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How LED Supply Co is transforming the business of lighting

Success is driven by new capabilities of emerging technology

By: | November 3, 2017 7:57 pm

Q: How many lighting efficiency experts does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None. Lighting efficiency experts replace only dark bulbs.

While light bulb jokes can be funny, the truth is, light bulbs continue to be changed but not nearly as often because the business of lighting is changing in big ways. The light-emitting diode (LED) technology transformation is proving itself to be a game-changer for businesses – of all kinds.

Growing with expertise and innovative new products
One company that’s helping drive this trend is LED Supply Co. The company was born out of a part-time, side project for founder Brian Stern in 2009. Starting as a specialist in the cold storage business where LEDs work especially well, the company has evolved along with the technology. Now, LED Supply Co is a wholesale distributor of over 160 manufacturers of LED lighting products serving all 50 states.

Increasing quality, lower prices — that’s the business of lighting 
Over the past five years, the LED evolution has transpired the business of lighting like this; as LED technology has become more practical and standard in the market, prices have dropped. And the successful manufacturers have become more consistent with the quality and reliability of their products. Plus, lower pricing expands opportunities for new uses and applications of LEDs that were previously considered too expensive. Stern adds, “LED adoption is happening faster, and more broadly then we imagined.”

Savings: The first benefit businesses love
“Our growth has been around our focus on energy efficiency,” because LEDs are up to 90% more efficient than incandescent light bulbs, the impact is obvious. It’s a bottom line benefit any company can grasp.

And other factors are making LEDs attractive. Stern continues, “It’s surprising how people react to the actual light. With LEDs, the light is adjustable. It’s called color rendering. The retailers we work with are especially curious as to how light can impact the customer experience. And they are excited to see bumps in sales because of the better quality of light LEDs are providing.”

Another financial benefit businesses are seeing with LEDs is with long-term maintenance. Stern says, “While some companies like auto dealerships who maintain sizeable outdoor lighting arrays immediately see the advantage of up to a 10-year lifespan of LED bulbs in reducing their replacement costs, other businesses are pleasantly surprised by how LED longevity will be affecting their balance sheet down the road.”

A full spectrum of service
Today with thousands of fixture choices and hundreds of configurations, LED Supply Co understands the need to provide value at each step of the process. Stern says, “We often start with an audit to determine the exact needs of a retrofit or the specs required for a new building. With today’s LED technology, we can fine-tune the lighting to create stunning results.”

After delivery and installation, LED Supply Co helps customers with rebates and other paperwork to make sure all incentives are leveraged.

Three real-life LED examples 
1) “Retail lighting retrofits have been exciting stories for us to share,” comments Stern. “We run the numbers on a before-and-after basis, and it’s notable. Recently a small town hardware store utilized LED strip lights to reduce their energy use by 60 percent. Plus other incentives covered 40 percent of the material costs. Their ROI pays back in less than two years.”

2) When the construction of a rodeo arena was taking shape, LED Supply Co installed LED high bays fixtures that provided crisp, clean lighting. The energy reduction over time will be as much as 55-70 percent less energy usage than traditional 400W HPS lighting. Also, the LEDs will last up to 10 times longer, alleviating replacement costs and almost all maintenance issues.

3) Like so many parking garages, the Fox31 TV news station facility in Denver seemed dark, cavernous and uninviting. Old metal halide lighting fixtures provided inconsistent illumination, low light levels and were a constant maintenance hassle.

LED Supply Co installed new Low Bay LED Fixtures which deliver up to 20 foot-candles of crisp, clear white light throughout the multilevel parking areas. The retrofit immediately reduced overall lighting electricity consumption by nearly 55 percent. Plus, the lighting units are six-inches shallower than the existing metal halides, placing them safely out of range of the Fox 31 satellite-topped news trucks. Also, $10,000 in energy efficiency rebates came through Xcel Energy and the City of Denver that helped significantly offset the cost of the project.

The business of lighting is transforming 

“The technology gets better all the time,” comments Stern. “It can be challenging to keep up. But we’re committed to bringing customers the best LED lighting options the market has to offer.”

To learn how Xcel Energy can help you and your customers save energy and earn rebates, contact us at 855.839.8862.


A self-professed energy nerd, Paul loves to explore how technology trends are bringing convenience and surprising benefits to our lives.

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