LED Lighting for UAF

UAF has made many lighting improvements, over the years. Lighting comprises nearly 30% of our power plant's output. As a result, lighting has been a focus of many conversion efforts at UAF spanning more than 20 years.

One of our most successful conservation efforts, which began in 1994, has been a system-wide conversion to a new, more efficient fluorescent lamp called the T-8. The T-8's use 1/3 less energy and last 2 1/4 years longer than its predecessor. This change has significantly reduced our electric bill and maintenance costs. We have also been testing and researching LED technologies and potential uses.

In the late 1990's, the campus emergency phone's lights were converted to LEDs. The long life of the LEDs increased safety and reduced maintenance labor costs.

In 2006:

  1. UAF worked with Albeo, Inc. to test their LED fixtures in the ice core freezer room at Elvey. The fixtures did not provide enough light. When proper fixtures are available, LEDs would provide double savings of conversation from incandescent lamps and reduce chiller loads.
  2. Davis Concert Hall and Reichardt Building lecture halls 201 and 202: Pathway LED lights installed. Reduces labor to replace short lived incandescent lamps.
  3. Tested LED holiday lights. The life of outdoor holiday lights was too short and ultimately more costly.

In 2007:

  1. Completed T-8 conversion of academic and research buildings. Some conversions completed in Residence Life facilities.
  2. Thompson Drive: Parking services installed LED fixtures on information and parking kiosks.

In 2009:

  1. Upper dorm (Moore, Bartlett, Skarland): January - LEDs tested and successful. Incandescents were short lived. April - Relamped soffit around the complex. Sixty incandescent lamps replaced with LEDs. Payback on electrical usage less than two years, labor savings, and students have reliable illumination along pathways.
  2. Kuskokwim Campus facility upgrade: LED exterior lighting installed.
  3. Harper Building: LEDs installed for new signage.
  4. Lola Tilly East entrance: Yellow sodium vapor fixtures under walkway canopy replaced with LED fixtures. Previous illumination was inadequate. New LED provided better illumination and enhanced aesthetics.
  5. North bike path, between North Tanana Drive to Farmers Loop: High Intensity Discharge (HID) fixtures replaced with LED fixtures.
  6. Barnette Street Parking garage: UAF parking services evaluating cost benefits of conversion to Induction lighting from existing and failing HID fixtures.

In 2010:

  1. Intersection of Tanana Loop West and Yukon Drive: Test street light pole has been installed. LED fixture installed in January.

We have also been investigating converting UAF's existing street lights to LEDs. UAF currently has 100+ street light fixtures. A LED street light, costing $2,000 and another $500 to install only has 10,00 hours of additional life. This is currently not the most cost effective change, until the price per unit decreases. The entire fixture may need to be replaced and quality of light may not be increased. Plus in October, we were advised by the State of Alaska that current LED technology in retrofitted existing high pressure lighting systems do not meet the National Highway Standards.

We will continue to watch as technology improves to ensure that the campuses renovation and improvement projects are made using the most efficient and cost effective technology available.