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November 6, 2015
Campus To Benefit from New LED Outdoor Lighting

Dr. Joshua R. Sanes

There are nearly 1,400 outdoor lighting fixtures on the NIH campus.

Properly illuminating the campus can be a time-consuming venture when you consider that there are 20 different types of fixtures, many old (shown above) and not providing adequate or uniform lighting. Add the expense of constantly repairing and maintaining these inefficient, outdated fixtures and replacing old wiring and it was clear that NIH needed to make a major change.

The Office of Research Facilities, Division of Facilities Stewardship, Electrical and Energy Branches came up with a plan to improve the situation. Just like the transformation happening in homes around the world, ORF is introducing new light-emitting diode (LED) technologies and designs (shown below), allowing NIH to improve lighting efficiency and uniformity across campus.

Dr. Joshua R. Sanes

The project uses an energy savings performance contract offered by a local utility company. Working with lighting designers and other ORF staff, the group designed and specified new LED fixtures to replace all street, parking lot and pathway lighting.

The new fixtures use between 30 and 70 percent less electricity individually, with the entire system being 40 percent more efficient. Walking or driving around campus, you will notice the difference. Street lighting levels have more uniformity for better visual aesthetics and pedestrian safety. Walk and pathway lighting has been superseded by lighting with no wasted upward light, minimized glare and increased energy efficiency.

Dr. Joshua R. Sanes

On an annual basis, the project is estimated to save NIH some $68,000 in electricity costs, $66,000 in operation & maintenance savings and earn $68,485 in utility rebates for energy efficiency. The project is 75 percent complete and is expected to be finished before the end of the year.

LED fixtures that are more reliable, energy efficient and aesthetically pleasing, yet offering tremendous cost savings to NIH—an enlightening idea.

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