Lighting the Way to Sustainability

Project Title: Lighting the Way to Sustainability

Project Timeline: Approximately 2 years

  • Plan out how many lights need to be replaced
  • Research companies with best options for motion sensor lights
  • Contact company that deals with the University’s electrical system
  • Replace lights mostly during the summer when less students are present, to not interfere with classes.

Project Description:

The amount of electricity a college campus wastes every year is tremendous. Most of the fault can go towards unnecessary and excessive use of lighting. Motion sensing lights that use occupancy sensors could replace the regular light fixtures in classrooms in order to create a more sustainable learning environment. Doing so will cut down on the lighting usage in unoccupied classrooms and this will reduce the costs the University spends on electricity. Essentially, this will also shrink UIC’s carbon footprint and decrease carbon emissions. This extra money saved can be used to fund other projects for UIC. Installing these energy efficient lights will definitely aid the University to achieve LEED certification.

 Project Budget:

Each light costs around $50. The University of Illinois at Chicago has approximately 200 classrooms so the cost would be around $10,000. Even though it might be pricey to install the motion sensor lights, the amount saved later on will be greater.



One thought on “Lighting the Way to Sustainability

  1. I think this is a great idea! I think one of the biggest perpetrator of this problem are the classrooms and labs in SEL. That building gets less traffic than others on campus yet I always see lights on in empty classrooms and labs. I feel like the best way to see if these changes are worth the cost is by implementing motion sensors in a certain building and gauging the energy and money conserved by theses sensors. In doing this there is less of a initial cost and you will be able to justify the cost and maybe even receive more funding. Another interesting thing to see would be the implementation of natural lighting in our lecture halls. A lot of my professors use prefer using the lights instead of opening up the curtains in the lecture halls by the quad. I wonder how much energy and money would be conserved through the use of natural lighting.


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