New lighting saves food bank 48% on energy usage

For more than 30 years, the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina (FBCENC) has provided food for people at risk of hunger in 34 counties in central and eastern North Carolina. When the nonprofit organization outgrew its headquarters in Raleigh, it searched for a new location.

FBCENC selected a new space on the north side of Raleigh that provided expanded storage space, as well as additional room for volunteers, allowing it to get more food out to neighbors more quickly and safely, according to Facility Executive.

FBCENC reached out to Durham-based Cree Inc., less than 20 miles from the new space, to light the 85,000-square-foot distribution and community center. Cree’s LED lighting technology will save an estimated 48 percent on energy usage and deliver better light quality compared to traditional options.

“We searched for the right community partners to help us achieve our goals for this facility,” said Charlie Hale, FBCENC VP of IT and operations. “Cree’s lighting solution provided an opportunity to install something that is not only more energy efficient but avoids maintenance issues while helping improve our operations. The new lighting has provided an enhanced workspace on all fronts, including ensuring that volunteers can see clearly when repackaging and sorting food items,” said Charlie Hale, FBCENC VP of IT and operations. “They no longer have to use their cell phone flashlights to properly read the labels.”   

FBCENC’s new distribution and community center allows for expanded services to fight hunger throughout the region, with more freezer and cooler space for perishable foods, additional room for thousands of hours of increased volunteer time, increased loading dock space to get more food out to neighbors quickly and safely, and upgraded systems — such as the lighting — to increase efficiency. With major renovations in place, the new facility provides additional space for nutrition education and outreach that will help improve food systems throughout its service area so community members can permanently move out of the state of food insecurity.

The lighting is proving to be a key contributor to helping FBCENC effectively spread the word on these enhanced services, officials said. Installed throughout the Raleigh warehouse, Cree’s CXB Series High-Bay luminaires offer better light quality and uniformity that eliminate hot and cool spots while delivering superior energy efficiency, thus lowering operating costs.

ZR24 troffers are installed throughout the office space to provide a comfortable, well-lit environment with excellent light quality, while KR6 downlights deliver high-quality light to complete the office lighting. 

“The new lighting has enabled us to get our story out to the community in a more vibrant fashion than we otherwise could have,” said Jessica Whichard, FBCENC senior manager of communications. “We’ve been shooting quite a few videos inside, and the production teams have been really impressed with the lighting. The facility looks just phenomenal in the videos. It has also helped us to enhance our social media presence with higher quality images from volunteers at work.”


Topics: Building Owners and Managers, Consulting - Green & Sustainable Strategies and Solutions, Energy Saving Products, Lighting - Energy Efficient Lighting, Sustainable Communities, Technology, Urban Planning and Design


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