LED lighting: saving energy, carbon, and costs
In 2021, the City of Duluth pursued numerous energy-saving projects that helped lower our carbon footprint and simultaneously lower the operational cost of several buildings. Led by Energy Coordinator Alex Jackson, the City saved a total of 881,945 kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy last year. A large portion of those savings came from simple energy upgrades in some of the City’s best-loved facilities – hockey rinks.
Seven hockey rinks - Morgan Park, Lower Chester, Piedmont, Duluth Heights, Glen Avon, Portman, and Woodland - had their light fixtures upgraded from HIDs (High Intensity Discharge) to LEDs (Light Emitting Diode). When comparing HID to LED, there are several benefits that LED fixtures can bring. For example, HID lights are far less energy efficient, as a large portion of their energy is emitted in the form of infrared, which means this energy is lost. As a result, LEDs typically use about 40-50% less energy than HIDs to produce the same amount of light. LEDs also have a much longer lifespan than HIDs, with some of the newer fixtures lasting up to 80,000 hours, compared to the HID lifespan of about 10,000-20,000 hours! Lastly, HIDs can take 15-20 seconds to warm up and reach full brightness levels, while LEDs illuminate immediately.
From switching the fixtures at these seven hockey rinks alone, the City saved 86,663 kWh of energy, which is equivalent to $6,932.96 in savings! These projects also earned the City $29,359 in rebates from MN Power. Thanks to Property and Facilities Management, for making City buildings run more efficiently!