Campus Lighting System Upgrade – A Bright Idea to Save Time and Money

With operation and maintenance costs at college campuses perpetually on the rise, administrators are looking for ways to cut overhead and limit financial strain on students. The Department of Energy (DOE) calculates lighting in institutional facilities, including universities, may consume up to one-third of a building’s total energy costs. That’s why institutions are increasingly investigating lighting system upgrades to improve efficiency and save money.

Lighting upgrades can take on many forms, from exchanging fluorescent lights with energy-efficient LEDs to completely replacing outdated fixtures. This can be daunting considering the size of a college campus. But, the efficiency and dependability of LED lighting is hard for administrators to ignore when considering ways to lower maintenance costs. In many cases, LEDs are 50% more efficient than fluorescent lights and most LED fixtures have a useful life of at least 50,000 hours.

LED lighting is practical for college campuses because it works well for many installations including walkways, buildings, parking lots, gymnasiums and administrative offices. Often existing lighting fixtures will accept LED bulbs with no further technology changes. Also adding controls, daylight or motion sensors or adjusting lighting color and intensity can bring additional benefits beyond direct energy savings like:

  • Increasing student safety and productivity
  • Burning less energy and producing less heat
  • Eliminating student exposure to UV emissions
  • Reducing environmental impact
  • Promoting campus sustainability initiatives

If fixture upgrades or retrofits are necessary, campus administrators can expect for these enhancements to pay for themselves in a relatively short amount of time. According to the Energy Cost Savings Council, lighting upgrades in institutional facilities have an average project payback period of just over two years, with a 45% return on investment per year.

A lighting system upgrade offers many opportunities to address bottom-line concerns. The Usource team of energy advisors can help you develop a customized lighting strategy, tailored to your organization’s unique needs. Let’s get started – contact a Usource advisor today!


About the Author

Lisa Cochran brings extensive energy procurement, utility account management and consultative experience to Usource.  As a Client Development Manager at Usource, Lisa works with mid to large-size companies to develop energy procurement and management strategies that meet their financial goals and environmental objectives. 

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