Think about how many light bulbs you have in your home. Is it 30, or 40, or even 50? Consider this: Germantown Friends School has 7,400 bulbs (or lamps, in the parlance of electrical maintenance), and they all need replacing regularly.
When the old lamps reached the end of their useful life, Nick Dobrowolski, our Director of Buildings and Grounds, decided to do things differently this time around: he switched the entire campus to LEDs.
GFS will see benefits from this switch to LEDs not only in reducing our energy consumption, but in the labor it takes to replace all of the lamps on campus. Nick explained that with the fluorescent lamps, we'd get about 18,000 hours of use before they'd need replacing. The LED lamps promise 50,000 hours of light. Nick roughly estimates that GFS will get seven or eight years of use from the new LED lamps, whereas we got about three years of use from the fluorescents. "The big savings now is in the labor, plus there are savings all the time [once the lamps are installed]," Nick said.
Even our specialty lamps, such as those in the Field House and our exterior lighting, got an LED upgrade. With all of the new lamps, the wattage is now much lower than before (which translates into an energy use and cost reduction), and Nick reports that the lighting quality is noticeably better, too.
To help facilitate the LED switchover, Nick took advantage of PECO's Smart Ideas program, which provided incentives to help cover the cost. Thanks to the rebates, the cost of switching to the LEDs worked out to be about the same as a replacement with fluorescent lamps.
The maintenance team is nearly done with the LED switchover, so look out for our team replacing bulbs on campus—it might be the last time you'll see it happen for another eight years!