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Biotech Two Gets LED Lighting

Faculty, students and staff at Biotech Two now see their work in a whole new light, thanks to a recent project that swapped out every lighting fixture in the building.

Gone are some 1,000 fluorescent bulb fixtures, which used 120 watts each on average. In their place are flat panel Light Emitting Diode (LED) fixtures that use only 30 watts of electricity.

“We want to be as efficient as we can,” said Joe Metterville, senior facilities electrician, who managed the lighting project. “With LED fixtures, the energy savings and the maintenance savings are significant.”

The new LED fixtures have a 10-year lifespan. Over that time, the operating savings is estimated to be $396,000, Metterville said, given their projected energy use and reduced maintenance costs. The LED replacement project was funded in part by a $60,000 rebate from National Grid.

“We basically got all of the fixtures for free, because of the rebate,” Metterville said. “This was a good cooperative effort with National Grid and our vendor, Electrical Wholesalers.”

Last year, the 166 exterior pole lights in the parking lots around Biotech Two were also replaced. The old metal halide bulbs on the poles used 455 watts. They were replaced with exterior LED fixtures that use 225 watts. The school received a $100,000 rebate from National Grid to cover most of the exterior light work costs, Metterville said.

“To maintain those pole lights, we had to rent a bucket truck a couple of times a year, and that alone would cost about $20,000 a year,” Metterville said. “The new lights have been up for over a year, and they have been maintenance free so far. So that’s a great savings.”

Photo: Wei Ding, a research associate in Amy Walker’s lab, works under a new LED fixture in Biotech Two.