Daltile transforms stone and tile showrooms with new lighting standard

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Daltile, one of North America’s top suppliers for stone, tile, and ceramic products, transformed several of their retail sites from storage warehouses to energizing showroom floors. Learn how PEC helped them efficiently deploy 20 LED retrofits across 14 states, while creating a consistent lighting standard for future project rollouts.

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Challenges with poor showroom light levels

Daltile observed a number of customer frustrations that were stemming from poorly lit retail floors. When browsing the spaces, customers on occasion were selecting a product that they later wanted to return because the material didn’t looks as expected. General contractors also said they were reluctant to bring customers to the site because it didn’t offer a high-quality shopping experience for their customers. These issues could be tied to a couple of key issues with the existing lighting system.

Warm-colored lighting affecting color perceptions

One of the most valuable components of the Daltile showroom experience is it can help customers see in person the vibrant whites and intricate details of their stone and tile products — helping them envision what the product would potentially look like in their homes or properties.

However, Daltile’s existing lighting systems produced warmer, yellow lighting. This lighting would cast an yellow-ish tint over the products, which both masked the intricate design details, as well failed to resemble natural daylight that would best resemble the final end space. As a result, customers would get products back to their homes (or commercial spaces) and see a different color palette than what they thought they were originally getting — creating a frustrating experience for all.

Dim light levels depleting shopper energy

Not only does poor lighting impact products on display, but it impacts shopper behavior as well. Research has proven brighter, cooler light levels to improve sales in retail spaces, tying the buying behavior to a number of variables: higher energy levels, improved alertness, and better moods for shoppers and employees. Daltile’s existing system was failing to give shoppers an energizing environment that would help them get excited about the displayed materials.

Establishing a lighting standard

To address the above challenges, Daltile set out on an initiative to enhance their lighting systems — aiming deliver a showroom experience that put their products (and brand) in the best light.

And the first step down this path was to create a lighting standard.

Prior to implementation, our team at PEC helped Daltile drill down into some of their top-priority locations to identify the best sites to kick off the effort. Our Sales Engineers helped to analyze Daltile’s portfolio of warehouse locations — using variables like cost of power, square footage, and incentive programs in the area — to get a baseline understanding of which locations would potentially make the biggest financial and energy impact. The Sales Engineers would then perform on-site energy audits at each of the top priority locations, measuring variables like current light levels, lighting type, existing fixtures, and sensor technology, to gather a comprehensive understanding of how an upgrade would impact each site.

Finding the right Color Rendering Index (CRI)


As improved merchandising was a top priority for Daltile, identifying the light that would best accompany the colors and reflectivity of the stone and tile merchandise was vital. Finding the “right” color can be determined through a measurement called the Color Rendering Index (CRI for short).

As defined by Wiki, ‘A color rendering index (CRI) is a quantitative measure of the ability of a light source to reveal the colors of various objects faithfully in comparison with a natural or standard light source.’

Our team determine the most optimal color (measured in kelvin) along with optimal light level (measured in foot candles) that would produce the an ideal CRI.

“The way you best naturally show and demonstrate what a product will yield is by having a high CRI. So we ordered 2 samples and held up an 80 CRI and a 90 CRI to their different stones and Daltile saw a significant difference. The impact of the 90 CRI was clear and we were able to implement those fixtures at no additional cost.”

Tommy Allen, Sales Engineer at PEC

Scaling with efficiency


Once an optimized LED retrofit design was tested and proven, Daltile was ready to press launch on scaling these design plans to their highest-need sites.

Our team helped identify locations that would see the most benefit — both in terms of improved light levels and energy efficiency gains — then PEC’s project implementation team got to work on turning these plans into reality.

Since first kicking off the project with Daltile in Elk Grove, IL, our implementation team has helped to deploy 20 LED retrofits across 14 states — helping Daltile quickly and effectively upgrade their facilities to meet their new and improved lighting standard.

“Having the footprint that we do in different areas of the country allows us to efficiently execute these projects. At any given time we had 12-15 facilities that were undergoing these retrofits at the same time, from the west coast to the east coast, so being able to stamp out the same end result was a huge benefit for [Daltile]”

Tommy Allen, PEC Sales Engineer

See how you could benefit from improved lighting

Lighting upgrades should be designed around your goals. Whether it’s hitting ESG goals, improving work environments, enhancing merchandising efforts, or establishing consistent standards across your site portfolio, our goal at PEC is to help you design and deploy a system around your business objectives, with as little friction as possible.

Get in touch to setup an energy audit and get a comprehensive review for how your facility could benefit from a lighting upgrade.

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