Lighting the way to savings and sustainability
It’s the type of sustainability project where you can literally see the difference! Over the last year, a number of ‘re-lamping’ and retrofit projects to update outdated campus lighting systems have been underway. All of these projects have significantly improved efficiency and light quality, resulting in money savings and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
Next time you’re out and about in these areas – look around and check out the new lighting:
- Outside path lighting by the Cofrin Library – The 1960’s-era globes now have state-of-the-art LED lamps that are brighter white and use a small fraction of the energy of the old bulbs, going from using 14,000 kWh/year to 3,920 kWh/year (72 percent less energy use) for the 28 retrofitted lights.
- Kress Events Center – You’ll have to look way up in the East and West gyms to see the new high bay lights. Old, inefficient fixtures were replaced with higher efficiency lamps having a significantly longer working life. Occupancy sensors were also installed in the gyms. In the Pool and Poolside room, the overhead lights have also been replaced with higher efficiency, longer-lived lamps. In the pool area, the new lamps are predicted to give 100,000 hours of service as compared to the approximate 25,000 hours of the previous lamps. These changes at the Kress will save 168,239 kWh/year of usage or 64 percent.
- University Union – The Cloud Commons seating area was retrofitted with new recessed ‘can lights’ that use LED bulbs, providing better quality light, while using far less electricity and lasting twice as long. The Christie Theater also was upgraded with new efficient lighting as was the hallway directly outside the theater. This change will reduce energy usage by 90 percent or 64,222 kWh/year.
- Parking lots/Street lighting – Over the last year, all 314 of the old yellowish sodium-vapor parking lot and street light lamps have been replaced with new induction lamps which emit a whiter, brighter light. Energy savings are expected to be 91,000 kWh/year, which is 30 percent less than the old lamps.
- Weidner Center for the Performing Arts – The 34 bollards (the short, post-like light fixtures along the walkways) were retrofitted with CFL bulbs, saving 7,200 kWh/year saving 62 percent in electricity.
- Other smaller projects completed recently include — Over 200 track lights were changed to LED bulbs; LED bulbs also now light the Cofrin Library staircase and CFLs have been installed on the Plaza level; Rose Hall’s plaza had old incandescent track lighting and other old fixtures removed, to be replaced by CFL fixtures that are estimated to save 80-90 percent in energy usage.
These changes have made a valuable contribution to reducing our ‘carbon footprint’, resulting in 749,545 pounds less CO2; 4,087 pounds less of SO2; and, 1,941 pounds less of NO2 – all contributors to greenhouse gas emissions from the production of electricity. Overall, these retrofits will shave about 2.64 percent off our overall electrical energy use on campus!
Future projects in the planning stages include retrofitting all 200 path lights that illuminate the sidewalks on campus with LED lamps as well as replacing the 200 ‘wall packs’ on buildings – the lights on the sides of the buildings above an exit door – with LED bulbs. Both of these retrofits will save significant energy and because of the longer life of the LED lamps, require less labor to maintain.
Additional lighting upgrades and retrofits will continue across campus over the next few years as funding allows. Special recognition goes to the Facilities Planning and Management team for taking the initiative to light up our campus much more efficiently and brightly.
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Story by Laurie Case, Sustainability and Strategic Planning Coordinator