LED Lighting Blog

LED Lighting for Universities and College Campuses

Posted by Dave Scaglione on Dec 3, 2015 6:00:00 AM

LED lighting has many applications for Universities and College Campuses as college students participate in many activities during evening hours. Since many college students take evening classes, do late night lab work, late night design projects, and social activities it is important for universities to create a well lit, safe environment for its student body. The safe environment along with the desire of our younger generation to be green and reduce their carbon footprint has created a great situation for LED lighting retrofits for Universities and Colleges. 

As LED lighting typically uses about one third the energy of typical HID (High Intensity Discharge) and lasts several times longer the economic case is an easy one to justify for retrofitting existing lighting with LED lighting at Universities and Colleges. An ROI calculator can be used to determine annual energy savings and length of time it will take to achieve your Return on Investment for your LED Lighting application. An ROI calculator can be found here.

Below is a list of the best suited applications for LED lighting retrofits on campuses:

Walkways and Area LED Lighting for Universities.

Safety for students during night time movement between dormitories and classrooms is important and typically lighting is required for an average of 12 hours per evening. This produces a good Return on Investment typically in the two to three year range when retrofitting to LED Walkway or LED Area lighting. As the LED lights typically will last longer than 10 years maintenance is held to minimum. 

Campus LED Parking Lot Lighting

LED Parking Lot Lighting Before and After

Parking lots for commuters attending college evening classes and spectators for sporting events are good applications for LED lighting. This application is a good one to examine the use of wireless controls for these lights. LED lighting fixtures typically include intelligent driver systems can be easily dimmed by strategically placed motion sensors with a properly designed control system. This allows for the LED Parking Lot lighting to be dimmed down to minimal levels when the parking lots are not in use and immediately ramp up to 100% light output when a car, student, or pedestrian is sensed entering the parking lot. The end result is even better energy savings. LED lights unlike some traditional lighting have no warm up period and can go to full on immediately as required. Once again due to the long life and the height of poles in a parking lot the long life of the LED light keeps maintenance costs to a minimum. The parking lots with LED lighting typically look safer and cleaner with LED lighting.

Student and Faculty LED Lighting for University Parking Garages

Parking garages usually offer an even better ROI than parking lots as the interior lights and underground garages often require 24 hours a day 7 days of week of operation. Once again controls are important for the application of LED Parking Garage lighting as the energy reductions can be greatly enhanced by dimming lights near the edges of the garage when daylight is present and also dimming when no pedestrian or auto activity is present. 

Campus Building and Wall Pack LED Lighting

Wall pack LED LightingSecurity around doorways and windows is important on campuses and LED wallpack fixtures and building LED floodlights can be very effective solutions with LED lighting. Attractive architectural designs of LED wall packs can provide energy efficient and secure accent lighting around the university or college campus. LED Wall Packs are now available in a variety of form factors. 

LED Lighting for Gymnasiums and Natatoriums

These facilities typically are open for use 20 hours per day. This yields attractive Returns on Investments based on energy savings and maintenance savings for High Bay LED lighting for sporting venues. Also due to the solid state nature of LED lighting the LED’s are a very good fit for high humidity natatoriums. It is also possible to remotely mount drives or power supplies to keep maintenance requirements simple. In gymnasiums the solid state sealed LED’s can withstand severe impacts from balls with minimal or no damage keeping maintenance requirements due to damage to a minimum. 

Emergency Lighting for University and College Campuses

Battery backed up emergency lighting is required by law for ingress in and out of public buildings. As LED lights use reduced power the batteries can be smaller and last longer for this application. In addition the fire marshal requires regular testing of these emergency fixtures witg testing documentation. Manual testing of these lights is very labor intensive and expensive. Modern LED emergency lighting can incorporate automated testing which can lead to significant cost savings. LED emergency lighting is being widely adopted throughout public facilities due to these inherent advantages. 

Department of Energy Study at Princeton University

A good case study of LED implementations on college campuses can be found at this recently released publication from the US Department of Energy on LED exterior lighting retrofit applications at Princeton University. This study can be viewed here

Princeton began applying LED lighting in 2008 and this report details walkway, parking lot and parking garage applications including some with control systems. This application is a good illustration of the value of using control systems and their impact on even further energy savings with LED lighting alone. The existing older HID lighting system on the four retrofit applications used a total of 298,267 kwH of electricity annually. After the LED lighting retrofits the lighting used 102,822 kwH of electricity annually yielding a savings of $195,443 kwH of electricity annually. With controls it is calculated this savings could actually be as high as 246,995 kwH annually in energy savings. 

In conclusion, Universities and College Campuses have many well suited applications for LED lighting retrofits. These installations can be easily justified as economical alternatives due to the energy and maintenance savings. In addition the youth of today is acutely aware of the need for reduced carbon footprints, and the pride and progressiveness of LED lighting enhances the image of the Educational institution. Similar campuses at large medical, military, corporate, or government campuses also have comparable applications for LED lighting retrofits.

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Topics: Commercial Lighting, LED Lighting

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