The Energy Chronicles

TEG Visits Adventure Lighting


A recent venture to Adventure Lighting, a local lighting vendor, shed new light (pun intended) on the emerging world of LED lighting and controls. A staggering amount of coal and natural gas is burned every day to supply light to empty spaces. Whether we are looking at empty corridors, parking lots, or offices, the savings potential of replacing legacy lighting with LED and using controls are considerable, as is the electricity and dollars wasted by not pursuing energy efficiency.


The first thing shown to the TEG crew was the increasingly popular linear LED tube lamp, which is quickly becoming a favorite of electric utilities and facility maintenance staff statewide. Your old fluorescent lamps can be swapped out for bright new LED lamps that will last twice as long, won’t shatter, and require no special disposal. Best of all, manufacturers are continually increasing the efficiency and savings of LEDs, with these –

shining the brightness of a 32-watt fluorescent tube for about the same energy as a 13-watt CFL lamp. Plug a boxful of these into your hallways and stairwells, watch your monthly savings add up, and let the dust collect on your spare fluorescent lamps.


The lighting exhibition didn’t stop with the lamp, however. In cases where the fixture needs to be updated, the LED retrofit and especially the dedicated LED fixture offer many opportunities and benefits. Some of these lighting setups can even be controlled via web or smart phone! Such controls allow facility owners to turn off, or even just dim the lights in less trafficked areas. While owners might not want an entirely dark corridor or stairwell, they may beam at the thought of rows of LED fixtures dimmed to 10% power during the thousands of hours these spaces are empty.


Finally, let’s not forget about the lighting – and spending – waste associated with outdoor lighting. Just think of all those empty parking garages, or 400-watt pole lights humming along at 3 a.m., or gloomy wall packs on the backsides of buildings. Trading these for long-lasting LED fixtures on dimmer controls provides a wide array of benefits: energy savings, fixture life, light quality, brightness.


All of this, promising as savings for owners of energy-hungry buildings may be, don’t even consider the potential non-utility benefits of LED lighting and controls. Credible studies are beginning to link the quality and brightness of light to productivity and health. How much of a building’s overhead is made up of utility costs? Perhaps not enough to justify the costs of installation. But a 1-2% increase in productivity, learning, or occupant satisfaction? That’s an attention grabber.

The spectacle of light opened some eyes and raised some eyebrows, and it seems everyone took something home with them. It’s true the world of lighting can be a bit of a wilderness, but the schools of sustainability, efficiency, lighting and human comfort all seem to be coalescing around this ever-improving wunderkind we know as LED. We saw the light, as they say, and we hope to light the path for you, as well (all puns intended).


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