By: Lee McClenon
Over the course of several years, Bryn Mawr has replaced many of the light bulbs on campus with efficient, long-lasting LED bulbs. A dramatic example of the advantages of LED bulbs hangs from the painted ceiling in Thomas Great Hall.
Benefits of LED Bulbs
There are numerous benefits to using LEDs. On average they use one third the energy of a typical compact fluorescent, and they also last up to 10 times as long. A typical LED bulb can have a lifetime of 80,000 hours. While these bulbs are still more expensive than “regular” bulbs, the energy savings and increased lifespan more than pay for their costs.
These are benefits that all users can take advantage of, including home owners (all the bulbs Bryn Mawr uses can be found at normal hardware stores). For the College, there is the added benefit of saved labor, simply because we have so many bulbs to change.
Thomas Great Hall
One of the LED projects that the Facilities Services Department is most excited about is their use in Thomas Great Hall. According to Facilities Director Glenn Smith, changing the bulbs has always taken considerable time and labor. A huge Genie lift has to be maneuvered into the elevator to the second floor so that workers can reach the bulbs. Changing the bulbs is a two-person job that must be done by skilled electricians. “I’ve got higher-level work they could be doing than changing light bulbs,” Smith said.
“There are 168 bulbs in the chandeliers,” Smith said. “In the past we’d change the bulbs two or three time a year, and almost immediately there would be more burned-out bulbs.”
The bulbs were changed to LEDs during winter break of the 2011-2012 school year. It is hoped that they will last at least several years before having to be replaced again. Keep an eye on our sidebar counter to see how long they’ve lasted so far!
All Around Campus
The facilities department has been working to increase the use of LEDs in all buildings on campus. In dorms Denbigh, Radnor, Brecon and both Pembroke East and West have LED bulbs in hallways or common areas. The second floor of Taylor, the Health Center, the Campus Center, and Wyndham also have some LED use. In the Gateway Building, 98% of all bulbs, including lamps, are LED. Consider trying LEDs in your office or home.