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Shining Example

The Transition to LEDs Begins

Most of us already know that incandescent light-bulbs are now officially a thing of the past in the U.S. because they are incredibly wasteful, being better at producing heat than light. Did you know, however, that LEDs (Light Emiting Diodes) have started replacing CFLs (Compact Fuorescent Lightbulbs) and should become the next gold standard for producing light? According to CHP Energy Auditor Benjamin Knopp, LEDs make sense over CFLs because they are:

  • more energy efficient (a 16.5-watt LED bulb is equivalent to a 20-watt CFL and a 75-watt incandescent)
  • less fragile
  • last about three times longer
  • do not release mercury when they are broken
  • turn on quickly
  • flicker less
  • usually dimmable

As far as cost is concerned, LED’s do have a higher up-front cost but Knopp says they are more cost effective in the long run than incandescent bulbs or CFLs. Recent developments in manufacturing technology also means the cost of LED bulbs will continue to drop over time.

In an effort to remain at the forefront of energy-conservation techniques, practices, and products, CHP’s Energy Management Team and the Asset Management department are working to together to develop a lighting plans for CHP offices and apartment community centers that incorporate the use of LEDs. To date, Energy Managment Team members have:

  • completed an LED installation in the public spaces at S.A. Robinson Apartments in Pembroke, Virginia; actual energy savings will be tracked by referencing utility bills
  • received approval for a complete lighting retrofit at CHP’s corporate office in Christiansburg and are currently designing the new lighting systems for the facility

Making the move to LEDs is “really a no-brainer,” explained Knopp. “The benefits to CHP and our bottom line are immediate, but more important, it’s one more relatively easy step we can take to limit our environmental impact. Every time we save energy, we are doing the planet a favor.”