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Blog: Thursday, October 10th, 2019

Keeping up with Lighting Technology

Abbotsford School District is paving the way in innovative and current lighting technology. We have been instrumental in changing the way we light our schools, especially over the last 5 years. I have a passion for efficiency and am constantly keeping myself informed about the latest and upcoming technologies. Lighting is especially important because it has an effect on our everyday lives. It can change moods and focus, which in turn can affect productivity. I believe that change is good but also mandatory for a positive learning environment. With the world focus being partly on climate change and our carbon footprint, we as a district need to be leaders in the community to deal with this.

Old and outdated lighting uses on average 60% more energy than the current LED technology. When selecting a fixture your choices were HID; which included most commonly metal halide and high-pressure sodium, fluorescent; choosing either warm white or cool white, or incandescent; which mostly had one color. Many LEDs now have up to 5 selectable colors and up to 5 levels of intensity.

Our focus in the district has been on building exteriors and gyms. These areas seem to have the most significant impact when it comes to energy savings and noticeability. Between the two areas, we currently have upgraded approximately 30% of the district sites. Our crews are continually hard at work, and when a project is scheduled, be it a staffroom or Learning Commons renovation, we use this opportunity to update not only the lighting but also the controls.

The efficiency of LED’s also allows us to reduce the number of fixtures we replace while keeping the light levels higher than they were previously. Approximately 95% of district sites have had some sort of LED lighting retrofit completed. The proof is in the savings. In the last 4 years we have reduced our electrical consumption by nearly 500,000 kW hours.

We’ve come a long way in 140 years!

Manager, Electrical & Mechanical