School Board Office Lighting Experiment

Even though all of York County's schools are equipped with energy efficient T-8 fluorescent bulbs, the York County School Division's Green Team began to explore ways to find even more savings.

In recent months, the Green Team has been researching new fluorescent bulbs that use less power.

The current bulbs that York County Schools use are T-8 F32's. T-8 is the size of the bulb and the F32 means that each bulb consumes 32 watts of power. After a vigorous search, The Green Team landed on a T-8 bulb that uses only 28 watts of power. While this may seem like only a minor reduction in power, when multiplied by the vast number of fixtures in each school building, the savings become substantial.

The site chosen for the experiment was the School Board Office since it would not affect any students. To their surprise, the new bulbs produced so much light, a decision was made to remove a single bulb from almost every fixture. Comfortable light levels were maintained with 30 to 50 foot candles at the desk tops.

School Board employees are very pleased with the new bulbs; "The light from the older bulbs was so much harsher and had a yellow tint." The F28 bulbs produce softer, whiter light compared to the old bulbs.

Although the new bulbs cost more slightly more than the old ones, they will rapidly pay for themselves in energy savings. The Green Team calculates the new bulbs and de-lamping will reduce lighting cost by $2,750 annually at the School Board Office. As an additional plus, the new bulbs will last 4,000 hours longer.

The success of this experiment is causing the school division to take a hard look at re-lamping all of the schools with the new T-8 F28 fluorescent bulbs. This will cut energy cost significantly and ultimately cut labor costs.

For more information about energy efficiency lighting contact Mark Tschirhart, CEM, CBCP, and Supervisor of Resource & Security Control at 898-0499 or mtschirhart@ycsd.york.va.us


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