Assembly-Plant Lighting Retrofit


TLEDs save more than $300,000 annually in energy and maintenance.

by  on November 7, 2017 in FeaturedLighting & Electrical

As energy optimization leader at the 4.7-million-sq.-ft. General Motors’ Orion Assembly plant in Lake Orion, MI, Edward Fish is responsible for driving and supporting corporate energy conservation initiatives in GM’s manufacturing and non-manufacturing facilities.

The facility was built in 1983 and is where the Chevrolet Sonic and the Chevrolet Bolt EV are assembled. It is the first GM facility to receive the Clean Corporate Citizen designation by the state. In addition, it received a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Leadership Award for 2016.














With linear fluorescent lamps from various manufacturers approaching end of life, Fish and his team performed an extensive evaluation of various tubular LED (TLED) product manufacturers. The company performed a technical review, followed by an on-site product evaluation to assess performance. After the studies, Fish selected products from Starco Lighting, Buffalo, NY.

“The business case for the corporate energy conservation project was based on engineering calculations, which demonstrated a simple two-year payback from energy savings,” Fish stated.

Starco’s extensive line of 2-, 3-, 4-, and 8-ft. product lengths and wattages ranging from 9 W in a 2-ft. tube to 36 W in an 8-ft. tube was first tested at the GM Components Holdings facility in Grand Rapids, MI.

DES Electrical Services of Detroit was brought in to perform the retrofit. Gaining access to some areas without impacting production required good communication, planning, and coordination with tech support teams, specifically above the robotic welding cells in the body shop.

Work was done in various phases. Ceiling heights ranged from 12 ft. in office areas to approximately 24 ft. in manufacturing areas. The retrofitting of the light fixtures was accomplished primarily during non-production hours, but some work was done during normal business hours.

“We upgraded areas from linear fluorescent to tubular LED in the body shop and throughout general assembly, material storage, kitting, paint shop, final assembly, trim shop, maintenance areas, and administration building office areas,” Fish explained.

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