Robbies Auto Case Study

LED Retrofit Adds Shine to Robbie’s Automotive

Robbie Berman is the successful owner and CEO of an iconic New Jersey auto repair firm bearing his name. But he’s not the type to sit behind a desk all day. He’s a hands-on leader who keeps a close watch on how every aspect of his business is performing—from major collision repairs down to the lighting technology used in the business signs of Robbie’s Automotive and Collision Specialists.

They call me Mr. LED,” Berman says, referring to his penchant for energy- efficient LED lighting systems. “I hate when there’s a regular filament light bulb, so we’re on our third lighting upgrade in the building.”

The Robbie’s Automotive and Collision Specialists building spans an entire city block in downtown Dover, New Jersey. Built in the late 1950s, the shop has been renovated over the years to add air conditioning and improve lighting systems.

Berman is an admitted tinkerer. Every few years he’s making updates to improve the working environment for his 22 employees and the experience for his loyal customers. Most recently, Berman put his focus on replacing the fluorescent lighting systems inside the business signs.

“When I saw the LED tube with the daisy chain, they looked really neat. The rotation capabilities made it a no-brainer.”

“As soon as LED becomes available, we are upgrading,” Berman said. “The signs were the last LED project left at the shop.”

To develop an LED solution for the 28- foot by 8-foot illuminated sign above the building and smaller signs on the building, Berman worked with David Feldman, the third-generation owner of Paterson, New Jersey–based Feldman Brothers Electrical Supply Company, a family-owned business that features complete lines of high-quality electrical products and fixtures.

For the primary sign, Feldman recommended an LED retrofit using EVERLINE® LED 8-foot Sign Tubes powered by 14 EVERLINE LED Drivers. The EVERLINE Sign Tube is an easy-to- install LED replacement solution for signs currently using T12H0 or T8H0 fluorescent lamps. The product is designed for daisy chain and parallel wiring and either vertical or horizontal installation.

“When I saw the LED tube with the daisy chain, they looked really neat,” Berman said. “The rotation capabilities made it a no-brainer.”

Universal Lighting Technologies assisted Feldman Brothers by providing a lighting design layout with recommended positions and spacing for the LED Sign Tubes and Drivers.

A week after visiting Feldman Brothers, Berman and his team were ready to begin retrofitting the illuminated signs with LED.

“To convert to LED, we had to temporarily detach the sign panels and remove the transformers and ballasts,” said Berman, who worked on the project with a technician from his shop.

“We installed the 14 LED Drivers and the 28 LED Sign Tubes inside the existing system, and we finished the outdoor sign in six hours. We followed very closely to the printed plan and had no problems,” Berman said.

Easy installation is a core benefit of the EVERLINE LED Sign Tube because the product uses the existing RDC sockets without modification. The Sign Tubes feature 90-degree adjustable RDC style end caps for correct lamp orientation in both vertical and horizontal installations, regardless of how the socket was originally installed. This feature makes it easy to rotate into the correct position.

Additionally, the EVERLINE LED Sign Tubes will be 60 percent more energy efficient than a fluorescent system, but Berman also appreciates the durability.

“One of the major advantages of Universal’s LED Sign Tubes over fluorescent is that fluorescent bulbs will rot without additional protection to keep out water. Universal LED Sign Tubes don’t need booties to keep water out of the terminals.”

 Universal Douglas