NATIONAL CORVETTE MUSEUM
Across the street from General Motor’s Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant, which is the only place in the world where CoNettes are made, is the National Corvette Museum. Constructed in 1994, this showcase to America’s sports car features more than 70 Corvettes. Visitors will see mint-condition classics, one-of-a-kind prototypes that never went into production, racetrack champions, and modern-day wonders of engineering and design.
Recently, the National Corvette Museum upgraded its three parking lots with LED luminaires. In a onefor-one replacement, 17, 1 OOOW metal halide fixtures were replaced with 17, 240W LED luminaires and 27, 400W metal halide fixtures were retrofit with 27, 120W LED luminaires. At the time the decision to retrofit the parking lot lighting was made, the museum had two key priorities for the upgrade: (1) to improve the quality and color rendition of the lighting, and (2) to have better control of lighting energy use while maintaining or improving the lot’s safety.
The LED luminaires provide consistent light levels for the entire parking lot, reduced hazardous waste disposal and provide dramatically more efficient light distribution than the metal halide fixtures. Additionally, these luminaires are virtually maintenance free, offering another opportunity to further reduce expenses.
“The exterior lighting allows us to dramatically reduce operating expenses,” said Bob Hellmann, the museum’s facilities and displays manager. “Additionally, the new lights help make the parking lot bright and secure,” he continued.
The retrofit of these 44 fixtures will save the museum $9,300 annually in energy expenses and virtually eliminate the annual $2,000 that was spent in maintenance and repair for the incumbent metal halide fixtures. The National Corvette Museum will have a payback of only three years.
The utility company, Tennessee Valley Authority, provided $9,350 in incentives for upgrading to LED luminaires.
COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABILITY
The National Corvette Museum is committed to sustainability through several green initiatives with the goal of enhanced energy conservation and lessening its carbon footprint. Through these efforts the museum not only realizes bottom line cost savings but also strengthens business relationships and inspires enviromental action by the facility’s patrons.
In addition to the recent retrofit of exterior LED luminaires of the parking lots, the museum has also upgraded other exterior and interior building fixtures to further reduce energy costs and improve the quality of lighting.
“The energy efficient lighting allows us to drive down operating expenses, present our cars and exhibits in the best light, and contribute to the greening of our community,” said Hellmann. “We installed the LED luminaires and the more efficient fluorescent lights because they pay back in so many ways and it’s the right thing to do,” continued Hellmann.
The LED luminaires are supplied by California-based Optec LED Lightin , a supplier of high efficiency, super bright LED lighting fixtures that feature a patented thermal management system for cool operation and extended life. Optec LED Lighting products are suited for a wide variety of commercial, transportation, industrial and institutional applications.
The luminaires were installed by Bowling Green, Kentucky-based Neon Campus®. Since 1993, Neon Campus designs and manufactures new signs, and services existing signs. The company works on a wide variety of signs and applications, from replicating 100 year-old signs to installing trillion-color mega hybrid LED signs. Additionally, Neon Campus provides parking lot lighting maintenance and a 100-foot crane service.