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Office of Sustainability

High Efficiency Lighting

Switch to High Efficiency T8 Lighting

Hofstra University has spent the last several years renovating our campus lighting to utilize T8, and in some cases T5, lighting where ever possible. The higher efficiency lighting is not only 70% more efficient then incandescent lighting, but 30% more efficient then the T12 lighting that they replaced.

Why T8 Lighting

Switching to a T8 from a T12 is relatively simple and cost effective. The T8 lights are easy to install because they fit into the same medium bi-pin base. Since the T8 lamps are currently cost competitive with T12 lamps, it makes sense to replace T12 lamps with T8. In the last ten years, a T5 lamp has been developed which is forty-five times more efficient that T12 lamps. However, the T5 lamp requires a new base, thereby dramatically increasing the cost of retrofitting a building to utilize T5 lamps. Although they are more efficient, a prolonged life T8 lamp actually can last 4,000-10,000 hours longer than a new T5 lamp. General Electric has developed a T8 lamp called the Ecolux XL: it lasts twenty percent longer than standard T8 lamps (approximately one year longer), uses less mercury (which lowers replacement and disposal costs) and is listed as saving $163.50 versus a standard T8. While T5 fluorescent lamps use less energy once installed, the process of installation requires a lot of time and money. While T5 lamps require less material, the prolonged life of a T8 lamp does not require as many lamps to be purchased in the first place. The installation of new bases is also not required when T8 lamps are used.

New construction

Due to the fact that T5 lighting is expensive to retrofit into a location, migration to the T5 lighting has to be carefully managed. As part of Hofstra University's efforts to be as "Green" as possible, all renovation and new building projects are reviewed to ensure that the most efficient lighting is used whenever and where ever possible. This includes solid-state lighting such as LED and OLED lighting.

Solid-state lighting

The future of solid-state lighting looks like the next step up in lighting technology. LED technology is just starting to be used for more common place lighting needs such as signs, street lights and some small scale lighting. Once commercially viable fixtures for large area lighting are developed we will evaluate their use on campus.

Another technology available is OLED technology. The OLED lighting is currently being used for things such as cell phones. Eventually OLED technology should be able to light our classrooms and academic residences. Lighting will radiate from a wall or ceiling instead of a traditional fixture. OLED lighting is up to ninety percent more efficient than fluorescent or neon lights of similar strength. Currently LED and OLED technology is not cost effective and are not a viable option for lighting here at Hofstra University.

What Can You Do?

Although Hofstra University utilizes high efficiency lighting and most locations have motion detectors that will automatically shut off lights if a room is not being used there are several things that you can do to help further;

  • Turn off lights, computers, televisions, etc. when you leave the room.
  • Switch to a florescent replacement bulb for your personal room lighting
  • Occupy common space for studying instead of a private location.
  • Utilize natural lighting by opening blinds instead of turning on additional lights.