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12 November 2008


Notre Dame and Madison Area Technical College join LED University Program

LED maker Cree Inc of Durham, NC, USA says that both the University of Notre Dame and Madison Area Technical College (MATC) in Wisconsin are joining the LED University program.

Launched in April, the LED University initiative is an international community of universities working to evaluate, deploy and promote the adoption of energy-efficient LEDs across their infrastructures (in areas such as offices, student housing, parking garages, walkways and streets). The aim is to save energy, protect the environment, reduce maintenance costs, and provide better light quality for improved visibility and safety. MATC and the University of Notre Dame join inaugural participant North Carolina State University as well as University of California at Santa Barbara, the University of Arkansas and the Marquette University in the USA, and Tianjin Polytechnic University in China.

MATC is the technical and community college for the greater Madison, Wisconsin area, and is one of the largest of the Wisconsin Technical College System’s 16 colleges (serving 44,000 individuals annually). It began installing LED lighting fixtures in mid-2007 with eight BetaLED bollard lights that illuminate student walkways on its downtown campus. Currently, about 400 LED fixtures illuminate a number of MATC campus venues, including outdoor walkways, the student center, administration offices, bus-stop shelters, and display cases.

“We estimate that MATC is achieving, on average, a 30% reduction in energy use for lighting across a variety of indoor and outdoor applications. That’s pretty impressive, given that indoor LED lighting installations have replaced T8 fluorescent tubes, which had previously been considered the most energy-efficient option,” says MATC’s engineering services manager Wes Marquardt. “We are committed to energy conservation while at the same time providing good lighting levels for our staff and students. We are evaluating LED lighting across nearly every lighting application and deploying LED lights when they meet our requirements for energy savings and light quality,” he adds.

“MATC is demonstrating the significant energy and overall cost savings of LED lighting for higher-education applications,” says Deb Lovig, Cree's LED programs manager. “MATC is choosing to use LED lighting on campus wherever it provides significant return on investment.” Current MATC campus LED lighting installations feature LED lighting fixtures from a number of vendors.

The University of Notre Dame is implementing four pilot installations to evaluate the feasibility of LED lighting across its campus. The pilots include LED step lighting from BEGA-USA on its new Irish Green, recessed LED lighting from Cree in the Facilities Building conference room and in the elevator lobby of Hesburgh Library, and outdoor decorative area lights from Sternberg Lighting on central campus.

Because it is illuminated 24 hours a day, energy savings in the library’s elevator lobby are particularly high: 81% compared with the previous incandescent lighting and 50% for the outdoor lights compared with the previous metal halide lighting. Considering that the campus lies on 1250 acres and includes 137 buildings, potential savings from widespread use of LED lighting are tremendous.

The Facilities Building conference room was completely relit with LED lights, providing much improved light quality and energy savings of about 80% compared with the previous fluorescent troffers and recessed lights. The university installed a combination of energy-efficient Cree LR6 and LR4 recessed lights and the new LR24 two-foot by two-foot LED recessed light (which all provide dimming capabilities for optimizing lighting levels).

“Addressing energy and maintenance costs for campus lighting is one of the most effective ways we can reduce energy use, achieve our sustainability targets, and save money,” says James Mazurek, Notre Dame’s director of sustainability. “On average, Americans use 22% of energy for lighting [according to the US Department of Energy], so it makes sense to target lighting in our efforts to become a campus leader in sustainable business practices,” he adds.

“We encourage universities to approach LED lighting implementation as Notre Dame has,” says Lovig. “Pick three or four distinct applications to install various LED lights, and then measure the quality of light as well as energy and maintenance-cost savings. If the light is better, energy is saved and maintenance costs are significantly reduced, moving to LED lighting from older technologies is a no-brainer,” she concludes.

See related item:

Cree launches LED University program

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