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1.6m lamp order is biggest LED retrofit in history

The massive LED order will cover the company's headquarters at Chase Tower, Chicago and a projected 25 million square feet of retail banking space.

The biggest single LED order in history will see some 1.6 million lamps installed across 5,000 branches of the Chase bank.

The order – won by Current, GE’s new energy-efficient technology division –  will cover a projected 25 million square feet of retail banking space in total, an area nearly 40 times the size of the Louvre. The work will begin in the coming months and is expected to finish by the end of 2017.

It’s estimated that the retrofit will lower the branches’ lighting-related energy use by half.

‘Doing this LED retrofit made sense because the payback on lighting is pretty swift compared to other interventions you could make,’ says Granville Martin, JPMorgan Chase’s managing director of sustainable finance. ‘It’s a great step for the bank. It makes enormous environmental and economic sense for us.’

The project is a big win for new company Current, which GE launched last October. The move to integrate LED lighting with other low-energy technologies raised eyebrows in the industry but this big order will provide a major confidence boost in the business model.

‘We’re future-proofing Chase’s LED system so that it could eventually use automated controls coupled with sensors to drive new outcomes,’ said Current’s chief commercial officer Jaime Irick.

‘In Current, we’re linking energy-saving and energy-producing technology with the unprecedented power of software and predictive analytics to transform the distributed energy sector.’

Other big-name customers of Current include Hilton, Walgreens, and Simon Properties. The company is also a pioneer of so-called smart city technologies, which involve lighting.

There are currently two pilot projects in San Diego, California and Jacksonville, Florida where thousands of sensor-carrying LED streetlights have been installed.

Because the streetlights are also outfitted with transceivers that connect them to one another and to the cloud, they could soon start relaying to drivers information such as real-time parking availability and weather alerts. Onboard vibration sensors, meanwhile, can detect and communicate shootings, earthquakes and other emergencies.

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