LED Lighting for Energy Savings


Credit: iStock/denizbayram

Editor’s note: This article first appeared in the September/October 2015 issue of Business Energy magazine.

At the Moorpark Unified School District in Moorpark, CA, Gary Ventsam, director of maintenance and facilities, was weighing energy savings options. The choice came down to installing solar or doing a lighting retrofit with LEDs. At one point, there had been some concerns over LED brightness, clarity, and different colors, he points out.

“Most of them when you saw them were blue,” says Ventsam. “Now they’ve come out with the soft white, daylight, and all of the different lighting configurations for color.”

Not only that, but Ventsam saw how LED life cycle, maintenance, and energy savings had matured over the years. He met with solar company representatives who could not match the potential savings from the LED lighting.

Turning to Titan LED, he began the task five years ago of retrofitting the district’s 10 schools, starting with outside lighting. He then turned his efforts to the indoor gymnasiums by changing out the 450-W metal halide lighting with 100- to 168-W LEDs. “They were phenomenal,” he says. “The savings we got on that was unbelievable.”

To determine energy savings, Ventsam had used a wattage meter in a classroom where he had changed out the T-8 lighting to LED. “We had a 70% savings with the LEDs for the first year,” he says.

The energy savings had not shown up on the Southern California Edison bill, however, due to tiered rates, Ventsam says. “It’s hard to justify when they start changing tiers, but I know we are doing our part by going green. It’s hard to see, but I know by looking at my meters where the savings are.”

Despite being in the thick of the Great Recession, which necessitated pay cuts and furlough days in the school district, Ventsam and his team were able to initiate the lighting retrofit through a bond that voters passed.


Ventsam expects the LEDs to save the school district significant costs in maintenance. For instance, in a gymnasium, the LED lights are putting out almost half of the heat of the previous metal halides, which would go out sooner. “You’re saving in the maintenance of changing out the lightbulbs and saving in air-conditioning costs,” he adds.

LED lighting is a “rapidly developing technology and marketplace,” notes John Ruscigno, Titan LED chief marketing officer. LED lighting has moved past the early adoption stage and the associated challenges to becoming the lighting of the future, says Ruscigno.

US-manufactured lighting is being taken more seriously due to the strict regulations here, says Ruscigno. His sentiment is echoed by others in the industry who are noting more of an emphasis on American-made products. While there can be quality products manufactured overseas, it takes due diligence to ensure their quality, Ruscigno adds.

Titan LED’s Hennessey series offers high bays, low bays, shoeboxes, wall packs, tube lights, fuel canopies, and 2-foot-by-2-foot troffers. The products are made with a Tier 1 chip.

While LED light end users can see as much as a 75% or higher energy savings, there are additional benefits to morale, production, sales, and safety environments, Ruscigno points out. And maintenance is minimized. Titan LED products are designed to last 125,000 hours.

Titan LED uses ACC technology, with 28 thermal exchange ducts through which cool air is actively vented to signi­ficantly reduce the core junction temperature of high-power LEDs. BE_bug_web

  • The title is “vs solar” and yet nary a word about an alternative that might have had more impact on the bottom line that pricing tiers better align to.

  • Pranab Duttaroy.

    “You met with solar company representatives who could not match the potential savings from the LED lighting” If you have a comparative study, I would appreciate having it.

  • Your point is well taken. The title of this article excerpt was perhaps poorly chosen as the comparison of options the school district undertook is only mentioned as a lead in to a discussion of what they chose to do. The writer did not examine varied alternatives in detail, but wrote only about the option of LEDs that was their course of action. From Nancy Gross, Editor, Business Energy

  • Gersil N. Kay, IESNA, AIA/HRC.

    LEDs are ingenious, but not-there-yet. There are still some drawbacks that have to be solved. There ware at least seven energy-efficient alternatives to LEDs, one of which might offer a better solution for a specific application.
    Glass fibre optics functional architectural lighting has bee around since 1882. One lamp powers up to 32 points of equal high-level light. Miniaturized, it is sustainable as long as wanted. Automated special effects of color, motion and dimming are controlled by a single push button. Flexible and reusable, it requires minimal maintenance, differing from LEDs, which could be disruptive and expensive to replace.

  • All of your points are well taken. The article excerpt title is not ideal. We are not trying to say that a solar installation would never be the better option. Our writer spoke with the Moorpark School District about their LED lighting retrofits and there was mention that they chose to go this route after looking into solar installation options. That was their experience of making the comparisons for their specific needs and sites.

  • We’ve updated the headline of this article to omit the “vs. Solar,” to better reflect the focus of the article. We apologize for the lack of clarity.


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