Brighter and Cheaper: Mason Saves Money on Innovative Lighting

Posted: February 10, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Charlie Barksdale

Better lighting with color rendition that is closer to natural sunlight and a longer life span that will reduce maintenance costs are the benefits of a major lighting renovation project going on throughout the Fairfax Campus.

Mason’s Energy Department is in the midst of retrofitting or replacing all the lighting fixtures — approximately 19,000 — on the campus in an effort to reduce energy consumption by as much as 75 percent.

Many of the fluorescent lighting fixtures are original to the buildings’ construction and consume approximately 160 watts of power. The new energy-efficient fixtures draw only 88 watts.

Energy-saving bulb replacement
Compact fluorescent tubes and energy-efficient lighting fixtures are being installed throughout the Fairfax Campus. Above, Arnell Burke from Physical Plant attends to a fixture.
Creative Services photo

Each old fixture costs more than $22 annually to operate compared to less than $10 for the new fixture. The new fluorescent fixtures alone can save the university more than $235,000 annually in energy costs. And they will continue to save energy year after year and easily pay for themselves in a short period of time.

In addition to changing out the fluorescent fixtures, the Energy Department is also replacing incandescent lighting with compact fluorescent lamps. This is a 75 percent reduction and a huge savings to the energy bill.

Another energy-saving measure in the lighting project is the installation of occupancy sensors. These sensors will automatically turn on the lights when a person enters a room and turn them off when it senses a predetermined period of inactivity. The sensors will greatly reduce energy consumption in less-used areas such as restrooms, conference rooms and stairwells.

For additional information, contact the Physical Plant Customer Service Center at 703-993-2525.

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