Campus Life

LED-ing the Way

Utah State University is advancing toward carbon neutrality this summer, one bulb at a time. Throughout July, USU Facilities is reporting progress of 75,000 replacements into a 142,000 lamp conversion of campus to light-emitting diodes, more commonly known as LEDs.

According to Zac Cook, USU’s energy manager, up to four teams are working at a time to switch out an average of 600 to 800 lamps per day. The effort is targeting emissions reductions and cost savings.

The university has been shifting to LEDs over the past several years, including in new construction and retrofits in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, Chase Fine Arts Center and Merrill-Cazier Library. The acceleration of these efforts comes as USU implements recommendations from the  Greenhouse Gas Steering Committee, adopted by President Noelle Cockett in March.

Lighting is approximately 11% of a university building’s energy usage. Once the project is complete, USU anticipates a reduction in lighting energy usage by two-thirds. In addition to saving six to nine million kilowatt hours annually, the university anticipates saving $200,000 to $350,000 per year.

“It will reduce maintenance costs due to longer lamp life associated with LED technology, improve quality of light, and save the university millions of dollars over the life of the project,” said Cook.

USU anticipates completion of the lighting project by summer 2021.


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