Local Resource for Lighting Choices
When it comes to lighting, there is much to know. The average person can be easily overwhelmed especially since technology continues to change at such a rapid pace. Just when you think you’ve got it figured out, the “next best” product hits the market. Although residential lighting doesn’t have the energy impact it does in a commercial operation, you need to make an informed choice. Besco Lighting and Electric Supply, located at 711 South Main Street in Leesburg can help you.
Besco’s Leesburg headquarters office and retail lighting showroom offers a wide variety of decorative fixtures in addition to a number of décor items including fans, silk plants and mirrors. However, this is only a small portion of the business; their wholesale operation caters to contractors and commercial businesses in need of lighting and/or electrical supplies.
According to Andy Braun, Besco Vice President, the business his father built from the ground up is helping consumers find the “right” product. “We will sit with our customer for hours; we will go to the jobsite or residential home. We provide commercial/industrial lighting assessments at no charge. Our team understands the importance of selecting a good quality light and matching the light to the application in which it will be used. We are proud of our reputation and to have served Central Florida since 1954.”
With over 35 years of expertise, Andy is quick to point out that it’s a full-time job keeping up with technology. He says, “everyone is moving toward light-emitting diodes, commonly referred to as LEDs. When they initially hit the market, LEDs were very expensive and had some flaws. Now it appears market price and quality are beginning to stabilize making it a good time to consider new lighting.”
LED sales continue to increase nationwide. Most consumers like the bright white light, although there is actually a range of colors to choose from. LEDs are attractive because of their long life span and because they emit less heat. Another benefit is that unlike fluorescent lighting, they contain no mercury. Today’s LEDs are also very versatile. There are literally hundreds of styles to choose from and a number of those are dimmable. At Besco, one of the most popular residential sellers is “tape” lighting. This thin rope-like LED lighting can be cut to specs and easily adheres to cabinet bottoms.
In commercial and industrial operations, LEDs are making their mark as well. They are replacing fluorescents in troffers and recessed fixtures and becoming increasingly popular as canopy lighting in gas stations.
When it comes to LEDs, experts like Andy say you get what you pay for. He recommends to pay close attention and look at ratings, hours and for name-brand recognition. Give thought also to the number of hours a light operates. Don’t spend your hard-earned dollars to replace a light that is seldom used.
For help determining specialized needs, forgo big box retailers and tap into more personalized advice from one of Central Florida’s experts – Besco Lighting and Electrical Supply. For more information visit their website or email one of SECO’s Key Account Consultants. We’ll perform a lighting assessment of your facility free of charge and help you evaluate if your business can benefit from a lighting upgrade.
Ensuring a Healthier World for Generations to Come
This quarter, Publix Super Markets, Inc. opened two new stores in SECO Energy’s service territory. One of the new stores is located at Lake Deaton Plaza in The Villages and the other at the Tavares Crossroads Plaza. The stores offer a full range of services including grocery, deli, meat & seafood, produce, floral, dairy, health & nutrition, beauty & personal care, housewares, pet, non-foods, liquors, Green Wise products, and pharmacy.
As part of Publix’s mission to be the “premier quality food retailer in the world,” the Get into the Green Routine® program was created back in 2001. The program emphasizes sustainability by balancing the needs of the community with the environment. One of the key components of the program is energy conservation with a focus on refrigeration, air conditioning, lighting, and solar energy. Publix takes this commitment very seriously when designing new facilities, but they have also retrofitted a number of their older stores.
In the areas of refrigeration and air conditioning, Publix utilizes secondary coolant technology. This technology results in a refrigerate charge reduction, reduces the potential for refrigerant leaks, and simplifies maintenance. Low-ozone refrigerants are also being used in their low-temperature cases. Because of these efforts, Publix received the GreenChill Achievement award from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and is currently partnering with the agency to evaluate new refrigeration technologies.
Another “bright” idea you’ll see in Publix stores is the latest fluorescent lighting technologies, state-of-the-art metal halide fixtures, and energy management system (EMS) controls. You’ll also notice Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are replacing traditional incandescent lamps and motion sensors on refrigerated door cases. These upgrades have reduced their lighting energy usage by 50 to 80 percent.
To date, 780 stores, both new and existing, have incorporated new technologies. These measures save almost 100,000 kWh annually per store. Although this figure is quite impressive, the retail giant’s combined conservation efforts have saved over 1 billion kWh- enough to power 84,000 homes for a year at an average of 1000 kWh per month.
The Publix commitment to the environment and energy conservation doesn’t stop there. The grocer has partnered with the Florida Solar Energy Center and other solar companies to conduct feasibility studies at five Publix locations. The goal is to determine the best way to integrate solar into their energy management strategy. So the next time you’re shopping at Publix, remember – for them, it’s not just about the goods, it’s about ensuring a better world for generations to come.
Publix Super Market was founded in Winter Haven, Florida in 1930 by George W. Jenkins and represents the largest employee-owned grocery chain in the Unites States. They currently operate 1,127 stores, 8 distribution centers, and 10 manufacturing facilities in the southeast with retail sales totaling $32.4 billion annually. Publix Super Markets is the largest private employer in the state of Florida with 184,500 people on their payroll. They also purchase 1% of all the electric generation in Florida.
Beyond What Your Eyes Can See
Does your business have a predictive maintenance plan? How would you like to get ahead of a mechanical/electrical breakdown of your plant equipment? Would you like to repair potential problems at your discretion and at a time convenient with your production schedule? If so, now may be the time to start thinking thermally.
Infrared (IR) Thermal Imagers (cameras) have radically transformed the predictive maintenance field. Each year products are getting better and are less costly. Years ago an IR camera was thousands of dollars – now one can be purchased for as little as a couple hundred dollars.
There are many camera options. Cameras can be standalone or built into a multi-meter. Some IR cameras offer digital imaging to provide an accurate visual record. Most are supported with memory cards for image storage and reporting purposes. There are also cameras that attach to your smart phones for additional flexibility and ease of use.
With so many camera choices today, it might be a bit confusing trying to select one that’s right for your operation. To help you decide, consider one of the well-established tech giants like Fluke Corporation or FLIR. These companies have been in the business of predictive maintenance for a long time and are recognized leaders in the industry.
At SECO Energy, we have used thermography for imaging as part of our preventive maintenance plan for years. Even before thermal imaging became popular, we were patrolling our substations and distribution facilities to identify potential problems. Today we understand what a valuable resource IR technology is and all service personnel carry thermography cameras in their trucks. We also utilize the cameras when performing commercial energy assessments.
The fact is, the cameras can be used for a multitude of purposes. They have been used to inspect switchgear, breaker panels, roofs, walls, leaks, human bodies and even horses for many years. You can scan anything that moves such as motors, conveyors, vehicle engines, pulley bearings, brakes, drive shafts and all other kinds of items that generate heat. The possibilities are endless.
Once you decide that an IR camera is right for your business, establish a routine inspection schedule. Using your initial survey as your baseline moving forward you can identify and correct potential problems before they impact your operation.
The Power of Reliability
“Our goal is to construct electrical facilities to the highest standards and maintain our vast system to prevent outages. When outages do occur we restore the power safely, quickly and professionally. Our average restoration time is 60 minutes which is World Class.” John LaSelva, VP of Operations.
SECO Energy’s system held up remarkably well despite the high winds and rains associated with Hurricane Hermine. For those thousands of members who did incur outages, the majority were back in service within 153 minutes – pretty darn quick for a hurricane-driven outage event.
With almost 200,000 members, 12,000 miles of lines covering over 2000 square miles of service territory keeping your lights on is a huge responsibility – one that SECO Energy’s Vice President of Operations, John LaSelva, takes very seriously.
As leader of the reliability and operations group, John oversees 271 employees and contractors. His goal is to prevent outages by constructing facilities to the highest standards and through ongoing maintenance. This means continually inspecting and upgrading existing facilities – distribution and transmission poles, underground equipment and substation infrastructure.
Although replacement of poles and transformers is ongoing, it is only a small portion of what your cooperative does to maintain our “World Class” reliability rating worthy of two consecutive J.D. Power customer satisfaction awards. Every substation throughout the SECO Energy system is inspected monthly and upgraded as needed. Marion Oaks, Continental and Mt. Dora are currently scheduled for upgrades to meet the needs of a growing membership.
In addition to high construction standards and ongoing upgrades, SECO Energy employs a comprehensive vegetation management program trimming over 1500 miles of right-a-way each year. Infrared imaging is also utilized to perform bi-annual inspections on overhead and underground facilities. Both of these efforts drastically reduces outages.
Reliability of your electric service doesn’t stop with the facilities that bring the power to your plant. SECO’s system contains 1159 active Current Transformer (CT) meters, most installed at commercial/industrial accounts. These CT meters are tested on a 3-year cycle and the top 30 (highest monthly energy usage) are tested annually. These metering inspections increase reliability at your location and ensure accurate billing of your electric usage.
When we think of reliability, we tend to think only of the power to make things work. However, SECO Energy takes pride in repairing area lights in a timely manner. Of the 9,000 lights reported annually, 95% of them are back in service within our goal of 24 hours. Just a reminder, if you have a lights(s) in need of repair, just email us or fill out our convenient web form.