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    United Supermarkets Saves Energy with LEDs in Stores

    The chain is "spotlighting" frozen foods as it makes the case for saving energy and labor via the lighting technology.

    United Supermarkets said it has changed the lighting behind about 3,600 doors on the reach-in freezer cases in its 47 stores, replacing fluorescent bulbs with strips of light emitting diodes or LEDs.

    The new lighting is 84 percent more efficient and reduces glare to better highlight products, said the Lubbock-based grocer.

    The new LED lighting in the display cases, made by Lumination, also doesn't emit as much heat, reducing the amount of energy in turn needed to keep cases cool. There is also a labor savings with LED lighting, which lasts about 50,000 hours in a cold environment compared to fluorescent lamps, which last about 18,000. United's estimated savings with the freezer lights could be more than $633,000 annually in energy and maintenance savings.

    The application is part of a strategy at United to operate with energy efficiency in mind. The chain said it is building several stores in the Dallas market that will apply new energy-saving design concepts.

    "We're working on incorporating new design technologies into our new store concepts," said Michael Molina, United's vp of facilities design and development. "Those represent the best of the best for us, and we're really making some headway in energy savings."

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