Powerhouse DIY, Garden and Hardware Store chain, Bunnings Warehouse, has been quietly rolling out photoluminescent exit signs across its extensive national retail property portfolio for about five years.

Photoluminescent exit signs visible through Bunnings near checkouts
Photoluminescent exit signs are installed in Bunnings Warehouse Stores across Australia

Bunnings is part of one of Australia’s largest companies, Wesfarmers, which has recognised climate change and implemented a corporate strategy to make the organisation more sustainable. Wesfarmers’ targets for Bunnings include achieving a 10% reduction in kt CO2e by 2025, using short-term strategies such as energy-efficient technology, working with landlords to trial energy-efficiency projects, and reducing waste to landfill.

With strong corporate leadership and despite being a major lighting retailer, a large number of stores have implemented energy-efficient and waste-reducing photoluminescent exit signs.  On average there are 40 signs in a store. Store managers are realising the environmental and cost benefit of eliminating the electricity use of 40 electric lights in internally illuminated exit signs, as well as reducing the cost of their maintenance and replacement. With failed exit signs sent to landfill, there’s a major benefit in transferring to long-life non-electric commercial-grade photoluminescent exit signs.

Legacy electric exit signs being replaced

SmarterLite provides Safety Path Photoluminescent Exit Signs to Bunnings for its store fitouts and refurbishments. SmarterLite’s Chief Technology Officer, Zoran Ovuka, explained “With so many exit signs across their buildings, it makes environmental and commercial sense to replace legacy electric exit signs with high-performing photoluminescent exit signs. Bunnings no longer has to worry about identifying and regularly repairing faulty exit lights, their emissions are lower, and no spent signs, batteries or light globes are being sent to landfill.”

Photoluminescent exit signs in Bunnings Distribution Centre
Photoluminescent exit signs are installed in Bunnings Warehouse Distribution Centres

“With an average of 40 lights per store, across the 50 stores that have converted, we estimate that Bunnings has eliminated about 150,000 kg CO2e from its emissions every year.  With an expected life of thirty years, the lifetime financial savings through their operation mean they are commercially viable option for new buildings, refurbishments and maintenance.”

Safety Path’s high-performing commercial-grade photoluminescent exit signs exceed the performance requirements set out in the National Construction Code, meaning they are significantly brighter for longer, and will still be visible well-after emergency power supplies have expired and electric signs are no longer visible.