College Auditorium Reduces Lighting Demands By 80%

March 20, 2015

New fixtures and controls eliminate maintenance hassles and poor performance.

No matter how riveting the professor is or engaged the students are, an inadequately lit college lecture hall can put a damper on education.

Haywood Community College in Clyde, NC, selected its Charles Beall Auditorium for a lighting upgrade in October 2013. The 7,000-square-foot space, which includes movable walls, was originally lit with 38 500W incandescent and 54 250W recessed metal halides.

With everything from meetings and classrooms to theater performances held in the space, the fixtures were unable to supply the wide range of light levels needed. Maintenance was also a concern.

“With high ceilings, bolted seats, and a slanted floor, changing a single bulb was a complicated and time-consuming task that often required scaffolding,” explains Scott Lackey, lighting business development manager with the electrical distributor Graybar.

Improve lighting performance for the various events held in the college’s auditorium.
Cut energy consumption by 80% by using LED luminaires and controls while improving lighting uniformity.

To avoid a total replacement, a new lighting system would need to integrate with the existing ceiling grid, dimming system, and other hardware components. Lackey performed a number of site visits and energy assessments before suggesting recessed LED products and a new control system. The design provides even uniformity while increasing the existing footcandle average in excess of 20%.

The project was completed over several weeks in January 2014 and has resulted in an 80% energy reduction, which amounts to $6,000 in projected annual savings, in addition to maintenance savings over service life. The project also secured utility incentives in excess of $10,000.

“Haywood Community College is dedicated to making our campus as energy efficient as possible and we are doing this one project at a time. The retrofit to LED lighting in the Charles Beall Auditorium was a rewarding one,” says Teresa Starrs, energy manager and associate director of campus development.

“The main success of this project was finding a solution that resolved maintenance and integration issues while delivering energy savings,” adds Lackey.


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College Auditorium Reduces Lighting Demands by 80%
Haywood Community College | Clyde, North Carolina

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