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UC Davis Installation Sheds Light on Active LEDs

University of California, Davis has installed highly energy efficient LED lighting in one of its parking structures that features activity-sensing technology adapted and developed at its own California Lighting Technology Center. The lighting provides enhanced nighttime visibility while reducing energy consumption by up to 80 percent compared with the metal-halide fixtures that were replaced.

With the activity-sensing technology, when motion is detected and the higher light mode is activated, the change in the visual environment alerts people nearby. Drivers, pedestrians, and security agents now have an indicator when there is activity in the area.

Switching to LED lights and adding activity-sensing technology yields energy savings for the project averaging 50 percent. In low mode, energy savings are up to 80 percent. The university installed 50 BetaLED fixtures in the project. According to the university, based on nighttime, bi-level operation with an average ambient temperature near 15 degrees C, the luminaires should require no relamping and be virtually maintenance free for 20 to 25 years.

"With LED lighting, we are improving visibility and enhancing the safety of our parking structure while reducing energy consumption," said Chris Cioni, associate director of facilities management, utilities division. "We are also significantly reducing both maintenance costs and light trespass compared to the incumbent metal-halide technology. Deploying LED lighting in our parking facilities yields benefits in many areas, and we plan to evaluate LED lighting in other applications."

Other schools that are testing LED lighting, as part of participation in the consortium LED University, include North Carolina State University in Raleigh; Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI; and the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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