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Retail County Seat

County Seat gets energy efficiency,
color rendering with prismatic lighting

County Seat, Inc., generally tries to create a more down-scale look for its County Seat Outlet stores, located in high traffic, strip outlet malls. The 5,000-square-foot stores, which offer a range of discounted jeans and casual wear for men and women in the 18 to 40-year age group, have open ceilings with exposed air conditioning ducts and electrical conduits.

Because of the height of the ceilings, which vary from 16 to 18 feet, County Seat moved from fluorescent to a high intensity discharge system for ambient lighting. Fixtures installed are Holophane PrismGlo Electra prismatic glass luminaires with 400-watt metal halide lamps. The Electra shape was chosen because of its attractive globe. Luminaires are suspended from the metal deck or joists to 12 feet, spaced 12 feet by 14 feet on center.

According to Bill Gerson, director of construction for County Seat Stores, Inc., cost was a factor in fixture selection.

"We wanted a luminaire that was not only reasonably priced, but energy efficient," he said. "We also needed fixtures that would give enough 'punch' to the light to adequately illuminate the ceiling."

The Electra luminaires provide 40 percent uplight, reducing ceiling contrast and increasing vertical illumination. Because County Seat heavily merchandises the walls in its stores, a combination of supplemental fluorescent and incandescent track lighting is used to "warm up" these areas. Average illumination levels are between 60 and 70 footcandles.

"Color rendering is excellent," said Gerson. "That was a concern since we want customers to have a true representation of what they are buying. Another goal was to make each person's skin look as good as possible."

Since some of the County Seat Outlets have tight clearances, fixture ballasts are remote. Gerson points out that this can save eight to 12 inches.

To date, six County Seat Outlet Stores have been completed, with 20 fixtures used per facility. No regular maintenance schedule exists; lamps will be replaced as needed.
County Seat, Inc., operates approximately 700 stores located throughout the continental United States. The company is headquartered in Dallas.


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