McGowan Brothers Development (MBD) is a real estate company that began as a family-owned business in the spring of 1997. MBD has refurbished nearly a dozen turn-of-the-century warehouse buildings in downtown St. Louis. Their main focus is on acquiring, rehabilitating, managing, and leasing the individual units. They also manage residential and commercial buildings, as well as several restaurants.
As part of the upkeep on the many properties they manage, McGowan Brothers is responsible for maintaining safe and appropriate lighting in their parking garages. At Grace Lofts, the lighting was made up of low-efficiency 175W HID and fluorescent F32T8 lamps.
“The lighting in our parking garages had begun to look dated, and the old lamps weren’t giving us as much light as we needed. In addition, many of the fixtures needed repair,” says Matt Ryffel, property manager for MBD. He called Starbeam Lighting Solutions to see how they could help with the lighting at Grace Lofts.
Josh Bissey, lighting expert at Starbeam Lighting Solutions, conducted an audit of the existing lighting in the parking garage. “They had older metal halide canopy lighting that had lower wattage. Some of the lamps had broken lenses. Some of them just needed new ballasts or had other things wrong with them,” he says. “Basically, McGowan Brothers just wanted to replace everything.”
Josh also talked to Matt about the key components to consider when it comes to the cost of the lighting. “First of course is the cost of the actual fixture, next is the cost of the energy to make light, and the third component which many people don’t consider is the cost of maintenance over the lifetime of the fixture”, said Matt. “By converting to LED, you save on the fixture cost through the rebate, the energy cost because they are so much more efficient, and on maintenance because they just last longer without changing bulbs.”
“Starbeam showed me a number of options, and they worked with me to find a solution that fit within the budget we had for lighting upgrades,” Ryffle says. “They provided us with LED fixtures that improved and updated the look of our garages and lowered our electric bill at the same time.”
After installing their new Westgate CDL2-45-CW and Eiko LED18T8F/48/840-G6DR lighting, the parking deck at Grace Lofts has brighter, more uniform light. They’ve also reduced energy consumption for their garage lighting by at least 75%. Additionally, Josh from Starbeam helped them through the Ameren Incentive application process and McGowan received $1700 as a result of installing the new energy-efficient lighting.
Ameren estimates that by replacing their old, inefficient lighting with new lamps, at a cost of $1500 after incentive, McGowan Brothers will save nearly $4000 annually on their electric bill. The lighting will pay for itself in a matter of months, making their return on investment a whopping 258%.