Successful Lighting Retrofits

  September 27, 2010

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

Commercial and institutional facilities measure the success of building retrofits in a variety of ways, including cost savings, reduced energy use, and improved occupant productivity and satisfaction.

One important indicator that is difficult to quantify is the level of interest from peers outside the organization. A prime example of this dynamic is occurring at the University of California, Davis, where lighting retrofits are garnering a great deal of attention.

The university's Smart Lighting Initiative has turned the campus into something of a lighting laboratory, thanks in large part to the university's relationship with the California Lighting Technology Center, a demonstration and education facility on campus that develops energy-efficient technologies. Chris Cioni, the university's associate director of utilities, uses lighting center staff as a sounding board when considering cutting-edge lighting technology for retrofit projects. Cioni, his team, and the lighting center joined forces in retrofitting fixtures in campus parking structures and surface lots. Their next set of projects will focus on pathways, roads, and fixtures on building exteriors.

The opportunities for savings are great, considering the number of exterior fixtures on campus — 2,300 fixtures in parking structures and surface lots, as well as 700 fixtures on roads, 1,300 on pedestrian and bicycle paths, and 3,000 on building exteriors.

The university spent almost $1 million retrofitting fixtures in its surface lots and parking structures, which generated about $300,000 in utility rebates. The projects have resulted in a host of additional benefits, including energy savings, reduced maintenance, and improved safety.


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