Lighting retrofit stories tend to lean toward glamorous high-profile projects, but it’s the more utilitarian side of better lighting that’s really making a difference in people’s lives. So when LaMar Lighting, Farmingdale, N.Y., wrote to tell us about its VO-LED Series luminaires being part of a major renovation at the West Palm Beach Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC), specifically providing new light for the facility’s staircases, we found it refreshing.
The VAMC provides primary and secondary level healthcare to eligible veterans in a seven-county area along Florida's Treasure Coast. As with all U.S. federal facilities, the VAMC was tasked with reducing energy intensity by 3% annually or by 30% by 2015 with 2003 as a baseline. The West Palm Beach VAMC has been doing a number of projects to reduce energy consumption and costs, and the lighting retrofit is the latest in a series of improvements.
LaMar’s VO-LED units were part of the solution. A total of 270 48-inch units in the standard 4,000K color option were wall- and ceiling-mounted on every staircase landing. The installation of the VO-LED units took about two weeks. To ensure a smooth and easy process, LaMar Lighting’s staff supplied detailed instructions to the installer on how and where to install each fixture.
The original 1-32W fixtures in staircases were on at full 38W output all year round to provide emergency egress, even though staircases typically have low occupancy patterns. For unoccupied times, the VO-LED luminaires offer multiple low-light levels and time delay options, which can be adjusted by the installer. Replacing the existing fixtures with the VO-LED units on five floors allowed the VAMC to reduce energy consumption because the VO-LED “occu-smart” luminaires were set to standby light levels of 8W illumination output when staircases were unoccupied. Ultra-sonic motion sensor switches switch to full illumination output of 24W whenever someone enters the space.
“The legacy fixtures sent the light primarily downward while the VO-LED units have a nearly 180-degree distribution for a more uniform illumination, which is also brighter than it was previously,” said Andres Dieppa, principal with Genesis Lighting, who assisted contractor Gulf Building, Ft. Lauderdale, with finding the best solution for the VAMC’s lighting needs.