Affinity Living Group
Assisted living organization improves lighting and resident quality of life portfolio-wide.
Outdoor solar lighting, LED lighting
Affinity Living Group is the eleventh-largest assisted living provider in the U.S., with 104 communities across North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. A key part of achieving its mission — to create the best life for all they serve — is expanding their network of senior living communities to accommodate more residents, and improving resident experiences at each location.
Renovation and portfolio expansion were both necessary to fulfill Affinity’s mission, but the company didn’t have the time or capital — or want to take on the risk — to do both at once.
With Sparkfund, Affinity learned it didn’t have to choose between renovating existing facilities and expanding to new ones. The Sparkfund Technology Subscription™ enabled Affinity to get new indoor and outdoor lighting — as many as 1,274 units in one building — critical to resident safety and happiness without diverting resources away from serving them.
A well-lit environment is critical for older adults who are often visually impaired and have problems walking, maintaining their balance, reading and participating in other activities. Falls are also a significant risk for older adults, as one in five falls can lead to a serious injury according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Increased lighting quality can prevent falls, reduce confusion and improve overall quality of life.
Sparkfund upgraded an average of 257 indoor lights per building. The upgrade from fluorescent to LED improved lighting quality and eliminated flickering lights, giving Affinity buildings a more modern aesthetic and improving residents’ ability to see. Sparkfund continued the upgrades outdoors, installing an average of six solar-powered lights in previously unlit parking lots.
With the off balance sheet treatment of the technology subscription, Affinity also didn’t have to halt the expansion of their business while renovating existing properties. And because the technology subscription includes all maintenance, the Affinity staff got much-needed time back in their schedules to focus on larger maintenance projects rather than replacing light bulbs. In the case of one facility, they saved $20,000 per year in maintenance costs.
With the new lighting installed, Affinity immediately saw an improvement in resident safety and quality of life — their chief goal. The company also realized a 35,000-lumen increase in parking lots and an 80% wattage reduction indoors, which made the project net cash flow positive from day one in some instances. After finding success at three locations, including their corporate headquarters, Affinity rolled out indoor and outdoor lighting upgrades via the technology subscription across 16 locations, with plans to scale across their entire portfolio.
We’ve loved working with Sparkfund because they made the process of updating our building systems across our portfolio incredibly easy. Now we can focus on our residents, which is what we’re most passionate about.
Bryan Starnes, Chief Financial Officer, Affinity