Published February 17, 2015
Volume 23, Number 2

Hacienda School Shines Light on Energy Efficiency
Hacienda Child Development Center

By Zoe Francis

Students, teachers and staff at Hacienda Child Development Center are seeing the world in a whole new light.
The school’s new facility director recently changed most of the outdoor and indoor lighting from old-fashioned incandescent lights to energy-efficient LED lights.
“I’d had experience with it, so I knew the benefits of it,” Ralph Rogers, facilities director, said. “It’s great. The teachers love it. Everyone’s happy with it. I think our security lighting on the outside is much brighter.”
Rogers took over the facilities in September after working at a local college that had retrofitted its buildings with LED lights. He was eager to get his new school outfitted with the most efficient lights on the market.
“We partnered with a company that’s a subcontractor with PG&E,” he explained. “We looked at all the not-efficient lighting. It was everything from spotlights outside for night to classroom lights and track lighting.”
The lighting team started on the outside and then moved indoors.
“We changed out approximately 30 floodlights,” Rogers said. “There’s where our cost savings is really going to be good because they’re on from dusk to daylight as a security measure. Those floods are very costly.”
Inside, Rogers turned his attention to the dome lighting in the school’s eight classrooms.
“The first thing I did was take a temperature reading,” he said. “You could put your hand on (the light) and it was warm. That told me that in the summertime, that was adding to our air conditioning costs. I changed those to an LED that does not burn hot or cold. If the bulb’s on for an hour, it’s not hot.”
Switching to cool LED lights could also prevent mishaps with hot bulbs.
“From a safety standpoint, I feel a lot better too that someone’s not going to touch them accidentally or change them out and get burned,” he said.
LED lights will save the school a bundle in maintenance costs.
“We won’t have to change the lights for several years,” Rogers said. “From a maintenance standpoint, it’s a dream. You put them in there and forget about it. The life of these lights is 20,000 to 30,000 hours versus 1,000 hours. We’re talking (they’ll last) years instead of months.”
Teachers and staff enjoy the new LED lights that mimic full-spectrum light found in nature.
“The lights that we put in emulate the sky from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.,” he said. “It’s really wonderful for the workers because the full spectrum is the easiest on the eyes.”
Roughly 75 percent of the school’s lights have been replaced with energy-efficient LED lights. The new bulbs cost roughly $1,000 total, but Rogers estimated the savings in energy costs could easily be $170 per month.
All that remains to be changed are more than 300 long fluorescent lights in the ceilings throughout the 22,000-square-foot building. Rogers plans to replace those bulbs with LED lights sometime this year.
“I recommend to any of the businesses here in Hacienda to give it a try,” he said. “You don’t have to change out your whole building. Give one floor a try or give one room a try. I’ll tell you what, you’ll never go back to incandescent lighting.”
Learn more about PG&E’s saving plans at pge.com. Click on My Business, then click on Save Money for various energy savings programs.
Learn more about Hacienda Child Development Center at headsup.org.

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