Turn on the bright lights
By Stefanie Botelho for University Business Magazine, November 1, 2014
“According to the Department of Energy, lighting consumes 60 percent of the energy used in the United States. California State University, Fullerton reduced energy costs and increased safety through a new lighting program created in tandem with vendor Exergy Controls, about five years ago when LED technology was just beginning to gain attention.
“We set out to improve energy usage, control, maintenance and longevity,” says Doug Kind, manager of engineering and sustainability at the university.
Exergy created a uniform network across campus, installing controllers in 700 light fixtures. These lights are powered by a single outdoor wireless system, allowing staff to control lighting by area. In addition, fixtures are automatically dimmed or brightened in response to shifting natural light.
The initial investment (including removal of old exterior lighting, changing to 70-watt LED fixtures, adding controls and minor relamping inside buildings) was $2 million. Lighting upgrades then expanded into campus parking structures, costing at least $1 million more. But efforts resulted in a 70 percent energy savings, an estimated 3.3 million kilowatt hours and $445,000 annually.”