With 56 locations across the U.S, Z Gallerie represents the ultimate in exclusive home furnishings, art, and accessories at affordable prices and features an ever-changing combination of stylish, traditional, and contemporary designs encompassing the best ideas from around the world and right here at home. For over three decades, the family-owned, Los Angeles-based retailer has prided itself on offering unique gifts and eclectic pieces to accent any space or create entire rooms that are both fashionable and stunning, and presents these options through locations that reflect the utmost in clean, cozy design and high-end merchandising. Happily, a recent lighting upgrade involving elite, specification-grade LED lamps from Solais Lighting helped ensure that Z Gallerie’s current lighting needs were met from A to Z.
“We wanted to go green in our stores and were using outdated 60-90 Watt halogen PAR38 floodlights that ran very hot,” shared Jane Sullivan, Construction Manager for Z Gallerie, of the 300-350 lamps used in each of their 10,000 square-foot stores. “This put a strain on our air conditioning systems, especially in stores located in warm climates such as Florida, Texas, and Southern California. In addition,” she said, “their lifespan was an issue and they created a maintenance nightmare.”
“From a technical perspective,” confirmed Courtney Rondon, Z Gallerie’s Director of Visual Merchandising, “lighting is critical to our brand. Our stores display a variety of metals, glass, textiles, and other materials, and we need the tone of the light to be complementary to the merchandise.”
Following discussions to determine their best lighting solution with Lara Cordell, LC, LEED AP, and Director of Technology/National Account Executive at Yorba Linda, CA-based Wiedenbach-Brown, Z Gallerie’s distributor of record, the team opted for two different lamp types from Stamford, CT-based Solais Lighting. For floor display areas, the optimal solution was Solais’ 18 Watt “LR38” PAR38 LED replacement, a lightweight, specification-grade LED lamp which offers an impressive 1100 lumens of light output and a 40-degree beam angle. To best accent the wall displays in the stores, the team elected to use Solais’ 16 Watt, 1000 lumen, 25-degree beam angle “LR30LN” PAR30 Long Neck LED lamps, which offer the high light output, lightweight design, and full-dimming capabilities of halogen incandescent sources, resulting in a high-performing LED system perfect for retail and hospitality applications. Both the LR38 and LR30LN models feature a long, 50,000-hour lifespan as well as Solais’ exclusive Luxiance® thermal management technology, which utilizes a unique active cooling system to deliver superior performance.
Since upgrading the lighting within seven existing stores throughout California, Florida, Georgia, and Kentucky in Spring 2011 and installing the LEDs in several other newly-constructed locations since then, the team has been delighted with the results. “During our analysis stage, we reviewed many different products from Solais and were impressed with the variety of options they had recently introduced, including the narrow and wide beam models we required, so their timing was great,” Rondon said. “The Solais LEDs we selected fully meet our specification requirements and deliver an ambiance that’s warmer than daylight, creating a comfortable and inviting environment for our customers which complements our merchandise well.”
Sullivan too has had nothing but praise since the LED upgrade was completed. “The store personnel all say they love the new lighting, and from a maintenance perspective, the LEDs have been seamless and their lifespan is great,” she said. “We also appreciate the way the lamps give us the ability to position merchandise in different ways with no concerns regarding lighting distribution or coverage.”
“Solais Lighting has some of the higher-intensity LED products on the market for a given beam angle, with center beam candle power exceeding that of the previous halogen technology, so we were able to increase light levels while saving energy,” Wiedenbach-Brown’s Cordell noted. “The lamps were also an easy one-for-one changeout and, thanks to Solais’ black, white, and silver back-of-lamp finish options, the lamps can be ordered to match the finish of the open-back trackhead they’re installed in, giving the appearance of an integrated trackhead.”
On top of their maximum performance and long life, the lamps deliver as much as 75% energy savings relative to the existing stores’ previous halogen configuration, and Z Gallerie’s upgrades additionally qualified for over $31,000 in rebates from various utility companies around the country, which further hastened the projects’ payback periods and enhanced their ROIs.
“LEDs have come a long way and it’s a great time for retailers to revisit LED technology,” Rondon said. “In addition to having a great effect on the ambiance and comfort level of our stores, LEDs are definitely reducing our lighting bill. As a retailer who’s concerned about the environment and who wants to do our part to be energy-efficient, we’re excited because LED lighting allows us to do that as well.”
Overall, concluded Rondon about Z Gallerie’s new win-win lighting strategy, which is being applied to all new stores going forward as well as select retrofit locations on a priority basis, “we’re delighted with our Solais LEDs and think that what we have is working very well.”