- Determine the amount of light switches in every bathroom, hallway, classroom, meeting room, and office
- Determine the locations in which lighting is mostly needed, used, and wasted
- Taking the prior information, determine the amount of motion-sensor light switches needed in total
- Estimated time to replace one light switch: 2o minutes; multiply that amount by the determined motion-sensor light switch total
From my experience at UIC thus far, I have come to realize that the campus is in need of a variety of projects to improve its overall sustainability. One of my suggestions is, in my opinion, a smaller and very doable project in comparison to everything else that the campus genuinely needs. That is to replace a vast amount of UIC’s lights to have motion-sensor light switches. Although most lighting at UIC has LED light bulbs, almost every single light at UIC is left turned on throughout the day, night, and weekends– UIC is about 240 acres big, so the campus’s light energy alone creates a ginormous amount of waste and unnecessarily adds on towards light pollution in the urban environment. Replacing every light switch to be motion-sensor would create an energy-efficient campus by enforcing our goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions while saving hundreds of dollars per year that can be put into other sustainability projects.
Some might argue that motion-sensor lighting would not necessarily be beneficial; a motion-sensor light switch itself uses energy at about $0.22 per month. But because UIC is such a large, public space, with thousands of lights that are left on during the day, night, and weekends, it will be beneficial in the long run. If there are about 1,000 LED light bulbs on campus, for example, that are on 24 hours a day, that are using up 14 kilowatts per hour at $0.10 per kWh, it costs about $12.27 per year for one light bulb and $12,270 for the 1,000 bulbs. However, for 1,000 motion-sensor switches installed on campus, it would only cost $2,640 per year to be run constantly.
For safety reasons, some switches are necessary to keep on during campus hours, such as certain hallways of lecture halls and dorms, specific parts of the library and SCE building, and perhaps other certain low-traffic areas.
One motion-sensor light switch can range from $8-30, multiply that amount by the aforementioned determined light switches around the campus, along with reusable circuit testers, wire strips, and other tools used to install the sensors, and the labor cost of UIC maintenance workers.