Lighting Your Site and Keeping Staff and Customers Safe Through Technology Against Covid
By Dave Bowen
The LED lighting world advanced faster in all markets than any other technology in the past as it has so many capabilities but people are not taking advantage of this to improve their site and profits.
Definitely a large number have changed out their canopy and site lighting and some have done carwashes and the interior usually with low-cost LED that does not bring attention to the most important thing – your profit centre – “all you sell in-store.”
There is so much more that can be done for not a lot of money by incorporating some special night effects and utilizing LED controls that can completely transform your interior space. You will also find your suppliers become much more supportive as you are doing things to promote their brands which is a win/win for all.
A lot of these are small things like making your coffee/pastry depot brighter than the rest of your store, pick an area in your front window to feature a “special” with slow up and down dimming to bring attention from the road or pumps. Put an LED ATM sign above your ATM – everyone says ATM Inside then you spend the next five minutes trying to find it tucked away in a corner; same with lottery, you can’t win without a ticket, the trick is to find where to check for the winner!
Over the years, LED colour changing has become much lower cost with advanced capabilities again through simple controls easily installed behind the scenes but creating dramatic attention getting effects inside and out.
Colour changing on an interior is always a challenge due to all the ambient white light but it can still be very effective in a nighttime environment when used in a window display or signage advertising in store specials. However, on the exterior, for those of you that have carwashes with side windows, there is an excellent opportunity with RGB LED technology, which in turn increases in-store and gas sales overall.
A colour changing carwash again is an easy installation of linear or flood LED fixtures on the window side of the carwash and is controlled by a sensor or infrared to activate when a car enters the wash.
Your normal LED white light safely directs the vehicle in and then triggers an exciting, colourful experience both on the exterior, and especially the interior, as everything changes colour and is extremely eye catching from the road or pumps.
Kids as usual love a new experience and word gets out about the colour changing carwash and it becomes a family experience, which in turn becomes more sales in the c-store while they are there and might as well gas up as well. In your key carwash season, which usually extends from late fall through the winter into spring when it gets dark at 4:30pm, this RGB technology can greatly enhance the appearance and appeal of your site and it is only natural that profits will go up overall.
The aspect of safety on any site is always a key concern for both staff and customers and there is no doubt LED lighting technology has brightened up sites to make them appear safer, cleaner and more appealing. However, in this age of pandemics with coronavirus and numerous variants that just seem to keep coming what else can LED do to protect everyone involved in a c-store site especially against viruses? Once again, the true capabilities of LED have been realized!
New UVC LED technology that eradicates not only the C 19 virus but flu/cold viruses, all bacteria and mold in a c-store air duct ventilation system is now on the market. UVC LED is not visible light but rather emits 280 nanometers of radiant flux that eradicates the virus in .07 seconds as well as the variants, including Delta and whatever comes after it in the future.
The UVC unit simply mounts in the Intake portion of the ventilation system and begins eradicating the virus from eight feet away, breaking it down before it ever reaches the fixture. Unfortunately, a lot of people rely on HVAC companies putting in new HEPA filter but they do not work against C 19 and the variants. The reason for this is HEPA filters only catch airborne spores that are .33 microns and Covid is .11 microns and passes right through. Also, the variants are even smaller, travel faster and further than your standard C 19 virus meaning every time a customer comes in if they have Covid it is going quickly into your ventilation systems.
So, there is a lot going on in the c-store/carwash market with various forms of LED technology including protecting your staff and customers. It’s been a couple of tough years for all and I sincerely hope some of this information will help you make good decisions to strengthen your existing business and increase badly needed profits – stay viable and stay visible and most of all – stay safe!
Dave Bowen is president of Roctan 2000 LTD LED Lighting and Design out of London Ontario. He has over 40 years in the lighting business and specialized in LED Lighting and new technology for the last 12+ years especially in the Retail Petro market. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org