By Alex Latus
The technology in lightbulbs has come a long way since the days of Thomas Edison. From incandescent to fluorescent to light-emitting diodes (LEDs), each generation of bulbs has been both brighter and more energy-efficient than the last. Still, most of us only change one bulb at a time; the process is rarely exciting and the energy benefits can seem negligible.
But what if we repeated this process on a larger scale? What if we replaced, say, 90,000 lightbulbs in a row?
Living up to their motto, “We Power Ideas”, that’s exactly what Facilities is planning to do!
Between October and January, their team will change roughly 90,000 fluorescent bulbs across campus, replacing them with more energy-efficient LEDs, a few buildings at a time. In fact, the new LEDs will consume a whopping 40% less power, which translates into savings of approximately 6,000,000 kilowatt hours a year. For those of us who aren’t electrical engineers, that’s enough energy to power 1.5 million smartphones, 25,000 TVs, or 666 houses… for a year!
Not only will the new lights significantly reduce the University’s electricity consumption and help make the campus more sustainable, the project will even pay for itself in a little over 18 months, generating further savings for years to come.
Like the lightbulb icon, which has come to symbolize new ideas and innovation, this project is also a symbol. It illustrates how a simple decision to be more sustainable, how an action as small as changing a lightbulb, can make a big difference when you multiply it.
So next time you’re swapping out a bulb at home, why not ask yourself “what else could I change?”