Category: Freezer Lights

LED Freezer Lights – Hot Topic, Cool Look

LED lighting has been a hot topic lately, particularly when it comes to their application as freezer lighting for grocery and convenience stores. 

For every day lighting use, the superior LED technology hasn’t quite pushed aside the CFL or even the creaky incandescent. (Stay tuned – it’s coming in the next few months.) For now,  consider its use in temperature controlled food displays, the LED’s first shot over the CFL’s bow. 

In fact, LED has already begun pushing aside typical fluorescents in grocery store freezer lighting and with good reason – the advantages are just too numerous for store owners to ignore.  

The average reach-in cooler at a store is lit with a 58 watt fluorescent light bulb.  Replacing that bulb with a LED strip specially designed for that application, uses only 30 watts of energy. The difference, shown below, is striking: 

As you can see,  not only is there significant energy savings to be found in terms of the energy used by LED’s vs. fluorescents, but an extra benefit comes from the LED’s expelling less heat, therefore the coolers don’t have to work so hard. 

Here are before and after pictures of a typical commercial cooler – with standard fluorescents, and using new LED technology.  


But if you’re not a store owner, you may be asking the obvious – “What’s in it for me?” Unfortunately, there may not be much. Certainly by reducing the cost of doing business for store owners via lower energy costs, it can help reduce costs for the average consumer – if owners choose to pass along those savings to their customers.  

Okay, not likely. What IS of benefit to consumers is being able to count on meats and other foods lasting longer while in freezers and coolers.  This is because there is significantly less heat, and NO UV light ruining food while it’s in the freezers or meat cases. Ultimately, then, LED’s are a win-win for both owners and the customers who visit their stores.  

LED lighting is on the horizon and coming quickly.  We think that in the next 3 years every grocery store and convenience store will be equiped with this cutting edge technology.  So the next time you’re strolling through your local grocery store, take a look and see if you notice any changes taking place in the way food is displayed in the freezer case. It could be the brand new LED, an incredible advance in lighting technology that’s going to change how we light everything.  


Jack Huff, along with his son Brian and wife Sue, owns and manages Adventure Lighting in Des Moines, Iowa. For more information, go to 

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