put out new parking lights, so it’s much brighter out there.”

It was music to Church in the Son administrators’ ears.

The house of worship had contracted with Arkon Power to replace its legacy metal halide parking lot fixtures several months earlier, and the project’s central goal was improving churchgoer safety.

“The first concern we had was that our parking lot was very dark,” said Carla Kong, Church in the Son operations director. “Our lights were old-school and yellowish, and we knew we wanted to go bright. Safety was our number one reason.”

With assistance from Arkon Technical Manager Graham Brown and his team, which completed a thorough photometric analysis, the church elected to replace its 37 400-watt metal halides with nine 320-watt LED street lights and 28 240-watt LED street lights.

The result is more foot-candles on the ground, daylight-like ambient illumination, and a decrease in power consumption. And while Kong says Church in the Son “at first wasn’t even thinking about” how much they’d save on their power bill, the nearly 40% reduction in energy consumption was “a nice bonus down the line.”

Arkon worked closely with an electrical contractor to complete the installation, and Kong said the project went smoothly from beginning to end.

“The attention and the follow-up process was very good,” she said. “The communication was great.”

Church in the Son was able to raise all the capital necessary for the installation from member donations, and Kong said all of the church’s parishioners have been happy with the results.

“Over all, we’ve accomplished everything we were looking for,” she said.

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Arkon Aces Tennis Court Lighting Job for Safety Harbor

Arkon Power helped the city of Safety Harbor upgrade its tennis and racquetball courts with new LED lighting.

The city of Safety Harbor has gone all-in on LED lighting upgrades, and Arkon Power served up a winner for a recent installation high above several local tennis and racquetball courts.

“The city has an initiative to try to use LED products as we go forward with projects,” said Dave Carrozza, Safety Harbor’s maintenance superintendent. “We were looking for a vendor that would be a turnkey operation, and that was one of the things Arkon came to the forefront on.”

Arkon has done several jobs for Safety Harbor since the city put its LED initiative in place. The latest involved replacing 16 1,000-watt metal halide bulbs over two tennis courts at Marshall Street Park with LED fixtures. Arkon engineers determined it could produce the required amount of light with just eight 600-watt LED area lights. Arkon was able to replace eight 1,000-watt metal halides on the Marshall Street racquetball courts with eight 320-watt LED streetlights.

Because the lighting would be used to illuminate a recreational area, glare was a primary concern. But Arkon worked with the city to ensure it wouldn’t be an issue, and Carrozza said local tennis and racquetball enthusiasts have been pleased with the results.

“We haven’t gotten a single complaint,” Carrozza said. “That was our biggest concern.”

Safety Harbor is committed to using LEDs because of their energy efficiency and reduced maintenance costs, according to Carrozza. In addition to offering the turnkey solution the city was looking for, handling the job from sourcing to installation, Arkon’s proposal stood out for cost savings and extended warranties. “It comes down to the money standpoint and efficiency,” Carrozza said.

Arkon Technical Manager Graham Brown said the project was particularly successful because his team was able to replace the existing metal halide lights with fewer LEDs using Safety Harbor’s legacy light poles.

The Safety Harbor project was Arkon’s fifth tennis court retrofit. “More and more customers are realizing LEDs are ideal for athletic settings, not only for the power and maintenance savings, but also for the improved lighting on the playing surface,” Brown said. “We anticipate this being a growth market.”

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