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Retail Sunflower Farmers Market

Holophane Lighting helps Sunflower Farmers Markets create highly successful store.

Energy efficient lighting helps store meet mandate to be as green as possible
Sunflower Farmers Markets wants its stores to look as fresh and attractive as its extensive line of natural food products. The chain, which operates stores in six western and southwestern states, prides itself on offering consumers the highest quality natural and organic foods at the lowest prices. Many of its retail facilities are located in large unoccupied spaces that are part of strip shopping malls.

The Sunflower Farmers Market in Boulder, Colorado recently converted from an indoor movie theater, which presented some unique challenges when designing the lighting. The theater had an open floor plan with a 10-foot ceiling in the lobby and adjoining 28-foot ceilings in the remainder of the space. One of the entrances was elevated four feet above the main floor, with steps and a ramp used to reach the main level.

“We had to carefully illuminate each of these areas, paying special attention to light transition and the way shoppers move through the primary spaces within the store,” said Brian Whitney, director of construction for Sunflower Farmers Market. “Energy was a primary concern because Sunflower Farmers Market is a responsible company constantly striving to be as green as possible to minimize our impact on the planet.”

Layering the lighting
Store lighting was designed using a layering technique that combines ambient light with task and accent lighting to emphasize foods, fixtures and spaces. Keeping with Sunflower’s mandate to be as green as possible, the store installed six-lamp HBS Series high bay florescent fixtures from Holophane to provide general lighting for the sales floor.

HBS Series fixtures use extra long life T8 lamps and high ballast factor electronic ballasts. They also include premium Miro 4 high performance reflectors and are installed with Y Gripple hangers.

“Based on past experience, we understand that good lighting impacts sales when combined with the superior products customers want,” Whitney said. “We selected the Holophane fixtures because we had already installed the luminaires in two other stores. We knew the fixtures were high quality and could be fit to the space to provide a high level of performance during long hours of operation.”

The store installed Holophane CC Series premium industrial 3-lamp fluorescent fixtures with T5 high output lamps and task light distribution above produce islands and bulk food areas. Two-lamp low profile IC Series industrial fluorescent fixtures illuminate areas with lower ceilings. The IC Series fixtures have the T8 lamps on the side of the luminaire body to maximize fixture spacing and minimize glare.

Windows add natural light
During the remodeling, Sunflower installed windows in raised ceiling areas to allow natural light to enter the space and provide a connection with the outside world. The windows are mounted on the east and west walls and change the direction daylight enters the store as the day progresses, which dramatically altering the store’s character throughout the year.

“The windows provide a special appeal that enhances the Sunflower Farmers Market natural food theme,” Whitney said. “The natural light also emphasizes the quality of our products.”

Guiding customers through the store
Sunflower selected HSM Series fluorescent fixtures with heavy duty housing to illuminate signage. The fixtures use two T8 lamps and include special premium Miro 4 30-degree angled light distribution that concentrates the light on the sign face, helping customers identify products and the store’s various departments.

Luminaires are installed at 25 feet in areas with the higher ceilings and nine feet in areas where ceilings are lower. Illumination levels are a minimum of 50 footcandles in the grocery aisles and 100 footcandles above the produce islands.

“Lighting for all areas within the store is carefully blended to make the environment as comfortable and attractive as possible while guiding customers through the various departments,” Whitney said.

A complete package
Holoflex II Modular Wiring provides flexible power to the primary fixtures on the sales floor. Flexible wiring made it easy to modify fixture placement during installation and will facilitate floor plan adjustments in the future.

A programmable light control relay panel is used to switch light fixtures on and off during the various times of the day. The system includes photosensor switching that controls the luminaires based on the amount of daylight entering the windows in the raised ceiling areas.

“Holophane provided us a complete package of quality lighting products supported by strong technical and design assistance,” Whitney said. “The Holophane luminaires require less maintenance and use less energy, which has helped us create a highly successful store in a very competitive market.”

Whitney added that Sunflower Farmers Markets will be able to apply much of what was learned during the design, construction and commissioning of the Boulder store to future remodeling and building projects.


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