The University of Illinois have upgraded the lighting system of their 18,000 square foot Student Recreation Facility with LEDs, reports Energy Manager Today, with the project saving the building up to $20,000 per year in energy and reduced labour costs. The project was especially challenging due to the 75 foot high ceiling fixtures in the building’s lobby.

This unique architecture meant that, in order to fit new lighting throughout the facility, a specialised man lift had to be hired at $5,000 per day. The new LED lighting system is reportedly now consuming around 75% less energy than the old one. UIC recently signed a $63.6 million energy savings performance contract with Ameresco, which is expected to save the university more than $1.8 million in energy costs over 20 years.

Nate Scott, associate director at the university, said: “Basically, it cost $5,000 each time we had to change a light bulb.”

The indoor multi activity court (MAC), which includes fitness/weight room floor areas and racquetball courts, has also been retrofitted with LED fixtures through the same process. The new lights are thought to last an average of 100,000 hours compared to the 20,000 of the old system. The fixtures have also been integrated into a controls system, which can be controlled with an app via a dedicated Apple device.

LED lighting experts Visible Lighting has commented on this new energy saving retrofit for the University of Illinois, praising the move. A spokesperson for the company said:

“More and more institutions are realising the money and energy saving potential of installing LED light fixtures in the long term. UIC have spent time and money on retrofitted the LEDs now, but the numbers indicate just how much they will gain over their 20 year forecast. It also makes the university much more environmentally friendly.”

Visible Lighting was established with a view to providing high quality lighting at affordable prices. Supplying a multitude of energy saving products, the company specialises in LED lighting including LED strip lights, LED ceiling and wall lights, LED flood lights as well as commercial LED lighting. All products take advantage of the latest technology, providing customers with the best value for money. Visible Lighting places customer service as its top priority, regularly expanding its product lines.

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