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Retail Harley Davidson

Lighting enhances merchandise
appearance for Harley-Davidson dealers

Harley-Davidson wants customers visiting its dealerships to keep their eyes on the merchandise — which includes everything from clothing and motorcycles to accessories, literature and collectibles. Four years ago, Harley-Davidson initiated a national lighting program to promote consistency in the appearance of its dealer locations while meeting each facility’s specific lighting needs. Independent dealers have the option of working with four lighting design firms that have been approved by Harley-Davidson.

“ Good lighting should always go unnoticed,” said Chris Fiorentino, vice president of operations, Nelson Electric Supply Company. “When the lighting design is created, we do not want anything in the showroom that will distract customers from the merchandise.”

To date, about 200 locations have participated in the lighting program including Harley-Davidson of Baton Rouge, Inc. When this high-volume Louisiana dealership constructed its new 40,000-square-foot showroom and service facility, the 14,000-square-foot showroom was originally designed with a 400-watt metal halide lighting system. Chris Smith of Nelson Electric Supply Company researched various options showing the owner he can reduce the wattage and still provide the required illumination levels on the showroom floor by installing cylindrical-shaped Perflector‚ luminaires from Holophane with 250-watt metal halide lamps.

Each lighting fixture was hung on a chain 13 feet above the stained concrete floor, which is dark gray, tan and rust. The exposed ceiling in the showroom was painted dark gray, with the metal covers on the luminaires painted to match. The Perflector luminaires have a perforated ballast housing that creates a visual transition from the illuminated reflector to the opaque ballast enclosure.

“ Because we have a relatively high ceiling, we needed a lighting system that would illuminate the showroom sufficiently and bring out the colors of the motorcycles and other merchandise,” said Malcolm Zanca, president, Harley-Davidson of Baton Rouge. “Yet, we did not want the system to call attention to itself, which is why we decided to paint the ceiling and fixtures a dark color.”

The luminaires were spaced 14 feet on center to avoid having dead areas and hot spots throughout the store. Since Harley-Davidson motorcycles and clothing tend to be dark in color, the dealer installed track lighting with halogen lamps to boost light levels along the walls and call customer attention to the showroom perimeter. Ambient light levels in the showroom are 35 to 45 footcandles maintained, with the light levels along the walls as high as 120 footcandles.

At the cashwrap and parts counter, the dealer installed 02454 luminaires from Holophane with clear 100-watt incandescent lamps. According to Smith, the luminaires have become a standard for a number of Harley-Davidson stores because the dealers like their hardedge, industrial appearance.

“ The luminaires have a rugged feel, which complements the type of atmosphere the dealers are trying to create,” said Smith. “The glass reflector and clear lamps also provide a certain amount of sparkle, which is important since the cashwrap is often the last area customers see before they leave the store.”

The dealer installed CentaGlo‚ luminaires from Holophane with 400-watt metal halide lamps in the shop and service area. The walls and other surfaces were painted white to increase their reflectance. llumination levels are 70 footcandles maintained.

“ In the shop, the dealer needs enough ambient light on the vertical plane so employees can see to work on the bikes and make repairs,” said Fiorentino.

CentaGlo units with 250-watt metal halide lamps were also installed in the storage area, where light levels are 30 to 35 footcandles.

With the Baton Rouge facility located near an interstate, Smith feels the light helps attract customers to the store after dark.

“ Customers can look into the showroom and know that the store is open for business,” he said. “The luminaires are functional and have created an attractive space.”

Zanca indicated that he was pleasantly surprised when he received the first utility bill following installation of the lighting system.

“ Our new location is more than four times the size of our previous facility,” he said. “With the Holophane fixtures, we are able to light the new space for less than double the cost of illuminating our previous store.”


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