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Hillsboro School District Upgrades Light Quality, Reduces Costs

Case Studies |

Solving a Problem for Hillsboro School District

In July 2016, Hillsboro School District in Oregon provided staff with better light quality and reduced costs by switching to low-wattage lamps in its administration services building.

“Staff let us know that they were having issues with our older parabolic 32-watt T8 lamps,” says Jeffrey Hamman, Resource Conservation Manager for facilities and support services at Hillsboro School District. “There was simply too much light and glare coming off of the lamps.”

Demonstrations to Identify the Best Light Quality

Hillsboro School District supports more than 20,000 K-12 students across 35 schools and three million square feet. In alignment with the district’s pledge to improve operational efficiency in its schools, Hamman worked with electrical distributor Platt to explore the best energy-efficient options for the project. Hamman oversaw the installation of LED and 28-watt T8 lamp test kits in small areas throughout the building to get live feedback from occupants on which option they preferred.

“While we got a lot of positive feedback from our staff on the low-wattage T8 lamps, the LEDs weren’t best-suited for our building,” said Hamman. “The low-wattage T8 lamps gave off just the right amount of light, without the glare.”

“Our decision to switch to 28-watt T8 lamps was driven by the fact that they provide the best light quality, hands-down” said Hamman. “The energy and maintenance cost savings are great bonuses, but light quality was our biggest concern.”

“We see more and more school facilities asking for an energy-efficient solution that provides quality lighting for their staff and students,” said Brent Guthrie, Oregon Regional Lighting Specialist at Platt. “For those who aren’t ready to convert to LEDs, 28-watt T8 lamps are an optimal choice to help our schools provide excellent quality light while decreasing energy and maintenance costs.”

Benefits of the Switch

Streamlined Fixtures

To further help address over-lighting, Hamman and his team also switched from three-bulb fixtures to two-bulb fixtures — ultimately replacing 1,336, 32-watt T8 lamps for 928, 28-watt T8 lamps.

Longer Life

Thanks to the Philips F32T8 28W ADV835 2XL/ALTO 75,000-hour product life, an improvement of 45,000 hours compared to the 32-watt lamp they previously used, Hamman and his team look forward to fewer maintenance hours required to upkeep the new 28-watt T8 lamps.

Savings and Payback

Hillsboro School District saves more than $5,000 in annual cost savings and 67,000 kilowatt hours in energy savings every year thanks to the re-lamping project.

The administration services building occupants enjoy a better working environment, and Hillsboro School District plans additional 28-watt T8 lamp switches in its facilities buildings over the next few months.

For more information on the benefits of low wattage T8 lamps visit