The power of the bulb

Ben Weinstein, Facilities Design + Sustainability, Miami Dade County Public Schools

Miami Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS) is committed to reducing energy consumption in our buildings as both responsibility to tax payers and sustainability. Our approach to sustainability is constantly improving working closely with our consultants and industry available products to shape and implement energy and resource efficiency in our buildings. One of our foci is lighting energy efficiency which is the second largest energy consumption in schools, approximately 15% of the total energy use.

As one of our initiatives started during our current General Obligation Bond (GOB), we have fully committed to changing our lighting standard to choose Light Emitting Diodes (LED) for all of our new construction, renovations/remodeling, and maintenance upgrades to existing buildings. LEDs are for the most part replacing T8 or T12 or compact fluorescent light fixtures, which is the State standard for schools.  Our goal is to systematically replace all lighting in the District to LED. The primary benefit to utilizing LEDs is that they use approximately 30-80% energy less energy! In addition, there are multiple other benefits to switching to LED including:

1) LEDs have substantially longer life of approximately 50,000 hours requiring less maintenance

2) LEDs hold their lighting efficiency over the full length of their life as compared to fading of fluorescent

3) LEDs have no heavy metal pollutants such as Mercury like fluorescents

4) LEDs are directional light which reduce light waste and more favorable light to the eye

5) LEDs are easily dimmable creating more easily controllable light

6) LEDs are instant on, do not flicker, and are less stress on the eyes as compared to fluorescent

7) LEDs are shatter proof making them safer with less waste

Energy savings is very important to MDCPS as we currently are the 4th largest school district in the United States with over 392 schools. When multiplied across all the schools in our entire district, that is a substantial energy savings!

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