By John Anderson
Thousands of Auburn residents have attended events at Auburn High School. Most enter from the rear parking lot and proceed to the auditorium or gymnasium. The entrance was dark, the gym lobby was dusky, and the Hall of Fame was dimly lit. Not any longer.
Guardian Energy Management recently upgraded all of these areas to LED lighting as part of a Green Community Grant. The lobby and hallway are visibly brighter and all the photographs and memorabilia really stand out. Best of all, there was no cost to the town.
Joe Fahey, Director of Facilities and Maintenance for Auburn Public Schools, said the old lighting system was 14,338 kilowatt-hours (kWh). The LED retrofit is 4,685 kWh, so this small improvement is saving 9,653 kWh.
LED’s (light-emitting diodes) have been used since the early 1960’s in devices like television remotes and electronic displays. Modern applications have expanded to flat screen monitors, emergency vehicle lighting, and even traffic lights.
LED’s are extremely energy efficient, and have a lifetime much longer than common incandescent bulbs. They are also much smaller in size and can be
engineered to produce different colors of light.
Mr. Fahey said the school department is in the process of finalizing a rebate with NSTAR to upgrade the high school gymnasium lighting to LED’s. The current lights are no longer manufactured, and he has had to purchase used bulbs to replace those that have burned out.
With these improvements, the students, faculty and guests at Auburn High School certainly have a brighter future in their sights, and the taxpayers will be saving a few bucks.