LS Energy Associates, a division of Motti Electric, needed to update the lighting at Fresh Pond Apartments, a low-income housing project just outside of Boston in Cambridge, Mass. Technical consultant David Conna recommended the use of LED lighting in a number of applications for the low energy consumption, zero maintenance and long life of the fixtures.“I think people are really attracted to the idea of transitioning from fluorescents to LEDs. It’s a zero-maintenance fixture, there’s lower energy consumption, and you can turn them on and off as much as you want without damaging the lamps,” said Conna.
The updated lighting included 424 Voyager LED bi-level fixtures from LaMar Lighting to replace existing surface-mounted hallway lighting. The Voyager is one of LaMar’s Occu-Smart LED luminaires and is built with components from the Universal Lighting Technologies EVERLINE product family, including the Linear LED Module and 4-channel Drivers with 0–10V dimming. The motion-sensor bi-level lighting operates at full light level when occupancy is detected but returns to a lower standby light level during unoccupied times to reduce energy costs, consuming as little as 3W while at this level.
“The savings, based on three hours per day on high and 21 hours per day on standby, is 450 kWh per year per fixture,” Conna said. “There are 424 fixtures total—212 in each building—so the total annual savings are 191,500 kWh per year. Electricity costs are around 10 to 12 cents per kWh for larger customers, so this translates to something like $19,150 to $22,980 per year worth of energy savings. Of course, electrical costs vary depending on where you live, but they are relatively high here in the Northeast.”
Additionally, most large customers have demand charges, which should be reduced significantly by the installation of these fixtures; however, calculating those savings is not possible without electrical monitoring equipment. Demand savings can be verified by looking at electric bills before and after the fixture installation.
In one test scenario where the LED modules in the bi-level fixtures were only on at 100 percent light level for a few hours per day, the tested modules had a projected life of over 200,000 hours. That’s over 10 times the life of a standard fluorescent lamp.
The Voyager is just one of the fixtures that LaMar is transitioning from fluorescent to LED lighting.
“Our company was started in 1957, and we’ve been changing and growing and reshaping the business over the years,” said Jeff Goldstein, CEO for LaMar. “Like many others, we’re having to transition to LED products to meet customer demand. We were only looking to sell fixtures with LED components where the boards and drivers are manufactured by the same company, and we wanted a company with experience in the lighting industry.”
“We’ve been working with Universal Lighting Technologies, a member of the Panasonic family of companies, since the business opened, and they have been instrumental in helping us with the transition as they develop innovative and quality products that we’re designing our fixtures around,” continued Goldstein LaMar’s LED fixtures include drivers and modules from the Universal EVERLINE product family.That transition hasn’t come without challenges. “LED is different because there are no national standards. Every product that gets developed has to be submitted to UL individually, and approval can take months,” said Goldstein.
During that time, component manufacturers can release new products. “Universal has made the commitment that even though they’re coming up with new products, they will continue to support the legacy products. We need that support to be able to sell the products we’ve gotten approved by UL,” continued Goldstein.
LaMar’s renowned Occu-Smart product line is among those transitioning to include LED offerings. The motion-sensor bi-level lighting was the first of its kind; the LED version first became available in the summer of 2013. “It’s already gaining a lot of traction. We’ve shipped fixtures to a number of institutions and housing projects that have been waiting for the LED product to be available because they know that LaMar is the expert in the field of bi-level lighting,” said Goldstein.
LaMar plans to continue to evolve their product line by adapting more of their older products from fluorescents to LEDs. In the words of Goldstein: “LED products are evolving so rapidly that we need to stay progressive and update our LED offerings to keep pace with this technology, and we will continue to work with Universal to achieve these goals.”