I sat down with Ross Fairbanks, our COO, to talk about LIGHTFAIR 2019 and what we experienced from the event as a company. We’ve both been to 10+ years of LIGHTFAIRs over time so it’s always interesting to compare them, year to year. For 2019, we brought several members of our lighting team and caught up with multiple partners and customers at the event. Ross and I both agreed, the relationship-building element of the show was definitely a highlight this year. Here are some of our other takeaways.
Higher ed facilities are an ideal candidate for LED lighting and controls projects. Campuses often have outdated facilities and institutions are committed to engaging in sustainable practices along with saving overhead costs wherever possible. A LED lighting and lighting controls project is one of the simplest ways for a higher ed facility to fulfill these commitments, start saving energy and lower their energy bills with assistance from qualified utility incentives that can significantly lower the out-of-pocket cost of a project. This was the case for a New England-based university who was interested in upgrading the lighting in their chemistry building.
Data centers are notorious for their inefficient use of energy. At the end of 2017, Forbes reported global data center electricity use to be about 416 terawatts (4.16x 1014 watts) or 3% of the total electricity consumed. This was 40% more than all of the United Kingdom and Forbes expected the consumption to double every four years. Yale’s Environment360 blog states that the world’s largest data centers emit nearly as much CO2 as the airline industry. These alarming figures have prompted the data center industry to take a hard look at energy consumption and facilities are taking action.
Replacing old fluorescent, metal halide and incandescent fixtures with modern LED lighting and controls is, without question, a good choice for a facility upgrade. LED lighting isn’t a new technology anymore. From facility manager to CFO, your team understands the need for – and benefits of – energy efficient, LED lighting.
Winter means colder temperatures, especially in locations across the U.S. like the Midwest and Northeast. And with those colder temperatures and shorter daylight hours, it can take a lot of energy to keep buildings warm, comfortable, and well lit. See this energy efficiency checklist for what to monitor this winter to ensure your buildings run efficiently.
In the U.S., higher education facilities spend an average of $1.10 per square foot on electricity costs, 31% ($0.34) of which are lighting costs. In most colleges and universities, laboratory and residential buildings are the biggest energy users. At Harvard University, for example, while laboratory buildings make up only 22% of the buildings on campus, they use 49% of the total energy; residential buildings and dorms account for 18% of the university’s energy consumption.