LAWRENCE – Ambler Student Recreation Fitness Center has completed a three-part LED lighting project as a way to conserve energy. Thanks to the new initiative, KU students working out at Ambler are burning calories under much more efficient lighting.
The three-part project included the replacement of a total of 181 lamps with more efficient LED bulbs. Replacements included metal halide fixtures above the lobby and main exercise floor, pendant lamps above the walking track, and large metal halide fixtures above the racquetball courts. The upgrades reduced the individual fixture wattage from 250 watts to 60 watts, 84 watts to 11 watts, and 400 watts to 120 watts, respectively.
The new LEDs will reduce annual electricity usage by about 158,200 kWh per year, resulting in a reduction of carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to removing 23 cars from the road. In addition to saving energy, the new lights improve light quality and reduce maintenance.
The new fixtures were purchased with KU Recreation Services funds and KU's Revolving Green Loan Fund. The lighting upgrade is expected to generate approximately $12,700 in annual savings for KU Recreation Services. Facilities operation employees of KU Recreation Services installed the majority of the lights and contracted out the racquetball court lighting project, allowing for completion of the estimated $21,000 project.
“With a payback period of less than two years, this is a really smart investment,” said Cassi Reimer, energy conservation behavior specialist. “We started saving electricity the day the new LEDs were installed. Recreation Services will see direct financial savings before year two and be able to redirect those student resources toward other needs.”
The University of Kansas established the Revolving Green Loan Fund in 2010 to finance small energy conservation projects. Ambler Student Recreation Fitness Center received the very first loan to upgrade lighting above the basketball courts in 2011. The fund supports energy saving updates to campus facilities with a percentage of the resulting financial savings returned to the fund for reinvestment.
The Revolving Green Loan Fund this year paid for the LEDs in the racquetball courts. KU Recreation Services funded the remainder of the LED project.