header image
Home arrow Lighting Blog arrow Getting Started arrow Changing Lights at CU's UMC
Changing Lights at CU's UMC PDF Print E-mail
Written by Steve Heising   
Jun 03, 2009 at 01:12 PM
UMC Fountain The University of Colorado's University Memorial Center, Boulder Colorado.   The UMC is LEED EB Silver certified.   Daylighting is an option on days like this.  Note that the blue color in Boulder is a lot bluer say than daylight in NY or LA


Sunwave Lighting demonstrated a 5 watt per hour savings to the operations and maintenance staff.  We compaired low wattage Sunwave 5550K 93CRI lamps with the replacement lamps 3500K and 4100K that they had been using for relamping existing T8 fixtures with existing electronic ballasts.   They immediately noticed the difference in color and brightness in addition to the energy savings shown on the meter.   

So they started installing the 5550K 93 CRI lamps in the basement in a couple offices that do not have windows.  As a test.  They they installed some in the Environmental Center.  Next they relamped the Student Offices on the 3rd floor.  Then in more offices and public meeting rooms and hallways.  Then began relamping of some of the public areas.  including a under lit portion of the first floor dining area on the east side.  This area is underutilized perhaps because of low the light levels even though it has windows.  They even found some old 4 lamps T12 fixtures and have upgraded these to 2 lamp Sunwaves.  Sunwave Lighting also supplied 5000K CFL's and retrofits for expensive Ubend lamps to 2 foot F17 T8 retrofits to update hallways to spectrally enhanced technology.  We calculated the simple payback on the incremental investment to be 1.25 years with 4 more paybacks at 24,000 hours and $ 0.10/kWh. 

According to the facilities manager and relamping staff, there have been no complaints, and they like the color because it matches the daylight from windows and daylighting. 

The UMC has replaced 2/3 or so of all the linear T8's in the building with Sunwave T8 Plus lamps.  Though small incremental purchases in the regular relamping schedule.   Now were going to get to see how long they last.    Also, the underused (and under lit) dining area is getting a lot more use now for eating and for quick studying  and all we changed were the lamps and the color of the light. 

It's kinda dramatic at night from the vantage point of the memorial fountain.   One can see lights on in buildings all over campus.  And the light from the UMC looks a lot more like daylight than the lights from other business as usual lamps everywhere else.    If over all at CU Boulder 40,000 lamps per year are replaced (relamping whole areas at time on a 4-year rotation, wouldn't it make sense to incrementally invest in some slightly more expensive initially, slightly more efficient and longer lasting lamps?  So that say only 32,000 lamps are now needed per year over a 5 year cycle. 

Wouldn't it also be nice if each lamp saved 5 watts per hour 160,000 lamps, 5 watts, $.10/kWh, 4000 hours, 1000w/kW and you get $320,000 in energy savings annually.   Plus there is air conditioning savings, plus peak demand charges plus 20% annual maintenance and recycling cost savings.  And if it keeps people away and helps everyone see better.   One could up the rating from silver to platinum and apply for lighting quality and lifecycle cost points next time. 

We couldn't get the cooks in the kitchen to relamp.  They claim that it makes the food look funny.  Ok, so you can't please everybody.  Surely they are aware that the customers now eat the food under full color spectrum lamps and they know what the food really looks like in all the public dining areas.    

Thanks to CU, to UMC and to the Students for leading the way.  

I wonder if anyone else even noticed.   And yes,  please do turn out the lights when you leave. 

Last Updated ( Jun 03, 2009 at 02:33 PM )
<Previous   Next>

EPA, Green Sports Alliance Partner for Conservation

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on September 6 it had signed an agreement with the Green Sports Alliance to work together to address environmental challenges faced by sports venues, organizations, and teams. The two organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding that facilitates collaboration between them on issues such as energy conservation and sustainability.

The EPA has also agreed to share tools like the Energy Star Portfolio Manager, an energy management tool that allows building owners to track and assess energy and water consumption, in order to help Alliance members improve their environmental performance.

Green Sports Alliance is a nonprofit organization with a mission to help sports teams, venues, and leagues enhance their environmental performance. Alliance members represent more than 100 sports teams and venues from 13 different sports leagues. See the EPA press release and the EPA's Partnership programs website.