Monday, October 4, 2010

DePaul’s Parking Garage is “Showing the Way of Efficiency”

Efficient lighting is a major factor in the city of Chicago. Lighting does not only serve to illuminate. It creates an inviting environment where people gather, where commerce thrives, and where the spirit of a community begins.

Energy consumption is one of the many problems of urbanization, and therefore bad for the environment because it plays the important role in increasing carbon emission.

DePaul University has made a big move for its parking garage lighting, by replacing the metal halide light bulbs and installing efficient LED light bulbs. The original light bulbs ran 210 watts each, while the new LED only consume 90 watts. It is important to save energy in areas such as parking lots, given the fact that the parking garage lights are on 24 hours per day, seven days a week. LED light bulbs consume less than half the energy of old metal halides, and are also durable and very robust, which allows them to easily handle the vibration of traffic.

The new LED light bulbs do not only save energy, but they also lower the frequency of lamp replacement. According to the, LED light bulbs use only 2-10 watts of electricity. Small LED flashlight bulbs will extend battery life 10 to 15 times longer than with incandescent bulbs. Because these bulbs last for years, energy is saved in maintenance and replacement costs. DePaul University is not the only institution switching to LED bulbs. Many cities in the United States are replacing their incandescent traffic light with LED arrays because the electricity costs can be reduced by 80 percent or more.

"DePaul's LED lighting program is one of many environmentally sustainable efforts the university has implemented across our campuses in recent years," said Bob Janis, vice president for Facility Operations in a statement to Cree, Inc., sponsor of the LED University program of which DePaul is now a member. "DePaul is committed to preserving resources for future generations and continuing a variety of eco-friendly initiatives that have garnered national recognition in recent years." With its 25,000 students, and 275 graduate and undergraduate programs, DePaul is the largest Catholic University in the United States. DePaul’s position as a major Catholic institution in the country, gives it a lot of responsibility in leading, not only through education, but through energy efficiency.

Switching light bulbs to LED light bulbs in every university in the country would save energy significantly, and therefore make our world a sustainable environment. DePaul’s motto says, “I will show you the way of wisdom.” I can only hope that DePaul University applies its motto in showing other institutions in Illinois and other states how to efficiently save energy. It is in everyone interest to save the world that we are living in, and DePaul University is doing a formidable job in showing people the way of energy efficiency.

Credit: Image credit
Nyenemo P. Sanguma

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