Expanding The Scope of Lighting Upgrades

By Dan Hounsell, Editor  
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Lighting Upgrade Shines Light on Reaching Sustainability GoalsPt. 2: This PagePt. 3: Lighting Sensors Offer Additional Savings

Maintenance considerations related to the hospital's parking structure prompted the organization to expand lighting upgrade.

"I started noticing problems with the metal halide fixtures in our parking garage, and it seemed like the problem would travel," Highsmith says. "Fixtures were burning out frequently. As soon as we would notice one of the fixtures was burned out, we'd have it serviced. Later that same week, we'd have another issue somewhere else in the parking garage.

"The original metal halide fixtures in the parking garage had required consistent attention just to keep the lights on. Retrofitting the parking garage with new fixtures is saving approximately $22,000 to $24,000 per year on energy costs alone. This does not include the labor and material savings from less intensive maintenance."

The department already has felt the impact of the parking-garage upgrade.

"It's been a huge relief for my maintenance staff because some of the challenges with maintaining those metal halide fixtures was access," he says. "It is difficult to service a light fixture when the parking garage is full of cars. There are several safety concerns as liability for dropping stuff on vehicles. It is also tough to block parking spaces when you're a high-volume facility. We would either have to do it on weekends or do it at night. From an expense perspective, I was spending way too much on labor and materials just keeping the lights on in the parking garage."

Highsmith says he has been pleased with the performance of the updated lighting-system components.

"The new T5 fixtures that we used have been absolutely fantastic," he says. "They're really easy to maintain, from changing the bulb to something as simple as removing the lens cover.

Though a contractor handled much of the actual installation work for the upgrade, Highsmith's department played an important role in ensuring the process went smoothly and safely.

"We sort of took a hands-off approach to the work that was being done, but because we are a hospital, and because we are open 24/7, closing the parking garage was absolutely something that we could not do," Highsmith says. "I don't want to oversimplify the role that we had in this project. But the coordination to keep cars flowing, to keep people safe, to keep them out of harm's way and to keep the contractor that was working on our parking garage safe was an undertaking in itself."

"Although we weren't there doing the actual wiring and installation of the fixtures, the biggest role we played was keeping everybody safe."

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  posted on 2/22/2012   Article Use Policy

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