Category: Car Dealerships

Service With a Shine

An auto and tire center upgraded its car care with improved lighting from Arkon Power.

Goodyear Leone Auto Repair & Tire, Oldsmar, Florida, was having trouble with its lights, and the darkness was affecting all aspects of the auto service center’s business.

Goodyear’s technicians either couldn’t see what they were doing, or they dealt with sub-optimal conditions to account for the lack of lighting. Lighting maintenance and power costs were too high. And customers couldn’t be serviced quickly and efficiently.

Arkon Power had the solution to put the Pinellas Country-based Goodyear outlet on track to have a great year, replacing the company’s legacy lighting with LED fixtures throughout its service area.

“I am just really happy with the light quality itself,” company President Nick Leone said. “I can’t say anything bad about it. The techs are really happy, and the light quality is amazing.”

Prior to installing the new LED lighting—efficient high bays down the middle of the service area, and 4-foot linear low bays between each work center—Goodyear Leone operated 8-foot fluorescent tube lighting throughout its facility on Tampa Road. The lights often went out, and when they were working, they didn’t provide enough illumination for technicians to see what they were doing. The Central Florida service center frequently had to open its doors to let in enough light to work. On hot days, conditions were stifling. On cloudy days, light was still an issue.

“They wanted to replace the tubes in the existing fixtures,” Arkon’s Graham Brown said. “That would’ve helped, but it was not going to be the best solution.”

After completing a photometric plan, Brown and his team came up with the current configuration. The result was daylight-like lighting regardless of conditions and shadow elimination regardless of car positioning.

“Better lighting makes it easier to work—you can just see things better,” Leone said. “If it’s raining out or overcast, we still don’t have dark spots in the shop. The use of [supplemental] lights has gone down drastically.”

Leone said his Goodyear facility has also seen a drop in its energy bill, using nearly 1,000 watts less energy each month. And that reduction is even with longer hourly lighting use.

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Illuminating Service Areas for Car Dealerships

Arkon continues to grow its business in an overlooked area of car dealerships.

The lighting on the front line of car dealerships gets all the attention—that’s where customers see automobiles beautifully illuminated as night falls, and most managers know that’s where they can make a big difference by updating with LEDs.

But just as critical is an area in which Arkon Power continues to see business growth: Lighting in car dealership service areas.

“It’s an area that is often overlooked, but it’s extremely important,” Arkon Technical Manager Graham Brown said. “Service is a major revenue stream for dealerships, and proper lighting can increase productivity and safety.”

Arkon typically fits auto maintenance departments with standard high bay LEDs and linear high bays, providing ambient light throughout the space and a frame of lighting directly around automobiles in service. Arkon’s engineering department can provide revamped lighting layouts that achieve 70% energy cost reductions on average.

“The lighting layouts are critical,” Brown said. “You have to make sure light strikes all sides of the cars to eliminate shadows, even when they are raised up on lifts.”

LEDs also make the working area safer and reduce lighting maintenance, meaning decreased downtime for auto service centers. During the lighting installation project, Arkon works in stages to minimize work stoppages for renovation.

Arkon has completed recent service area lighting projects for Brandon Honda in Florida and BMW Fairfax in Virginia. Most dealerships making the investment report they can complete more jobs in a shorter amount of time due to the improved lighting, which eliminates the need for supplementary bulbs and headlamps.

“Every dealer we’ve worked with has been extremely happy, and some of the best feedback comes from the service technicians themselves,” Brown said. “They’re the ones working on the cars, and their appreciation means a lot.”

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Arkon Provides LED Site Lighting Crown Acura Auto Dealership in Clearwater, Florida

Arkon assisted the auto group in revamping its lighting during a major facility remodel and expansion.

When Crown Acura looked to remodel its car lot in the heart of Clearwater, Fla., the dealership knew lighting would be critical to its success. So the sales organization worked with an industry contractor who knew just where to find the right solution: Arkon Power.

“They wanted a full-blown remodel, and they wanted to build out a new display lot next door,” Arkon Power Technical Manager Graham Brown said. “We did the photometrics and delivered a bid that proved to be the best anyone could offer. We’re proud to have won the contract.”

Crown Acura, located on US Highway 19 near Gulf to Bay Boulevard for more than 20 years, is a critical piece of the Crown Automotive Dealership empire. Earlier this year, the company looked to increase its competitive advantage by purchasing an adjacent shopping center and remodeling its existing facility. The remodel was a full gut job, and the shopping center nearly doubled the size of the dealership’s footprint.

Once it had completed its photometric analysis, Arkon Power provided new fixtures and brackets for the light poles in the existing car lot, as well as a from-scratch lighting layout throughout the new display lot.

The project took on two phases. In phase one, Arkon replaced Crown Acura’s existing 1,000 watt metal halide fixtures with 50 320-watt LED streetlights and 6 240-watt LED streetlights. The fixtures, mounted with 13 charging bull horn brackets, four three-way 120 brackets and seven two-way 180 brackets, reduced power usage by more than 70% compared to the legacy halides.

In phase two of the project, Arkon worked on the new lot, deciding where each pole and fixture would go and installing each from the ground up. All told, the lot was outfitted with 80 320-watt LED streetlights, 31 direct burial concrete light poles, 14 charging bull horn brackets, 13 three-way 120 brackets and two two-way 180 brackets.

One of the goals of the remodel and expansion was to help Crown Acura stand out from its competition—the dealership is among a number of others along the US 19 corridor.

“Lighting is so critical to achieving the look and feel auto dealerships want when they update their facilities,” Brown said. “Crown Acura has told us how happy they are with the results of our lighting design, and anyone who drives by the dealership at night will certainly see why.”

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Revving Up Energy Savings With LED Lighting

Carmakers are looking for an advantage over the competition with LEDs.

Automobile manufacturing is the latest industry to embrace LED lighting, as increasing numbers of carmakers and component suppliers around the world are transitioning to the energy-saving fixtures.

Arkon Power completed its first car manufacturing LED project several years ago when it oversaw a job for global automotive giant Nemak.

Nemak, a car component builder based in Mexico, contracted with Arkon to replace the legacy lighting in its Windsor, Canada, plant with LEDs. The facility, which manufactures aluminum cylinder heads and blocks, was looking for an edge in the highly competitive automotive supply market.

“We believe the manufacturing industry on the whole is a huge growth market for LEDs,” Arkon Power Director of Business Development Eleni Lelekis said. “We’re seeing huge projected and actual savings at large production facilities like Nemak’s Windsor Aluminum plant.”

And Nemak is not alone. Multiple automotive plants have recently jumped on the LED lighting bandwagon, according to a report in Energy Manager Today. One car maker has contracted for engineering studies at all of its North American plants and plans to complete installation projects for five U.S. facilities in 2018. The LED installer for that plant reports it has recently seen an uptick in automotive commissions, with at least two other companies considering installations in the near future.

The increase in automotive projects is part of larger growth in the LED industry worldwide. A report recently released by Research and Markets, “Global Light-emitting Diode Market 2017-2021,” indicates the worldwide LED market is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 18.46% from 2017-2021. According to the report, one driver in the market is a favorable policy environment and governmental support as natural resources are depleted around the globe and climate change is increasingly attributed to human causes.

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Tampa Honda Car Dealership Trades up to LED Site Lighting with Arkon Power

Expensive maintenance and poor light quality were weighing the auto dealer down.

Dave Williams of the Williams Automotive Group knows good advice when he hears it.

So when Ralph Ghioto, owner of Century Buick GMC in Tampa, Florida, told him he loved his new LED parking lot lighting—and furthermore that he was very happy with the company that helped him with the project—Williams knew what to do. He called Arkon Power.

“We knew Century had the lights installed and they were pleased, from Arkon’s service, to the installation, to the energy savings and the operation of the lights afterward,” said Graham Hill, Williams Automotive Group’s general counsel. Hill also praised the work of USA Lighting, Arkon’s automotive sales representative that originally worked with Century Buick GMC.

The Williams Group’s first LED site lighting installation with Arkon, at its Tampa Honda dealership in Hillsborough County, brought with it a double-dose of savings. On top of the more than 75% Arkon was able to reduce the auto dealer’s energy bill, Tampa Honda eliminated a monthly maintenance contract it needed to keep up with all the lights that had been going out.

Arkon replaced those legacy lights—178 1,000-watt metal halide shoeboxes, 34 mid-pole lights and 18 wall packs—with 48 320-watt LEDs along the front line of the dealership and 121 280-watt LEDs throughout the lot.

In addition to positioning the high-powered lights where customers could see them and eliminating the redundant mid-pole fixtures, Arkon Technical Manager Graham Brown was able to use a photometric analysis to focus the new LED lights even further. By implementing four different lens types, Brown and his team eliminated the light pollution the sidewalks and streets around Tampa Honda.

“This was an extensive one because of the number of lenses and wattages,” Brown said. “We also used shielding on the side of the lot because it’s next to an apartment complex.”

With the lights in place, Hill said Tampa Honda is already seeing energy savings, and the brightness and lighting quality is everything the group hoped they’d see.

“It’s such an updated look and consistent light output,” he said. “Graham’s analysis of the photometric plans were spot on. It gives our whole facility an updated feel.”

Arkon specialists have also helped Tampa Honda access energy company rebates, Hill said. “Arkon has been great, being flexible and on time and expense,” he said. “It’s a great company, and we plan to keep in touch and look out for new opportunities.”

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Sun State Ford Sees the Light With LED

The car dealership located in Central Florida has turned a costly maintenance issue into a competitive advantage.

Sun State Ford’s lights were going out, and management had a decision to make. Should the Orlando-based car dealership keep replacing its hodgepodge of high maintenance metal halides or switch to a standardized solution?

The answer was LED site lighting from Arkon Power.

“It was such a random mix of fixtures, it was hard to tell what was what,” Arkon Technical Manager Graham Brown said. “We were able to give them a more uniform look, along with a set of fixtures that wouldn’t keep failing at odd times.”

Once Brown and the Arkon team charted Sun State’s assortment of existing lights, they offered to replace 167 metal halides with 154 lower wattage LEDs. The decrease from 133,000 watts to 39,000 watts would represent a 70.67% reduction in total power usage, and because the cost of LEDs has come down in recent years, the decision to upgrade to the new technology was an easy one.

“It was costing us a great deal of money just to maintain the lights we had, and we had heard about LEDs and how long they lasted,” Sun State General Manager Linda Rakestraw said. “Not only are we saving on not having to replace anything, the lighting is bright and crisp, all the fixtures are the same and we are saving on our electric bill.”

Arkon was able to more effectively position Sun State Ford’s lights to highlight critical sections of the car dealership. On the front line, 320-watt streetlights were used. The balance of the lot was illuminated with 240-, 200- and 120-watt fixtures.

In addition to the energy savings, Arkon was able to save Sun State Ford a significant amount on the retrofit by reusing existing lighting brackets. The lighting solutions firm also upgraded the auto dealer’s wall pack lighting, service drive, new car delivery area and the building’s front canopy.

According to Arkon Director of Business Development Eleni Lelekis, lighting projects for car dealerships like Sun State Ford, which is situated near its competitors, are invaluable.

“We’ve done projects for a number of dealerships that are located on these high density auto sales strips, and they’re among our most satisfied customers,” she said. “If you don’t go this route, you are giving up a distinct competitive advantage.”

In Orange County, where Sun State Ford is located, Arkon’s products offered yet another advantage. Through the use of low profile back light shielding, light pollution was kept below the county’s stringent ordinances.

“The directional nature of LEDs already limits light pollution,” Brown said. “Our engineers were able to develop an elegant solution that kept Sun State Ford well within local regulations.”

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Tampa, Florida Auto Dealer Makes Switch to LED Site Lighting With No Money out of Pocket

Hillsborough County Based Car Dealership, Century Buick GMC recently installed high-end lighting to highlight its inventory, and it did so without a single cost showing up on its balance sheet.

Working with Arkon and its automotive sales team, Century was able to secure financing for the replacement of 100% of its exterior lighting.. That meant turning 128 820-watt metal halide shoeboxes and 14 250-watt wall packs into the same number of LED fixtures, each operating at a fraction of the wattage of its predecessor. With the power and maintenance savings outpacing the car dealer’s monthly payment on a 60-month financing plan, the decision to upgrade to LEDs was easy.

“When you sit down with an intelligent dealer, like [Century’s] Ralph Ghioto is, and show them the cost-benefit analysis, it really is a no-brainer,” Arkon Automotive Sales Representative Tom McQueen said. “If more people thought like Ralph, the world would be a better place.”

Arkon LED’s lighting engineers performed a site survey at Century and determined the company could enjoy better quality light with 30 280-watt LED streetlights along the front line, another 98 200-watt streetlights throughout the lot and 14 80-watt fixtures on its facility walls. The result was daylight-quality illumination with an estimated annual power bill reduction of $36,567.

Century was able to reduce its environmental footprint by 73.4% by making the move, with Arkon’s engineers custom designing brackets and handpicking lenses for each lighting fixture to ensure optimal light distribution. No light was wasted. No car was left in the dark.

“When people are coming in to spend $40,000, $50,000 on a car, if you don’t have the latest technology in lighting, what confidence do they have in you for the car?” McQueen said. “It is about cost and product presentation for the guests.”

What made Arkon stand out from the crowd of LED providers? McQueen, who’s done countless LED conversions for car dealers as founder of USA Lighting Solutions, said that in addition to price, it was about quality and service.

“One of the things this customer liked about Arkon is the technology is consistent with the look and image of the dealer,” McQueen said. “And, they were a local vendor with a presence here in the community. What Arkon is really good at is taking that hands-on approach to servicing the customer. Car dealers especially know how import that is, so they expect the same level of service, and Arkon delivers.”

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Arkon Launches Partnership with Sonic Automotive Group

Arkon’s LED Site Lighting fixtures are saving the first of many Sonic Automotive Group dealerships 75% on its power bill.

Arkon LED has launched a relationship with one of the largest car dealership groups in the country, and if the results of the first installation at the Economy Honda Superstore in Chattanooga, Tenn., are any indication, it should be a fruitful, long-running partnership.

“Just looking at the lot’s exterior power consumption, LED lighting is going to save the company more than 75% on their annual power bill,” Arkon’s LED Sales Guy Greg Papandrew said. “Those are industry-leading numbers.”

Sonic Automotive Dealerships, which operates 137 car lots from Maryland to Southern California, is in the planning phases of saving itself that much money nationwide. It chose its Economy Honda Superstore  as the first site where Arkon LED could work its magic.

The exterior lighting at the Chatanooga location previously consisted of 108 1,080-watt metal halide shoeboxes and 44 465-watt metal halides. Arkon replaced those fixtures with 108 320-watt LED lights.

“The main challenge was that this was a very large lot requiring maximum pole spacing and adjustable fixtures to allow the most coverage,” Papandrew said. “We were able to replace the high voltage halides with much less energy intensive LEDs and eliminate the mid-power lights altogether.”

At the end of the year, Economy Honda’s exterior power bill is expected to be around $14,000, down from over $60,000 in previous years.

Arkon was also called on to replace Economy Honda’s 18 465-watt and 8 125-watt interior metal halide recessed can lights with 36 60-watt and 9 40-watt LED flat panels. The sleek solution is expected to reduce the company’s interior power consumption from $6,156 to $1,656, another reduction of nearly 75%.

On top of all that savings, Economy Honda received a hefty utility company rebate of $12,536.42 for its energy saving efforts.

“With a car dealership like this, LEDs can save owners so much money, it’s hard to believe they can also get a rebate on top of that,” Papandrew said. “But it’s a reality, and it’s hard to ignore.”

According to Arkon LED Director of Business Development Eleni Lelekis, the company is in the process of finalizing several other projects with Sonic Automotive and is excited to release the details in the near future. For more information on this or any other Arkon LED project, email

Gainesville Buick GMC has brightened its lot and service bay with LEDs from Arkon.

Arkon LED recently replaced Gainesville Buick GMC’s metal halide lighting with its energy efficient LEDs, leading to a brighter car lot that’s now allowing the car dealership to show its cars at night. According to Matt Kynard, the dealership’s finance manager, the lights have resulted in a more attractive service bay and increased employees’ sense of security.

“What a difference the LEDs make compared to what we had before,” Kynard said. “The old lighting in the service bay—the [metal halide] lighting that we had before—was frankly horrible.”

The biggest difference, though, is the cost, Kynard said. By replacing 65 1,080-watt metal halides and 16 465-watt bulbs with 82 270-watt LED fixtures, Gainesville Buick GMC can expect annual savings of more than $37,000. Additional savings are expected from the service bay installation, where 20 285-watt metal halide lamps were replaced with 20 90-watt LED high bay fixtures.

“We’re very happy with it, and our customers are very happy with it,” Kynard said.

Kynard noted the lighting has helped Gainesville Buick GMC stand out compared to other nearby car sellers, saying that “if you drive up and down the strip, without a doubt ours is the brightest and cleanest looking lot.”

Arkon’s LED Sales Guy Greg Papandrew said the Gainesville Buick GMC project was particularly satisfying because it shows off all the great things LED lighting can do for a business at one location.

“We not only save you power and money, we make sure you’re the brightest dealership on the block,” Papandrew said. “At the end of the day, an investment in lighting should be an investment in improving your customers’ experience.”

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Arkon Launches New Automotive Sales Division

USA Lighting Solutions LLC brings decades of experience to growing team.

Arkon LED has created a new Automotive Sales Division through a partnership with USA Lighting Solutions LLC, a team of professionals with decades of experience improving car dealership facilities.

“We couldn’t be happier having USA Lighting on board to take our already stellar automotive sales to the next level,” Arkon LED’s Eleni Lelekis said. “Both of the company’s managing partners, Steven Gurriell and Tom McQueen, are exceptional talents in the automotive industry.”

Gurriell has been an active member of the automotive community for more than 30 years, working on both the retail and wholesale sides of the industry. While in retail, Gurriell held management positions in both service and sales and leadership roles with Mercedes Benz USA and Volkswagen. His most recent endeavors with GM included facility design/renovations, construction management/process facilitation, launching a brand, training, and business management consulting.

McQueen has served the automotive industry for more than 25 years. As a nationally recognized speaker and award-winning author, his advice on improving processes, performance, and profit is routinely sought by business executives. As the principal/managing partner of USA Lighting Solutions LLC, Tom partners with dealerships and other clients to significantly reduce energy expenses by installing the best lighting products manufactured today.

“The team of Gurriell and McQueen has been handpicked by major automotive companies to single handedly spearhead their sales facility renovations,” Lelekis said. “Their addition to our team was a no brainier, and we expect big things to come of this partnership.”

To learn more about Arkon LED’s new Automotive Sales Division, please visit

Arkon Engineers Provide Dixie Buick GMC Truck Unique Solution

Arkon Engineers Provide Dixie Buick GMC Truck Unique Solution

  • Dixie Sales Manager: LEDs Provide Advantage Over Competition
  • $35,000 Annual Power Savings to Payback in <3 Years
  • Mixing Fixture Wattages Optimizes Aesthetic, Savings

The arms race was on for Dixie Buick GMC Truck in Fort Myers, Fla. The goal? Sell more cars. The weapon? Lot-enhancing lighting.

“My competitors have all improved their lights over the last several years,” said Steve Johnson, the dealership’s sales manager. “Still, our Arkon LED lighting stands out among them all.”

Johnson and Dixie Owner Robert Adkins were having problems with their existing lighting, and they knew they had to find the most cutting edge lighting technology to outpace the other car lots on the South Florida strip where they’re located. The solution was to replace Dixie’s 80 1,000-watt metal halide bulbs with a mix of 120-, 200- and 300-watt Shoeboxes from Arkon LED.

Arkon’s lighting engineers performed an in-depth light field study and determined the best strategy for Dixie. The result was bright light throughout the facility with optimized power usage. The lighting conversion is expected to yield Dixie $35,000 per year in savings, which will pay back the cost of the project in about two years.
“Why make the back of the car lot look as bright as the front?” Arkon’s Greg Papandrew asked. “By selectively reducing wattage, we were able to shave a third off the already-reduced power consumption.”

In addition to the optimized power and cost savings, Dixie will enjoy the other benefits of top-of-the-line LED lighting—drastically reduced maintenance, increased safety and security, and the aesthetic appeal to sell more cars.

“The difference between the lighting now and before is truly night and day,” Johnson said. “When you drive down the street, we are the most visible store on the strip of car dealers. If you are on the lot looking at a car, you can actually see in the car, see the interiors, read the window labels. It has made all the difference.”


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Archon Helps Gainesville Car Dealer Capitalize on Expiring Utility Rebate

Archon Helps Gainesville Car Dealer Capitalize on Expiring Utility Rebate

  • Tomlinson Motor Company Installed 50+ Archon Lights
  • Project Will Pay for Itself in About 2 Years
  • GRU Rebate ($14,000+ for Tomlinson) Expires This Fall

Tomlinson Motor Company had a vision. The company saw its cars bathed in sunlight-like illumination. It saw a more inviting showroom. It saw a reduced environmental footprint. And it saw it all happening before its local utility company’s energy savings incentives expired. “We wanted the improved lighting coverage LEDs can provide,” said J.D. Tomlinson, company owner. “Gainesville Regional Utilities’ (GRU) expiring rebate was a big bonus.”

Like many regional energy companies, GRU recognizes lighting can account for nearly one-third of a business’ total energy needs. In many cases, the same light output can be achieved using lower-wattage lamps like Archon Power’s LEDs. Particularly in the case of Archon’s bulbs, powered by the proprietary Heat Spreader, air conditioning costs can also be reduced. So through the end of its fiscal year in late September, the utility is offering up to $100,000 or 50% back on lighting project implementation costs. The rebate is based on the reduction in energy use directly attributed to the project.

For Tomlinson Motor Cars, Archon Power’s installation more than produced the desired effect. The company installed 30 200-watt Shoebox LEDs, 6 50-watt Versa I LEDs, 14 100-watt LED modules and two LED tube retrofit kits and received a $14,060 rebate from GRU. The project is expected to save Tomlinson Motor Cars $20,635 in the first year and pay for itself in about 2 years.

“The lights look really good,” Tomlinson said. “They more than met my expectations, and Archon Power did a great job. Everyone was very responsive, and their reps were on-site a lot.”


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