Owens Corning: Lighting Upgrade

Owens Corning is a global leader in the glass fiber industry. In business for more than 75 years, Owens Corning has locations in 26 countries and employs 16,000 people. The company has a commitment to market-leading products and innovations and has found itself on the Fortune 500 list for 62 consecutive years. The company partnered with SmartWatt in the Summer of 2016 to complete an LED lighting project at their Irving, Texas facility. That 250,000 square foot site employs 200 people who manufacture asphalt and fiberglass composite shingles.


The facility featured outdated light fixtures that were energy intensive and difficult to maintain because parts were no longer available. Additionally, light levels varied throughout the plant, dim in some areas, while bright in others.

  • Energy & Maintenance Costs: The lights were expensive to operate and maintain because the lamps would burn out frequently, fixtures would break and parts were unavailable.
  • Lack of Uniformity in Lamp Types: The facility had an array of 10 different brands and types of fixtures. This lack of standardization led to the plant having to stock parts for many different fixture types, leading to confusion on which parts or lamps to utilize to replace and maintain the fixtures.
  • Uneven & Dim Light Levels: Fixtures that couldn’t be repaired because parts weren’t available, weren’t replaced. Instead, sections would be dark, causing safety concerns and slowed productivity as staff had difficulty navigating. Additionally, the existing fixtures were not properly designed for the space, making the output less than desirable and dim.

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To reduce costs to operate and maintain the lighting system, and increase light levels for staff, LED lights were installed in the facility.

  • Lighting Design: A new fixture layout for the facility was designed to provide a more even distribution of lighting and a safer working environment for staff and increased productivity.
  • LED Lighting: LED lamps were installed throughout the facility. The LED lamps required a lower wattage than the original fixtures while still providing equivalent or higher light levels, plus a more even distribution of lights. Additionally, because LEDs have a long life, the maintenance costs and time associated with replacing fixtures is essentially removed. These new, better and brighter lights are just one less thing workers had to deal with to do their job.

The new lighting design, light levels, and even distribution of light have resulted in positive feedback from the plant manager and employees. “A key part to the project being such a success for Owens Corning was not having the plant shut down,” said Kevin Bohne, Owens Corning Site Leader at the facility. “SmartWatt was able to execute the project and plant safely without disrupting work for either company. It was a tremendous feat for SmartWatt to take advantage of scheduled downtime during preventative maintenance work and holiday.” Bohne is happy and production is steady due to the brightly lit plant.

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