Commercial Construction & Renovation Magazine June 2012
When Starbucks® recently decided to renovate its flagship store in the heart, of New York City's Times Square Theatre District, it chose LED lighting to help achieve the look of a distinctive design inspired by images of old Broadway.
Historically, Broadway is the central artery of New York that includes a history that in many ways represents the history of the Big Apple itself. The old Broadway theme was chosen as a testament of the area's Theatre District, and part of a new "neighborhood concept design" program launched by Starbucks to incorporate distinct design elements into their stores that reflect the neighborhoods they are located in.
A major part of achieving the old Broadway theme was finding a way to light the store as if it were a theater stage set. But besides appearance, Starbucks also was concerned with conserving as much energy as possible while achieving the greatest cost savings- factors that were particularly important to the Times Square location because it is one of the coffee giant's busiest stores.
Starbucks sought the help of trusted lighting experts New York-based Focus Lighting, an architectural lighting design firm that, in turn, reached out to Florida based LED Source®, an international supplier of LED lighting that specializes in full-scale evaluations and retrofits. LED lights were selected for its energy and cost efficiency compared with traditional lighting.
LED lights are, in fact, the most energy-efficient lighting option on the market, as they cut costs on energy bills and maintenance fees, while producing brilliant, functional lighting.
For Focus Lighting and LED Source, the challenge was to create a lighting set-up that would achieve Starbucks' vision of an old Broadway-theme, while reducing the store's impact on the environment through energy conservation. Also in-line with Starbucks's goals to be friendly to the environment was the standard to achieve certification by the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED® program, as well as Starbucks' own Energy Conservation program. The program calls for each Starbucks' store to reduce its energy consumption 25 percent by 2015.
Bringing on the new generation
With those goals in mind, the lighting team- which included renowned lighting designers Paul Gregory, Brett Andersen and Joshua Spitzig from Focus Lighting - went to work by incorporating the latest generation in LED lighting from Toshiba®.
The lighting team's mission was to incorporate signature theatrical elements reminiscent of an old theater stage set by installing Fresnel lighting fixtures equipped with LED lamps and barn doors, and then mounted on triangular trusses. Fresnel lights are the classic round lights traditionally used in theaters for lighting a stage with soft-edged controlled lighting. The lights also are used in television studios for key and back lighting. The trusses help guide light to various heights of the stage.
LED accent lighting also was integrated into a canopy area and shelving units throughout the store. The "Starbucks" letters inside the store also were backlit to emanate warm glow. By the time the lighting project was complete, the interior of the store was bathed in beautiful stage-like lighting, reflecting the theme and feel of the neighborhood's famous theatrical past.
To meet the project's environmental and cosmetic needs, 73 Toshiba LED PAR30 lamps at 16.3 Watts and 55 Toshiba LED MR16 lamps at 6.7 Watts were installed throughout the store. The PAR30 lamps last, on average, 25 times longer than traditional light bulbs and use up to 75 percent less energy than halogen bulbs.
The LED MR16 lamps last up to 20 times longer and use up to 80 percent less energy than halogens. Furthermore, the bulbs are mercury and lead-free, and emit 70 percent less UV light compared to traditional halogen lighting.
The Toshiba LED lamps were the ideal choice in trying to create an image of old Broadway because of a soft look that doesn't sacrifice lighting quality. When installing the lamps fixtures, the design team took extra care to aim the lamps just right, so as to achieve that old school, almost imperfect theater feel of times past. With the low-maintenance cycle of the lamps, maintenance will be minimal, ensuring the look and feel will last for some time to come.
With the installation of LED lighting throughout the store, Starbucks' end result wasn't just an exciting new store atmosphere reflecting the rich history of its surroundings, but also an annual savings of $11,7 50 in energy and maintenance costs (compared to traditional lighting).
Perhaps the best part for Starbucks is that the store will receive a return on investment in less than a year from when the project was completed last September.
The Toshiba Dimmable LED PAR30 Short & Long Neck 800 Series is a high quality 120 VAC LED replacement lamp. Learn More