Saturday, October 12, 2013

Ten Thousand Villages Updates its Lighting

If you are like me, you may have traveled to another town and noticed advanced lighting being widely used in commercial buildings.  Light emitting diode (LED) technology is dropping in price, and due to its high performance, it is becoming embraced by many retailers.  And quietly, it has been coming to Glen Ellyn.
So where can you find it?
Consider Ten Thousand Villages, a chain of Fair Trade retail stores that has a Glen Ellyn location.  As stated on its Web Site, “Ten Thousand Villages is an exceptional source for unique handmade gifts, jewelry, home decor, art and sculpture, textiles, serveware and personal accessories representing the diverse cultures of artisans in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.  One of the world's largest fair trade organizations and a founding member of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), the company strives to improve the livelihood of tens of thousands of disadvantaged artisans in 38 countries.”
When Ten Thousand Villages recently moved a few doors down from its prior location on Pennsylvania Avenue, it made significant advances to its lighting in keeping with its corporate principles.  Always committed to adopting sustainability practices, the store now makes extensive use of LED lighting fixtures.  The light is surprisingly bright, yet it provides a warm pleasant feeling.  This effectively highlights retail products that are on display.  Additionally, when compared to incandescent lighting, LED results in a substantial reduction in electrical use.  Consider a 10 watt bulb replacing a 75 watt incandescent: an 80 percent reduction.  In a retail store with dozens of fixtures that are lit up all day, and to some degree, all night, this really adds up.
This is a good example of what local businesses can do to reduce energy consumption while enhancing the appeal of the shopping experience.  Such initiatives show that it is not difficult to incorporate retail store improvements into community sustainability plans.

-Jeff Gahris