Boltaron has reduced energy consumption by more than 175,000 kilowatt hours and carbon emissions by over 150 tons annually, after completing the first half of a “green” lighting initiative, it was announced by Jay Coventry, Engineering Manager.

The Boltaron effort was recognized for its “commitment to energy efficiency and the environment by participating in AEP Ohio’s savings incentives programs for business,” by Andrew McCabe, Manager Commercial & Industrial Programs, American Electric Power–Ohio.

“The new lighting replaced metal halide units, which had replaced T12 fluorescent lighting only 10 years ago, but lighting technology has advanced rapidly since then,” says Coventry.  The new system utilizes ‘T8’ fluorescent fixtures, which, according to published reports, are 50 percent more energy efficient than metal halide units. “Such a dramatic improvement seemed optimistic, so we conducted thorough tests using two lighting banks and found conclusively that the T8s consumed less than half the amps of metal halide lights at equivalent lumen levels,” he says.

The fixtures cut usage further by dimming lamps selectively when and where full illumination is not needed. Each fixture contains six T8 fluorescent lamps, an electronic ballast and a motion detector. “After 10 minutes of inactivity on the plant floor, four of the six lamps turn off, cutting usage by an additional two-thirds, while maintaining sufficient illumination for personnel safety,” explains Coventry. This adds significantly to the 50 percent per-lumen savings, since certain areas of the plant are frequented less than others, especially during night shifts.

In addition, the company’s lighting study revealed that certain areas of the plant had been illuminated too brightly, allowing the total number of T8 fixtures to be reduced by 20 percent, with attendant cost savings. “Because T8 lamps last approximately 30,000 hours versus 20,000 for metal halide lamps, we also anticipate saving an additional one-third in replacement lamp costs,” he says. In addition to environmental and economic advantages, the T8 lamps reportedly produce a softer light than that of metal halide lamps, benefiting personnel.

“We expect to replace the balance of the plant lighting and all of the office lighting by July of 2012,” says Coventry. “The savings realized from eliminating unnecessary fixtures, from automatic dimming of fixtures, and from extending lamp life by 50 percent, combined with savings of 50 percent per lumen, will return the full investment cost in less than one year, while yielding significant environmental advantages. It’s something every company with lighting that’s 10-plus years old should consider,” he says.
The company manufactures over 50 grades of fire-rated, impact resistant sheet products for aircraft interiors, mass transit vehicle interiors, and a broad range of industrial, commercial and institutional applications.

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