SOURCE: City Lighting Products

April 25, 2011 07:00 ET

City Lighting Products' Lighting Redesign Helps Washington University Meet Bold Energy Goals

ST. LOUIS, MO--(Marketwire - Apr 25, 2011) - Reverting your carbon footprint back to 1990 levels is no small task. But last year, Washington University in St. Louis pledged to do just that, despite the fact that the square footage of buildings on its main campus has nearly doubled in size in the past 20 years.

One example of its efforts is a recent lighting makeover that is projected to save the University's Danforth Campus upwards of 75 percent in lighting energy costs and provide a substantial savings in labor and maintenance costs compared to their old exterior lighting.

"It was clear Washington University had done their homework," says Bill Belosi of City Lighting Products, a national electrical distributor that specializes in lighting, lighting design and energy efficient lighting retrofit solutions. "Washington University electrical energy engineers Kevin Watkins and Larry Downey had educated themselves on the merits of LED, compact fluorescents and induction lighting. By the time we called them, they had already determined that LED was the best fit for Washington University."

More than 400 acorn-style light fixtures line the streets and pathways of the picturesque campus with its granite and limestone-cleated architecture. Washington University's goal was to retrofit those 400 existing 175-watt metal halide and high-pressure sodium vapor fixtures with 55-watt LED retrofit kits.

"After City Lighting Products showed us the Sylvania retrofit kit, and after many phone conversations with Sylvania engineers and City Lighting Products staff, our team determined that their D-11 or D-6 kits would not only enable us to reduce our energy consumption but also allow us to reuse our poles, bases, refractors and globes," recalls Ed Barry, Director of Utility Operations for Washington University. "That was totally in line with our sustainability initiative."

City Lighting Products represents a wide variety of product lines, but for a large project like this one, the lighting design company wanted to recommend a major manufacturer like Sylvania. "We have confidence in Sylvania not only because of the long standing relationship between City Lighting Products and Sylvania, but also the extensive tests they perform before rolling any new product onto the market," says Belosi. "Plus they were willing to back up their product with a seven-year guarantee."

City Lighting Products and Sylvania offered 10 each of their D-11 and D-6 kits for use in a trial run. Rather than scatter them around campus, Washington University opted to group them in a specific area in order to evaluate their overall effect.

"All of the light readings were acceptable, and since the retrofit kits were designed to provide downlight only, they fit the guidelines of the Dark Sky Initiative aimed at reducing light pollution -- another plus," says Barry.

Another challenge was that, although the acorn-style fixtures had a uniform look, they actually varied in size. "During the trial run, we determined that Sylvania's D-6 could accommodate all of them," says Barry.

The fact that Washington University was able to install the Sylvania light kits themselves was another bonus. "It saved us thousands of dollars upfront and the savings won't stop there," says Barry. "It took a two- or three-man crew working full time, year 'round, to maintain our old metal halide lights. The new lights will free up maintenance personnel to work on other projects around campus.

"There are other advantages, too," says City Lighting's Belosi.
• The OSRAM Sylvania D-6 LED retrofit kit provides a much higher quality of light, especially compared to old metal halide lights, which have a tendency to cast a greenish or bluish light.
• The Sylvania D-6 retrofit kits are "instant on." In contrast, after a power outage or lightning strike, the old metal halide lights required 10 to 15 minutes to warm up and reach full illumination, a major safety issue on a college campus.
• Another feature is color stability. With the old technology, color values would actually fluctuate over the life of the lamp. As a result, unless all of the lights were replaced at the same time, some would appear yellow, some white, some greenish, spoiling the aesthetics of the acorn-style globes.

Another unexpected benefit of the new lighting has turned out to be student morale. "Students are proud of the university's efforts to reduce energy consumption," Barry continued. "The great strides we've made in modernizing our heating and cooling systems remain largely invisible to students. But these new lights are daily, visible reminders of Washington University's serious commitment to reducing greenhouse gases."

"New energy-saving lighting is not only good for the planet, it also offers one of the fastest returns on investment that any company or school can realize," claims Belosi. "In many cases, the new fixtures are eligible for tax benefits or incentives from energy providers, although those offers won't be around forever. Meanwhile, I don't know of anywhere in the country where energy costs are decreasing. The bottom line is, the sooner a school or company calls City Lighting Products for a consultation, the sooner we're able to help them start saving money."

Learn more about City Lighting Products at

City Lighting Products is unique in the lighting industry, managing everything from lighting design, to supplying fixtures for new construction, as well as supplying lamps and ballasts for existing structures. CLP also specializes in finding energy efficient lighting retrofit opportunities for its existing customers and new customers alike, all the while offering unsurpassed customer service before and after the sale.

Contact Information

    Bill Belosi
    City Lighting Products
    Phone: (314) 534-1090
    Mobile: 314-566-5313
    E-mail: Email Contact