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CFL Swap

Energy Solutions Professionals (ESP) and the KU Center for Sustainability replaced inefficient light bulbs on campus with new compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).

While nearly all of the campus’s general overhead lighting had been upgraded to be more efficient, there were still thousands of task lights and lamps on campus, many of which used inefficient incandescent bulbs. 

On September 22, 2011, student volunteers began the process of replacing the lamps, and at the same time educating the occupants on the benefits and energy savings that would result.

Around 150 bulbs were replaced in Carruth O’Leary Hall, Bailey Hall, Snow Hall, Marvin Hall, and Lindley Hall as part of this initial kick-off effort.

An incandescent bulb gives off more than 90 percent of its energy as heat, not light. By comparison, a 13 watt CFL, while having the same light output as a 75 watt incandescent, is around 6 times more efficient.

Replacing the initial 150 bulbs saved 9300 watts. With more than 3,000 task lights on campus, the overall impact was a 186,000 watt reduction in task light power demand.

Over the course of a year, these replacements are expected to save KU 279,000 kWh of energy consumption. That’s a greenhouse gas reduction of 418,500 pounds of carbon dioxide and is the equivalent of saving 9,793 gallons of gasoline or removing 39 cars from the road.

Installing the CFLs also benefited the City of Lawrence in their “Take Charge Challenge.”  The Take Charge Challenge was a contest between Lawrence and Manhattan to save the most energy.

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