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Managing Lighting Retrofits


I'm Dan Hounsell, editor of Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today's topic is, managing lighting retrofits.

Lighting retrofits are among the most popular projects institutional and commercial facilities undertake in the search for energy savings. Successfully managing these retrofits often requires that managers investigate the benefits offered by new and updated technology.

The Smart Lighting Initiative at the University of California, Davis has turned the campus into something of a lighting laboratory, thanks in large part to its relationship with the California Lighting Technology Center (CLTC), a campus demonstration and education facility that develops energy-efficient technologies.

Chris Cioni, the university's associate director of utilities, along with his team, joined forces with the CLTC in retrofitting fixtures in campus parking structures and surface lots. The university spent almost $1 million on the retrofits, which generated about $300,000 in utility rebates. The projects have resulted in additional benefits, including energy savings, reduced maintenance, and improved safety.

Among the primary technologies the university specified for the retrofits were light-emitting-diode, or LED, fixtures.

"The energy savings were the first target," Cioni says. "What drove me was having those very large and prominent parking lots right near a very visible part of campus. We have a big performing arts center, and it's kind of a focal point. Seeing these empty parking lots when I would drive in early in the morning when it was still dark, it just caught me as wasteful and a real opportunity to do something different.

"We did incorporate some LEDs on one of the parking structures, on the top deck, which is open to the sky," Cioni says. "We wanted something that was going to fit in aesthetically. I was curious about the LED technology, and I thought we should try some to get some experience with it."

Similar to induction lighting, LEDs attracted Cioni because of long performance life and limited maintenance requirements.

"This will give us a baseline (for LEDs)," he says. "The LEDs are newer technology, so they don't have the 20 years of experience that the inductions have"

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