• Kate Rose

On a Roll With Brick Wheels

Updated: Apr 5, 2019

Tim Brick of Brick Wheels in Traverse City been in the retail business long enough to know that it’s important to put your products and people in the best possible light – literally.

Brick turned to Venture North for a $12,000 loan from its Energy Efficiency Loan Fund created with Traverse City Light & Power for a complete retrofitting of an LED lighting system at his 10,000 square foot bicycle retail and repair shop on Eighth Street. He learned about the Venture North loan fund from his friends at Keen Technical Solutions when he reached out to them about upgrading the lighting at his shop.

“I knew we were underlighted… your products just don’t look as good,” said Brick, who taught himself about the importance of good lighting to a retail operation. “When we moved in here, we kind of knew that we were at the bare minimum on our lighting because we had so much else going on.”

You walk into the store now, the lighting is noticeable for showing off our products."

A crew from Keen Technical Solutions installed the new LED lighting through the store’s retail and repair space in less than a day. The results were instantaneous, Brick noted. The new lighting significantly boosted the candlepower throughout the building, made his products look better to customers and created a healthier workplace for his employees by providing full spectrum lighting throughout the shop.

Besides providing a brighter, healthier work place, the new lighting is generating significant energy savings for the business. Keen employees said the company’s energy use is projected to drop from more than 33,000 kilowatts annually to around 14,500, a reduction of some 55 percent.

Brick said there are other advantages as well. The new LED lights give off less heat with reduces cooling costs in the summer, they eliminate the need for replacing ballasts used for florescent lighting, and the longer-lasting LED lights mean far less light bulb replacement throughout the shop in the coming years.

“It’s not an instant payback – it’s something that happens down the road,” he said. “But the thing I was excited about is not having to replace lights all the time.”

Several area businesses have cut their utility costs, reduced maintenance and improved their workplaces through Venture North’s Energy Efficiency Loan Fund.

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