S&A Beads Commercial LED Lighting

S&A Beads LED Lighting

Two months ago, we conducted a free Walk-Through Energy Assessment for S&A Beads—a beads, jewelry, and gift store located in Old Town Takoma Park. The store’s lighting presented a myriad of problems for S&A Beads owner Larry Silverman.

The Problem

The existing halogen lighting created a lot of heat, causing comfort issues in the summer months. The heat motivated S&A Beads’ management to turn up the A/C, in an effort to fend off the oppressive heat. Of course, running the air conditioner frequently caused uneven temperatures and greatly increased the store’s utility costs.

Great lighting is essential to the S&A Beads retail experience. Purer, white lights help accentuate the quality of the beads. The integrity of each product’s craftsmanship can be better appreciated under a more consistent and even light. Unfortunately, the existing halogen lights created a yellow pallor upon the products on the showroom floor. Lighting quality was perhaps the most important factor in assisting S&A Beads.

Our Process

We started with a Walk-Through Energy Assessment or WTEA. WTEAs are free for small business in PEPCO territory in the state of Maryland. The site visit included taking building measurements, looking at utility bill history, and using a light meter to construct a light map of the store. Back at Elysian Energy headquarters we used modeling software to see what improvements could be made. Quickly, it became clear that more efficient lighting could greatly reduce the store’s utility costs and improve energy efficiency.

“The A/C worked even better without all the hot lights. The LEDs highlight what’s really important: our product.”

-Larry Silverman, Owner S&A Beads

We scheduled a second site visit to determine which types of LED bulbs would be best for displaying the store’s products. The actual install took only 90 minutes. We were able to do a 1-for-1 replacement of the existing bulbs, which meant no new fixtures were needed in the ceiling or walls.


We installed over 50 LED bulbs throughout the store. LED lights provide many benefits:

  • Energy usage: We were able to achieve a 75% percent reduction in Wattage per-bulb.

  • Illumination: The newer bulbs actually use slightly fewer lumens, but achieve a brighter and whiter light. The LEDs we installed are omnidirectional, shining a higher quality light on the spaces where it matters most.

  • Heat Reduction: We achieved a significant heat reduction with 75% less wattage. The heat reduction causes a positive feedback loop: the air conditioner will be used less and customers will feel more comfortable in the store.

  • Maintenance: LED lights last for many years or often for decades. Lighting maintenance will be reduced from once or twice each month to once every several years.

The old fluorescent bulbs were recycled at the Ace Hardware store a few hundred feet down the road. We were also able to recycle all of the cardboard boxes in which the LED lights were packaged.

Return on Investment

With strong incentives through the PEPCO Small Business Program we were able to complete the entire project at no cost to S&A Beads. The installation value is estimated at over $2,800. Yet from day one, S&A Beads began seeing a positive return on investment. We project that the store will achieve annual savings of $1,306. S&A Beads will save 8,704 kWh each year, amounting to a CO2 emission reduction of 6.1 metric tons.