LLLC brings bright future and futureproofs investment to Everett warehouse

Case Study

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After seeing a darkened manufacturing plant in Everett, Vision Profile Extrusions’ new owner tasked the Maintenance and Facility Manager, Rusty Fenrich, to replace the first-generation LED lighting system. Fenrich reached out to a lighting expert to learn more about his options.

Vision Profile Extrusions makes specialized building products like custom-sized doors and window frames, and their company ethos is based on a sustainable approach to technologies that recycle and preserve natural resources. The solution that met their lighting needs, green mission, and budget? Luminaire Level Lighting Controls (LLLC), a system comprised of a combination of sensors, network interfaces, and controllers that affect not just the light output but how lights operate throughout the day.

Getting the ‘Light Right’
In 2016, Vision Profile Extrusions had invested in first-generation LED high bays for its 122,000-square-foot facility and T-LEDS for its 3,000 -square-foot office space, given it was then a cost-effective approach to move away from florescent bulbs. However, the previous facilities management team did not evaluate the long-term performance of the fixtures in a facility that operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Within just five years of the investment, the LEDs had lost their luster.

Fenrich contacted Ryan Heron, a lighting consultant and co-founder of PNW Energy Group, and they went room by room to determine the best product to brighten up the facility, but improving the light levels was just one piece of the puzzle. Fenrich needed to find a solution that would also qualify for a rebate.

After speaking with John Petosa, Senior Program Manager at Snohomish County PUD, Heron decided LLLC was the top choice for their facility. Snohomish County PUD also offered them a utility rebate on the lighting. “LLLC is our highest incentive for controls-related incentives,” said Petosa. “Snohomish County PUD provided $43,000 in incentives, covering 86 percent of the capital cost.”

Paired with Vision Profile Extrusion’s need for long-term performance and an LED fixture upgrade—now with an improved lifetime of 10 to 20 years— it was the most cost-effective time to incorporate LLLC.

“Our motto is to ‘get the light right,’ said Heron. “LLLC was the solution that would make the lights brighter, save on capital and operational costs, and futureproof their investment for years to come."

When Fenrich took the total cost, under-a-year return on investment numbers, and additional business benefits to ownership, they knew LLLC was the best choice. He immediately received the approval to move forward.

Beyond Energy Savings
Heron sourced 181 high bays and 109 troffers with the set of specific controls that were needed. The combination of Heron’s installation crew and Fenrich’s internal maintenance team installed the new system in a matter of days. After initial commissioning, the energy savings started just as quickly, cutting back more than 112,000 kWh a year and achieving roughly $10,115 in annual electrical savings. Vision Profile Extrusions expects to see an 82 percent return on their investment.

“What’s unique about this project is that they got better light for the same wattage, and they gained control that they did not have before,” Petosa said. “LLLC systems allow you to futureproof your savings, and as you move forward, you can adjust your lighting to the needs of your staff and your building.”

But the benefits don’t stop with the energy savings. The people who work at the facility—from the morning shift to the night shift—are experiencing better lighting, a safer work environment, and virtually no system maintenance. The fixtures installed are tuned as high as 6,000 kelvin, but the LLLC system allows the facility management crew to adjust light levels, color temperature, and behavior settings to the needs of each space through an app.

“The LLLC system was very easy to install. The brighter lights really help, and when the areas are not being used, the lights dim down, eventually going off when there’s no occupancy,” Fenrich said. “There’s been zero maintenance on it, we’re saving money, and I’m not putting any time into the lights. I encourage other facility and maintenance managers to contact manufacturers and find out what’s available to them, because most likely you’ll save energy and money.”

With LLLC, Fenrich went beyond meeting the need for better lighting. He and his crew have installed a smart and flexible lighting system that will give the facility the right light for years to come.

“We’re saving kWH. We’re meeting goals. We're getting better light, safer standards, and less maintenance at the facility. It’s a huge win.” – Rusty Fenrich, Maintenance and Facility Manager, Vision Profile Extrusions

About Vision Profile Extrusions USA

Vision Profile Extrusions is a leader in the North American extrusion industry backed by over 40 years of manufacturing history. Facilities like the plant in Everett produce an array of applications for buildings including decking, fencing, railings, patio doors, and more.

How to Get Started with LLLC

To find the LLLC system that is best for you, you’ll first need to understand the performance and business benefits that are right for your building. Contact your local utility, visit betterbricks.com/LLLC, or reach out to the Northwest Trade Ally Network for free resources to get started.
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