Chicago suburban schools tap LED lighting for energy savings

A suburban Chicago school district has replaced aging T8 fluorescent lighting with LEDs across 14 locations, hoping to slash energy consumption by at least 40 per cent and improve the learning environment.

The Elk Grove Community Consolidated School District has installed about 5,000 luminaires from Lithonia Lighting in 480 classrooms, along with a control system from Lithonia parent firm Acuity Brands.

The lights alone should cut energy consumption by 40 per cent compared to the T8s, according to Toni Rossi, executive director for facilities and operations for the district, which covers elementary through junior high schools in Elk Grove Village and parts of neighbouring towns including Arlington Heights, Mount Prospect and Des Plaines.

The Acuity control system, called nLight, will also allow teachers to alter lighting levels in individual classrooms to a much wider degree than the previous two settings of high and low. That will allow them to alter level depending on class activities.

'We wanted to provide the classrooms with a sustainable and energy efficient lighting choice that would be standardised throughout the entire school district and yet able to be controlled on a classroom-by-classroom basis,' Rossi said.

Neither the school district – also known as Community Consolidated School District 59 - nor Acuity would say how much the district paid for the lighting, or when the lights would pay back.

Rossi said the project took 10 weeks to complete.

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Photo is from Acuity Brands

 

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