After 10 years, the headquarters of RTM Engineering Consultants in South Barrington, IL was starting to show its age. The lighting, in particular, was in serious need of attention. Roughly 70 percent of the lights, which were contractor special two-by-four fluorescent fixtures, had stopped working because of burnt out lamps or bad ballasts.
Over time, many of the production engineers came to prefer a low-lit environment, but checkerboard lighting was not a professional look. The question became how to balance improved lighting with satisfying mixed preferences for the amount of light. The other question was whether installing energy efficient fixtures and staying on budget would qualify the project for utility rebates.
The best course of action to keep the project on track was to use the existing fixture type and location as well as the current switch zones and locations. The goal was to select the appropriate fixture and be as non-invasive as possible. The winner was the Metalux Encounter LED because of its price point, out-of-the-box 0-10V dimming capability and 80,000 hour life expectancy. For the controls, the Pico Wireless system was chosen for its lithium ion programmable dimmer and scene switches, occupancy sensors and daylight harvesting photocells.
An application was submitted to ComEd prior to the project beginning, and it was pre-approved for a rebate. ComEd doesn’t provide rebates for self-performed installations, so the next step was to secure a bid from a local electrician. Once the installation was complete, the final rebate application was submitted with supporting documentation, and a few weeks later the rebate check arrived.
The ultimate benefits of this lighting retrofit project included:
- Energy savings
- Utility rebates
The results showed that an LED lighting retrofit project can be cost effective, even for existing three- and four-lamp T8 fixtures. The completed project made a dramatic impact on the office’s appearance. Turns out that dimmable controls make a huge difference in finding middle ground for the amount of light that employees prefer, and LED lighting is more affordable than ever, which is an advantage for budget-conscious businesses.