Brandeis University switches to LED Lights

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WALTHAM, MA — After eight weeks on the job, Brandeis has retrofitted much of its campus with LED lights that they project will save the university some $32,000 yearly.

As LED bulb technology has increased, experts say LEDs can cut electricity use by 85 percent compared to incandescent light bulbs and by 40 percent compared to fluorescent lights. By 2020, some expect those savings to increase to more than 90 percent.

Rhode Island-based Energy Source completed an LED retrofit project for Brandeis University. The university’s 65,000 square foot Carl and Ruth Shapiro Campus Center, home to study spaces, a theater, libraries, a café, lounges, a bookstore, and student life offices were all updated.

The most energy efficient solution, according to the company, included a replacement of some of the existing antiquated lighting with LED solutions throughout the Carl and Ruth Shapiro Campus Center.

The retrofit is expected to reduce Brandeis’ annual lighting costs by 78 percent, but without having to put the dimmers on.

“We were able to vastly improve the quality of light by switching over to LEDs. Areas that were under lit before are now bright and welcoming while using less energy,” said Brandeis University’s Manager of Sustainability Programs Mary Fischer.”We were able to replace some of the old fixtures with half as many LED fixtures due to their increased lumen output per fixture. The LEDs will last longer, reducing the need for costly replacements in that problem area.”

In partnership with Eversource, Energy Source helps businesses prioritize ways to reduce energy and costs by identifying and implementing cost-effective energy efficiency opportunities, including lighting, controls, HVAC and motor upgrades, refrigeration controls, and other measures to reduce both electric and gas consumption.

Energy Source has worked with approximately 13 other universities throughout New England to do something similar, according to officials.

As a result of the retrofit project, Brandeis is now saving approximately $32,270 and 215,134 kWH annually, according to the company.

“The hardest part about completing an energy efficiency project at a location like Brandeis University was coordinating the installation time without disrupting the flow of the day to day activities,” said Project Manager Gary Lavoie.

But eight weeks later, the university and the company seem pleased with the results.

“We take great pride in our capabilities,” said Energy Source’s CEO Tim Blanchard.

Photo by Jenna Fisher/Patch Staff

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