“As a support service, our mission is to create an environment conducive to learning, which involves managing everything from a building’s temperature to its lighting,” shared Kyle Thompson, a former manager at a leading national energy service company and the current director of facilities for the district. Overall, “the look and feel of our lighting wasn’t uniform,” Thompson said of the non-standard configuration across the district’s largely 1950s-era buildings, which contained a mix of T8 and T12 fluorescent lamps as well as some incandescent technology. “Some areas were underlit while others were overlit and the lamps were different colors as well, which made for poor aesthetics that were also wasting energy.”
A Dazzling DemonstrationIn early 2015, Thompson saw demonstrations of LED Troffer Retrofit Kits and LED T8 replacement lamps from Litetronics, a manufacturer of lighting technology for nearly half a century. “I liked the quality of the light, the amount of light they put out, their ease of installation, and how cost-effective the Litetronics products were for our application,” said Thompson, who immediately began upgrading high-priority areas with Litetronics’ technology.
In school hallways and areas with dropped ceilings, Thompson selected Litetronics’ Troffer Retrofit Kit, an 85,000-hour retrofit solution that upgrades a standard fluorescent troffer to LED technology in as little as three minutes. Installed by his in-house team of 14 custodians and grounds crew members, “Litetronics’ under three minutes installation claim is real,” confirmed Thompson.
In the athletics field house – where lights are on for nearly 18 hours a day, seven days a week – Thompson opted for Litetronics’ Plug & Play LED T8 lamps, which fit directly into existing linear fluorescent fixtures, deliver 50,000-hour life, provide ample coverage based on their 330 degree beam angle, and drive energy savings of up to 50 percent. “We’re enjoying a 2.8 year payback on the energy savings alone, not to mention the maintenance savings, in addition to securing more consistent light because the LEDs don’t lose light output over time,” he added.
A Successful Solution
Committed to “spending our capital budget dollars like they’re my own,” shared Thompson, “I love the look of our new lighting. Our faculty and administrators are delighted with the way the space looks and how well the LEDs are performing. We can’t wait to complete other upgrades throughout our buildings,” he said.
Poised to continue upgrading their entire space over time, Thompson is excited for the promise that LEDs hold for his school district – and others. “The time has come for schools to consider LED upgrades – the quality of the technology is good, its price points are down, and its value proposition can’t be disputed,” he concluded. “The lighting upgrades we’ve done with Litetronics products have been such a success that my staff keeps asking me when we’re getting more.”
While we can certainly applaud Mr. Thompson’s brilliance at upgrading to LED, there may be some flaws in his use of internal staff for the installation. As a provider of LED solutions nationally, I can say without reservation that he probably could have gotten his installation completed for FREE. The 179D benefits generated by a million square foot retrofit would have certainly enticed my company to install the entire project at ZERO COST TO THE SCHOOL DISTRICT. Unfortunately, it appears that like many public facilities, Mr. Thompson may not have utilized this wonderful gift from our friends in Washington to reduce his overall cost. Fell free to contact me directly if you would like to learn more. And YES, I did say FREE installation and probably lower priced hardware as well. [email protected]