Crystal Reef Aquatics

Bellingham, WA aquarium store uses tunable LEDs to showcase coral's brilliant colors.


Pet & Aquarium Retail


LED lighting, sensors, and controls

Financing Term

84 Months

Expected Savings


CO2 Reduction

11,100 lbs/year


Bellingham, WA

The Problem

Crystal Reef Aquatics is a full-service marine aquarium store and installation company specializing in reef system, saltwater, and freshwater aquariums. Their Bellingham, Washington store is in the middle of a large expansion. This new construction will expand the retail space and be ready for a re-opening early December 2015. Once all the coral and fish tanks are in place, and the products and accessories are on the shelves, there is just one missing piece: the lighting.

Traditional fluorescent tubes and bulbs wash out the brilliant colors of Crystal Reef Aquatics' corals and fish - many of which were raised right in the store using sustainably aquacultured techniques. Fluorescents produce single-toned light, which is un-adjustable with the exception of dimming. Crystal Reef Aquatics would need a higher quality lighting installation, and they would need it fast if they were going to stick to their early December re-opening schedule!

Completing my expansion was easy with 2020 LED and Sparkfund. The color-tunable lights will highlight the brilliant colors of our corals and fish, and the efficient nature of this project aligns with our company mission to promote sustainability.

Julian Friedman, Owner, Crystal Reef Aquatics

The Solution

The team at 2020 LED Lighting has nearly 20 years of experience providing high-quality, innovative, and sustainable design solutions. Orion Eaton, Lighting Specialist with 2020 LED, provided a lighting design plan that would fit all the needs of Crystal Reef Aquatics and their inventory of colorful marine life. He bundled Samjin Arch series linear pendants with their Beetle Series color tunable fixtures, daylight harvesting sensors, and controls. He also included two sizes of ESL Vision tubes and a Lutron Maestro occupancy sensor to complete the $15K installation package.

To tie the whole project together in one attractive package, 2020 LED secured a $4,000 incentive from Puget Sound Energy, and included a Sparkfund estimate in their proposal. Sparkfund, 2020 LED's embedded financing partner, enables 2020 LED to use True Cost Financing to bundle all of the project costs into one financed amount. 2020 LED's customers pay one low monthly payment - and nothing else! 2020 LED and Sparkfund were able to work fast, approving Crystal Reef Aquatics for the project and allowing Julian, Crystal Reef Aquatics' Owner, to select a lease term that works the best for his growing company.

Thanks to the Puget Sound Energy incentive, $2,006 in annual energy efficiency savings, and Sparkfund financing, Crystal Reef Aquatics can include the full package of high-end color tunable LEDs in their store expansion for even brighter coral and marine life.

This is a great example of a very high quality LED project succeeding because of the finance option, a process made easy with Sparkfund. This type of project would not normally have been possible due to the client's fixed tenant improvement budget.

Mark Buehrer, Director, 2020 LED Lighting

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