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Facility Maintenance Decisions

Lighting Retrofits: Projects Include T8s, T5s





By Chris Matt, Managing Editor - Print & E-Media   Lighting

OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Lighting Retrofits: Students Conduct Surveys, Inventory FixturesPt. 2: This PagePt. 3: Lighting Retrofits: LEDs Offer Lucrative Payback

Most of the university's retrofits have used T8 fluorescent lamps. The physical plant staff is retrofitting many 32-watt T8s on campus with 28-watt versions, and certain spaces in older facilities now feature 28-watt T5s. One of Eaddy's challenges is keeping up with advancing technology — deciding when to specify the newest product and when to be content with a product that — after one year or less — already is considered obsolete.

"We're constantly fighting that animal, and we're trying to make the most practical sense of the implementation," he says. "We may be a cycle or two behind because it may not make total business sense for us."

In deciding whether to specify the newest products on the market, Eaddy looks at three primary considerations:

  • Available funds, particularly rebates. "That helps keep the process flowing along," he says.
  • The use of the facility and whether that use demands the newer technology. "Quite often, we'll change out the use of a facility and what it was designed for versus what it's going to be used for now," he says.
  • Pressure from students. "They have such a tremendous voice, which I think is a great thing," he says. "When the students band together, things move exceptionally fast into fruition."

Along with installing more efficient T8s, the university uses a variety of lighting-control technologies. One of the most effective systems in place is a programmable breaker control system, Eaddy says.

"With a campus with varying ages of facilities, (it) was a good system that could interface with pretty much everything that we have out there — old, new, and in between," he says.

That system, along with another that controls relays and circuits, help lighting systems perform optimally. To ensure that optimal performance continues, front-line technicians need to have the necessary skills to maintain the equipment. Manufacturers of lighting systems and other building components will come to the university and work with its electrical services shop, the largest and busiest group in the department. Key personnel will work with technicians to make sure they understand equipment performance and required maintenance.

"If there are problems they encounter out in the field, there's follow-up by the manufacturer, on-site as well as over the phone, to address those concerns," Eaddy says.


Continue Reading: Project Profile: Lighting Retrofits at San Diego State University

Lighting Retrofits: Students Conduct Surveys, Inventory Fixtures

Lighting Retrofits: Projects Include T8s, T5s

Lighting Retrofits: LEDs Offer Lucrative Payback



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  posted on 6/30/2011   Article Use Policy

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