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Environmental Factor, April 2014

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NIEHS to upgrade exterior lighting to LED

By Kelly Lenox

NIEHS LED lighting

Current lighting, left, will be replaced by LED fixtures, right, increasing visibility, saving on cost, and reducing environmental impact. (Photo courtesy of Kyle Hawkins)

In March, the NIH Office of Research Facilities announced plans to upgrade all NIEHS exterior road and walkway lighting to LED. The move supports the Institute’s environmental stewardship and sustainability principles, including environmentally responsible facilities operations, pollution prevention, and conservation of energy, among others.

“This project was originally developed to address the aging infrastructure of the existing lighting system, but with the advance of LED technology, it became cost effective to upgrade the lighting at the same time,” said Kyle Hawkins, mechanical engineer with the NIH Office of Research Facilities at NIEHS.

Not only will the new lights be brighter and safer, they will reduce CO2 emissions equivalent to taking 53 cars permanently off the road. The project will also reduce waste. ORF estimates there will be 1,474 fewer mercury-containing bulbs discarded over the next 20 years, thus eliminating mercury from entering the environment from campus lights.

The project, anticipated to begin in late March and last about 6 months, will be carried out in phases, to stagger road closings and minimize traffic and parking impacts. Regular schedule updates and a campus map showing affected areas will be provided on a weekly basis during construction.

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