Lighting across campus is now consistently clean and bright, with the addition last summer of LEDs in many areas.

Lighting across campus is now consistently clean and bright, with the addition last summer of LEDs in many areas.

Green and bright: LEDs give CMC a cost-saving glow

Brian Worley was guiding an architectural photographer around campus recently when he mentioned CMC’s new, consistent evening glow. For many of the College’s years, that hadn’t been the case. High-pressure sodium lighting across the grounds was casting an orangey tint on things––not unlike a bad self-tanner.

Now when the sun goes down, however, the campus lights up in clear whites that complement the lighting around the Kravis Center and west campus. That’s because last summer, the College invested $200,000 in LED lighting to save energy, save money, and of course create solidarity in the exterior aesthetic.

“We instituted new lighting concepts to be developed campus-wide with the North Mall project,” said Worley, director of Facilities & Campus Services. “The overall plan was to eliminate all high-pressure sodium lighting on campus because it has a terrible color. There are more energy-efficient lamps now. Virtually all of the new lighting is LED lighting, which is much more energy efficient and has a good color.”

Worley says that in the North Mall and subsequent projects, light poles were replaced where possible with down-lighting, and up-lighting of oak trees and wall-mounted or building wall-wash lighting was also changed out or eliminated. The work has stretched to both ends of campus: lighting for both Bauer parking lots was replaced, 68 light poles were replaced, and six light poles were added at the walkway on the east side of Phillips and Berger residence halls.

“We continue changing out other lighting as funding allows,” Worley said. “The lighting change-out is expected to save at least 30 percent from previous energy consumption, and has resulted in a very different nighttime appearance and experience as you walk the campus. “Maintaining safe lighting levels was also a constant consideration in the project,” he said.