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Hyatt Regency Hotel Sets Sail with LEDs

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TORRANCE, CA — August 12, 2004 — That the Pacific Ocean infuses Long Beach, California, with an appreciation for the oceanic is evident in many of the city's prominent buildings. A mural of California gray whales cloaks the city's arena. The Aquarium of the Pacific showcases local aquatic life. The Hyatt Regency integrates a sail that is 15 stories high on the outside of the building. It's not really a sail. There's no canvas or rigging. It's a sail of light, specifically 472 white LED light bulbs that form a triangular shape on the hotel's wall. What now is an elegant display of light was once a spectacle of burned out incandescent bulbs that marred the hotel's otherwise glittering image. Frustrated by the plague of burned out lights, the Hyatt Regency enlisted George Abramson, owner of GAR Energy Management Group, to find a reliable, energy-efficient light source. For Abramson, the solution was a no-brainer: LEDs. "Nothing else could do the job as well. LEDs have extremely long operating lives. They're low wattage and exceptionally energy efficient," he explains.

Originally, incandescent lamps with clear globes shaped the contour of the sail. While bright and visible, the incandescents burned out quickly. Replacing failed lamps was difficult due to their positions high on the side of the building. Burned out lights were changed only three times a year when the windows were cleaned since the window-washing scaffold provided access to the bulbs.

Drawing on his knowledge of lighting technologies and expertise in energy management, Abramson knew LEDs would fulfill the Hyatt Regency's proviso to find a long-lasting and energy-efficient lighting solution for the sail wall. LEDs are renown for their extended source life and conservation of power. Abramson contacted LEDtronics confident that they would have the LED lighting solution for which he sought. LEDtronics has more than 20 years experience in designing and manufacturing LEDs and LED light bulbs; and its extensive installation record testifies to the quality of their products and the company's integrity. Following discussions with LEDtronics' representative Greg Krymer, Abramson decided on a seven-LED S6 candelabra-screw based lamp (part number SF467-0CW-120A) based upon its brightness and direct incandescent replacement design. The LED bulb would fit into the light fixtures without requiring any modifications, saving the Hyatt Regency the expense of purchasing new fixtures and the subsequent cost of installation.

Abramson brought several colors (white, orange, blue, amber, incandescent white) of LED lamps to demonstrate to the Hyatt Regency what the LED lamps would like on the sail wall. The lamps were installed into light fixtures that have four candelabra sockets clustered together so that from a distance the four lights appear as one. The Hyatt Regency selected the LEDtronics Cool White (8000K) LED lamp because its intense white light stood out amongst the abundant ambient light. The lamp emits 742 mcd of cool-white light at a wide viewing angle (120°) while drawing only 10mA. What also appealed to the Hyatt Regency was the LED lamp's sealed construction and shape. While the impervious exterior of the lamp safeguards the circuitry and LEDs from the elements, its tapered shape allowed the addition of a water-resistant gasket that snugs against the light fixture's o-ring to prevent corrosive sea air from harming the lamp's base and fixture's socket.

The Hyatt Regency was likewise won over by calculations that showed they would see a return on their investment within 2.2 years due to the energy and labor dividends that LED lighting pays. LEDs are parsimonious users of power, consuming 90% less energy than incandescent lights. In the sail application, the 472 lamps are on for about 12 hours each night (annual total 4,380 hours). The incandescent lamps drew 7W each at $0.09 kWh, amounting to an annual power expense of $1302.44. The retrofit LED lamps draw 0.08W each at $0.09 kWh. The annual electricity cost for the LED lamps is about $14.88. That adds up to an annual savings of $1287.56 a year, nearly $3862.68 over the three-year warranty period, and $33,259.95 over the typical 100,000-hours LED life. The annual energy saved is 14,306 kWhs.

Cost savings multiply when parts, maintenance and labor are considered. Incandescent lights have to be replaced more frequently than LED light lamps. An average incandescent bulb operates for about 1000 hours compared with 100,000 hours of an LED. If the sail operates for an estimated 4380 hours a year and incandescent bulbs lasts for an average of 1000 hours, the incandescent bulbs would, mathematically, have to be replaced 4.3 times a year. However, since lamp maintenance only takes place when the windows were washed, which is thrice yearly, the lamps were only replaced a maximum of 3 times a year. Assuming labor for changing the bulbs is $8 an hour and there are 472 lights on the wall with each having to be replaced 3 times a year, the labor costs alone amount to close to $5,512.96 for one year.

Besides the 10-year source life, striking brilliance and economic payoff, LED lighting boasts other advantages over incandescent lighting when used for outdoor lighting and hard-to-access installations. LEDs are virtually unbreakable due to their rugged solid-state circuitry and sturdy epoxy lenses. And, unlike when the filament breaks in a halogen bulb or when the glass cracks in a neon light, an LED cluster lamp continues to provide light even if one or more individual emitters fail.

Burned out incandescent lamps, maintenance difficulties and image concerns compelled the Hyatt Regency to find a better source of illumination for the sail wall. Stipulations that the new lighting be long lasting and energy efficient led George Abramson to the conclusion that LED lamps were the ideal solution due to their 100,000-hour operating lives, 90% energy efficiencies and striking brightnesses. Since the LEDtronics LED lamps were installed in April 2003, the hotel has benefited from the drastic reductions in the power, maintenance and labor costs associated with operating the sail. Most importantly, since all 472 LED lamps still work, the Hyatt Regency is enjoying smooth sailing.


LEDtronics Inc. — located in Torrance, CA — manufactures an array of LED products ranging from discrete surface mount indicators to direct incandescent replacement LED lamps and bulbs for applications such as transportation, panel indication and decorative lighting. LEDs come in visible (400-700 nanometers), infrared (830-940 nanometers) and ultraviolet (370-410 nanometers) wavelengths. For additional information, contact LEDtronics toll free at 1-800-579-4875 or by click here to email us. Visit our website at

GAR Energy Management Group helps businesses reduce their energy costs by offering a variety of cost-cutting strategies and energy-efficient lighting products and technologies.

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