The university also has specified light-emitting-diode (LED) technology for five different spaces on campus, including a lecture hall, a gymnasium, and a restroom with low ceilings that required high-quality light LEDs could provide, Eaddy says. Along with an improved quality of light, dimming capabilities in the lecture hall and the ability to run gymnasium lights at 60-65 percent capacity have contributed to the university's positive experience with LEDs so far.
"Our experience has been outstanding," Eaddy says.
Eaddy has found the initial cost of LEDs to be higher than the cost of more traditional fixtures, but the reduced maintenance requirements and potential for energy savings have created a potentially lucrative payback for the university. Eaddy also looks for rebates from the state or local utility to help achieve a quicker return on investment.
"When we're going out and doing these projects, we're realistically looking for no more than a 2-1/2-year payback," Eaddy says. "We've been able to quantify and actually meet that goal, 9 out of 10 applications."
Eaddy hopes the success the university has had with T8s and LEDs for indoor applications translates to exterior applications. The university has retrofitted six parking structures with 32-watt T8s and is conducting a test on the use of LEDs on campus streetlights.
Lighting projects continue at San Diego State, and no doubt students will play a pivotal role, given their past interest in retrofits. As Eaddy discovered, their passion for working together with the physical plant department benefits the facilities, their operations and the university as a whole.
Says Eaddy: "I think one of the most important lessons is to get all of those who could be impacted by the project involved from the beginning. Factor in enough leeway and time to accomplish the goals that you're trying to accomplish. I say that with new technologies because they are not always as readily available when issues pop up."
Lighting Retrofits: Students Conduct Surveys, Inventory Fixtures
Lighting Retrofits: Projects Include T8s, T5s
Lighting Retrofits: LEDs Offer Lucrative Payback