A Bright Idea: SPMS Adding LED Bulbs

Let there be light. And let it be LED light.

This fall, South Pasadena Middle School will undergo a subtle yet illuminating transformation, as thousands of lights at the school will be replaced with brighter, more energy-efficient LED bulbs and components.

“For this lighting project, we focused on the two biggest power-using sites within the district,” said SPUSD Assistant Superintendent Dave Lubs.

“Research showed that retrofitting the lighting campus-wide would save us money in the long run. We replaced the high school’s lighting components last year, and now we are converting the middle school. In addition to saving money, the district will be using less energy and will be more environmentally friendly.”

GonLED, the contractor working on the project, will replace the lighting in three different ways depending on the location and need. Each fixture will either be replaced with a brand new fixture, retrofitted with new LED components while still using the existing fixture or completely re-lamped by bypassing the existing ballast and installing a new LED lamp.

All the work will take place during a swing shift after school, which means there will be no impact to the students’ school day. The process will start in mid-September and be completed before winter break 2019.

Once the work is complete, there will be full LED lighting at the middle school, with the exception of the auditorium, which will be upgraded when the space is renovated in the future.

“LED lighting uses less energy and the bulbs have longer lifespans,” said Lubs.

In addition to using less energy for a particular fixture, the control system allows classroom lights to be dimmed, as well as offering a timed, automatic-off system for when the lights are left on accidentally.

In addition, LED lights last much longer than incandescent bulbs and fluorescent lamps, and they are made of non-toxic materials that are 100 percent recyclable. The majority of the LED fixtures installed at the schools will consume 60 percent less energy than the prior lighting fixtures, the district said.

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