College Planning & Management

DEC 2012

College Planning & Management is the information resource for professionals serving the college and university market. Covering facilities, security, technology and business.

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lamp changes compared to a 10,000-hour compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) fi xture. That is a significant savings in facility management manpower for a university with thousands of light bulbs throughout a campus! In addition to long life, LED lights are easily adaptable to a wide range of control options with minimum added cost. Dimming, daylight harvesting, time clock, and demand response control can be incorporated into the LED power supply unit. Fluorescent fi xtures, on the other hand, would require additional cost for dimming ballast and communicable devices to accept these control options. However, LED lighting is not without its disadvantages. While the failure rate is low, it is not zero. When an LED light goes out, replacement is a complicated affair, requiring a replacement lamp from the original manufacturer. For now, LED lamps are uniquely designed to fit in a fi xture, and manufacturers have proprietary lamp and fi xture styles. Until the LED industry standardizes the lamps, colleges should consider the balance between the benefits of LEDs and the challenges of lamp replacement in lighting design. What's Next in Lighting? High-efficiency linear fluorescent lights are still the most energy-efficient technology and the easiest to replace because the lamps are readily available. However, these lamps, while inexpensive, require greater maintenance due to more frequent replacement. LED lights, on the other hand, feature more expensive lamps that last far longer. For colleges and universities, the advantage to switching to LED today is reducing the long-term manpower required to change lamps. Standardization of LED lamp technology will come, drawing down the cost, but we're not there yet. Because the capital costs of buying and installing both technologies are similar, facility management costs become the deciding factor. As LED becomes more competitive with fluorescent technology, we'll see LED fi xtures replacing other lighting choices for all applications in higher education. LED technology can't replace everything yet, but the lighting industry is moving that way. It could happen in the near future. CPM Chin Lin, AIA, LEED-AP, is a senior associate at HMFH Architects (www.hmfh. com), an architecture firm focused on the design of student learning and living environments. He is also on the Board of Managers of IES Boston, a section of The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA). DECEMBER 2012 / COLLEGE PLANNING & MANAGEMENT 27

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