A Bright New Day for School Lighting

“They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway,” but last week the lights were a little brighter not at a theatre in New York, but at a school in Fall River, Massachusetts.

Earth Day Network teamed up with Philips to provide new, super efficient, environmentally friendly lights to Durfee High School in Fall River. Classrooms were updated with 32watt T-8 fluorescent tube lamps (Philips Alto lamps). These lamps are made with an industry low amount of mercury (which is reclaimed from old recycled lamps). Additionally, our project also brought in lighting design experts from Philips Lightolier to design a custom-made solution for the auditorium house light system.  Philips Lightolier of Fall River, Massachusetts donated 155 light fixtures, with custom designed elements to accommodate the sloped ceilings in Durfee High School’s Nagle Auditorium, replacing old fixtures and the 200 Watt incandescent bulbs that were used previously. The new system – one of the most popular used today to replace an inefficient incandescent system, utilizes 42 Watt energy efficient CFLs, thus offering more than 75% in energy savings. The lower wattage and higher efficiency of the new lighting scheme should equal savings of nearly $250,000 over the lifetime of the lamps.

All of these incredible upgrades warranted a celebration, and that’s exactly what we did. A panel of experts discussing the importance of sustainability made speeches and answered questions from an auditorium full of students, as well as questions from twitter. Our panel consisted of Fall River’s Mayor, Will Flanagan, Zia Effekhar, CEO of Philips Lighting and Professional Luminaires North America, and president of Earth Day Network, Kathleen Rogers. Serving as moderator of this shindig was Jared Robinson, founder and president of Durfee’s Green Club. These kind of forums are a great way to introduce a student body to green improvements made to their school, as well as to make them aware of the potential in the new green economy