updated 5/26/2011 9:47:11 AM ET 2011-05-26T13:47:11

HUDSON, Ohio, May 26, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores has taken its environmental efforts to new heights—literally. The company retrofitted its expansive parking lot at its Hudson, Ohio, headquarters and adjacent store with high-efficiency Evolve® LED Series Area Lights from GE Lighting (NYSE:GE). Equal in size to about 6 football fields, the 777,350-square foot parking lot is the largest U.S. installation of GE light-emitting diode (LED) parking or area light systems.

"We're seeing an 80-percent lighting system energy savings compared with our previous high-intensity discharge units," says Debbie Mansfield, director, energy and facilities for Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores.

The project involved the replacement of 52 HID lighting systems on 35 poles, which took place over a four-week period. The LED system generates less light than the HID units, but the advanced optics of the LED luminaire directs its light more efficiently, and Jo-Ann is pleased with the results.

"Aesthetics have vastly improved with reductions in both glare and the over spill of light," Mansfield noted. There's also an evenness to outdoor LED systems that enhances visibility for visitors and employees, a benefit that can provide a greater sense of security."

Award-winning GE Evolve® LED Series Area Lights combine the latest in LED system electronics, thermal management, and mechanical and optical design. The result is 80 percent or greater energy savings compared with traditional HID lighting. Its estimated 10-year service life is four times that of a standard HID system, cutting maintenance hassles and costs.

"Outdoor lighting is considered the next frontier for the use of efficient long-life LED systems," says Mike Armstrong, general manager of fixture systems with GE Lighting Solutions. "The opportunity is immense because the installed base of outdoor parking lot, area and roadway lighting in the United States and around the world is almost unimaginable. It's huge. GE is structured to deliver big projects on budget and on time, and to stand behind our solutions for the long haul."

Beaming with efficiency from the inside out

This outdoor lighting installation, projected to reduce Jo-Ann's annual power use by 200,000 kilowatt (kWh) hours, follows an indoor lighting retrofit program that involved 592 stores. Through that initiative, Jo-Ann replaced T12 linear fluorescent lamps and electromagnetic ballasts with more efficient T8 linear fluorescent lamps and electronic ballasts. The net effect was a 31.2 million kWh drop in energy consumption. Additional environmental projects at Jo-Ann include electric usage reductions of:

  • 24.4 million kWh annually with environmental management system controls that manage store temperatures, lighting and sign operations in 433 locations; and
  • 1.5 million kWh annually with the retrofit of Jo-Ann's California distribution center, where all 400- and 1000-watt high-intensity discharge lighting was replaced with more efficient, high-output T5 fluorescent lamps, electronic ballasts and daylight sensors.

In September 2009, the Round Rock, Texas, Jo-Ann store achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Silver Certification under the LEED for Commercial Interiors rating system. The store boasts 45 active skylights with daylight harvesting controls combined with low-wattage light fixtures and LED systems for exterior storefront signage. The facility also has high-efficiency air filters, dual-flush toilets, low-flow sensor faucets and other environmentally conscious features.

Jo-Ann received the GE LEED® Partner of the Year Award in 2009 and earned a LEED Silver Certified store designation for making many of these water- and light-conserving features a standard for future new stores.

About Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores, Inc.

Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores, the nation's largest fabric and craft retailer with locations in 48 states, was founded in 1943 as a single retail store. Today, more than 750 Jo-Ann stores across the country provide consumers with creative inspiration. For additional information, visit www.joann.com .

CONTACT: David Schuellerman
         GE Appliances & Lighting
         1975 Noble Road, Cleveland, OH 44112
         216.266.9702
         david.schuellerman@ge.com

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