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Lecture theatres to get dimmable LEDs

March 24, 2011

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SFU Facilities Services is projecting energy savings of as much as $22,000 a year from replacing incandescent bulbs with dimmable LED lamps in Burnaby campus lecture theatres.

In a chemistry lecture-theatre pilot project, the 17-watt LED lamps actually increased light levels, worked well with the theatre’s existing dimmers, and saved 2000 watts of electricity.

Until recently, only incandescent fixtures could be controlled by dimmers, but were inefficient and burned out rapidly.

“The dimmable LED is the solution we have been waiting for,” says Dana Sundmark, SFU’s electrical superintendent.

The LED lamps have a lifetime of 30,000 hours and are available in different colour temperatures.

Sundmark estimates that if the lecture theatre’s lights are on 3,500 hours per year, the annual electrical savings will be $450. “And savings in the cooling system to get rid of the heat probably adds another $150 in annual savings.”

With a net cost of $600 to install the 16 LED lamps, the return on investment was just one year.

The switch will ultimately save 100 kilowatts per year—enough to supply the annual power for 20 homes.

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