Now that August is here, "Back to School" is all around us as kids get ready for another year with clothes and school supplies. But most of us don't stop to think about what "Back to School" means for the schools themselves, and one important step is for the schools to make sure their lighting is in proper operating condition for incoming student and teachers.
Lighting, after all, is one of the keys not only to safely navigating school hallways but also to reading and doing other school work without straining the eyes. Lights also impact students' and teachers' health and mood, and can affect school budgets. Old lighting systems, for instance, can cost a great deal more to run than new bulbs and ballasts.
Appropriate to the school theme, you may have heard this quote: "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance." In a similar way, if you think new lights are expensive, try old lights. This relates because new lights have an initial cost (what some people will focus on), but old lights use so much more energy, which drains a school system of its precious annual revenue.
In fact, according to the Department of Education, more money goes into school energy each year than schools put into books and computers combined! About 26% of that energy cost goes toward lighting, and this is a cost that can be meaningfully reduced.
While there are options for relamping a school building at more substantial upfront costs, sometimes just retrofitting existing lights with improved ballasts and/or bulbs can lead to a useful annual savings. Old T12 fluorescent bulbs, for instance, operate on outdated and inefficient ballasts, which can easily be replaced with modern, more efficient ballasts in combination with T8 or even T5 bulbs that produce the same amount of light on far fewer watts.
In fact, one ideal use for fluorescent bulbs is in gymnasiums, where they can replace metal halide bulbs. Have you ever been in a gym when the lights were turned on, watching them slowly brighten over a period of five minutes or more? These long periods for both shutting down and turning on are the reason why many HID (High Intensity Discharge) bulbs are simply left on all day, drawing power the whole time. Replacing these with fluorescent bulbs, which can turn on and off quickly, means not only saving money when the bulbs are on but also having the ability to turn the bulbs off when the gym isn't being used.
Schools can even opt to use the most efficient lights of all -- LED bulbs. These do, however, carry the highest costs up front, and many schools will continue choosing fluorescent bulbs for most situations until LED costs further decrease.
Whether you're simply replacing bulbs in your current lighting systems, or looking at retrofit or relamping options, Lighting Supply offers all the bulbs a school could need when preparing for the coming year. This includes many "hard to find" bulbs that a lot of suppliers simply don't have. And as a company in business since 1983 and highly rated through a third party, we're the kind of partner we think schools really need -- that is, a partner schools can trust, knowing that we'll have their backs throughout the lighting process.
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