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SUPPLIER NEWS: Creating brighter, safer car washes in upstate New York with LED lighting

Nov 04, 2015
Doug Kleeschulte knew he found his passion within six months of sharing ownership on his first car wash more than two decades ago. Today, he owns and operates four Scrub A Dub Car Washes in New York locations including New Paltz, Catskill, Ellenville and Port Ewing. 

“On my first day, I immediately fell in love with the entire environment,” said Kleeschulte. “I just found work with the customers and equipment so exciting. But, it certainly hasn’t been a straight line to success. It’s never been easy to turn a profit. My son and I do the maintenance work on all four locations to cut costs. Making sure everything is clean and works is mandatory for staying in business. We’re also dedicated to constantly keeping our facilities up-to-date with the latest technologies. These are the things that build customer loyalty and keep them coming back.”

In recent years, Kleeschulte has also taken advantage of the latest LED lighting technologies at several of his locations. This began approximately three years ago at his Catskill site containing four self serve bays, two automatic bays and a self service, climate-controlled pet washing station. As part of the retrofit, Kleeschulte removed nearly $15,000 of metal halide lighting from the 21-year-old facility after two separate fixtures melted their mountings and dropped out of the ceiling, nearly causing fires on each occasion. 

“The metal halide fixtures were only three-years-old,” explains Kleeshculte. “But, we had no regrets about replacing each fixture with LEDs. It was then that we noticed all the benefits. In addition to emitting no heat at all and making us far more secure about safety issues, we started to realize a drastic reduction in our energy bills.” 

According to Kleeschulte, the metal halide lamps used about 40 amps 24/7, which cost his Catskill location nearly $1,500 to $1,600 monthly for electricty fees. These charges reduced by 50 percent once the LEDs were installed. Additional savings were also achieved through the lowering of maintenance costs. “It was crazy,” admits Kleeschulte. “We were constantly on the ladder changing bulbs, ballasts or something else. Since switching to the LED lighting, we haven’t changed a single bulb.” 

This is because LED’s do not burn out like typical bulbs. In addition to offering 10+ years of operation life, they also emit up to 70 percent of their initial light output after the 10-year mark. In contrast, metal halide bulbs normally only produce about 50 percent of their initial light output after 10,000 hours of use. 

As for the color quality itself, Kleeschulte and his customers noticed a profound improvement in the car wash’s aesthetics. While the metal halide lamps produced a dull, yellow pallor, the LEDs’ bright white light made the inner bays look cleaner and more inviting even from the road. This was a particularly attractive quality for the area’s female population, who admittedly felt  more comfortable frequenting the car wash after dark.

As a result, Kleeschulte made sure to specify LED lighting for his latest Scrub A Dub location in New Paltz, NY, which opened in the spring of 2015. The new car wash boasts 5 self serve car wash bays, 2 automatic drive-thru bays, a pet washing station and of course LED lighting. 

Designed from the ground up, Kleeschulte turned to G&G LED for the facility’s energy-efficient LEDs. G&G had previously retrofit the Catskills Scrub A Dub after it was decided to remove the car wash’s metal halide lamps. In New Platz, these efforts included installing the company’s WPX4 LED lighting in each bay and above the hot waxing dispensers. Introduced in 2014, the WPX4 LEDs were designed-specifically to spotlight services in harsh, wet environments such as car wash tunnels. Available in red, amber, green, blue and clear white, the WPX4 Color LED luminaires are also ideal for the most extreme indoor and outdoor applications including the dramatic showcase of special value-added products within car washes (ie. the dispensing of "hot wax" or foam).

Another benefit, which was extremely important to Kleeschulte is the LED lighting’s UL listing. UL (Underwriters Laboratories) is a worldwide safety consulting and certification company that provides the UL Listing to products that have been tested against the organization’s set safety standards and have been found to meet rigorous UL requirements. UL Listings not only help ensure that products are not fire or shock hazards, they also help to eliminate liability. To the company’s knowledge, G&G is the only manufacturer of lighting designed specifically for the car wash industry that manufactures 100% UL Wet Listed products.

“The G&G LED lighting looks great and certainly has added another layer of safety,” said Klleeshulte. “It’s bright and white and seems to have a comforting effect on customers since there are no shadows throughout the bays. Plus, it was just so easy to install. My son and I simply plugged it together and set up the entire system in less than two days. I’m so thrilled with the LED lighting that we’re hoping to retrofit our two other facilities by the end of the year.” 

Additional details on the Scrub A Dub Car Wash in New Paltz, New York can be found at

For more information on G&G LED please visit or call 800-285-6780.

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