Experimental and Simulation Evaluation of Alternative Interior and Exterior Lighting Solution for Virginia Tech


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Virginia Tech


According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the energy consumption for lighting is estimated to be about 22% of the total electricity generated in the U.S for the year 2001. With the very poor conversion of electrical energy to visible radiation there is an immediate need to adopt new and efficient lighting solutions.

Virginia Tech with its own commitment to reduce energy consumption is continuously looking and experimenting with the latest and most efficient lighting solutions for the interiors and exteriors of buildings on its campus. This study seeks to evaluate the performance of selected exterior and interior lighting solutions through experimental and simulation means.

A proposed exterior lighting solution, for the "Hokie" light, the most common outdoor lamp fixture on campus, was monitored and evaluated under control settings in the Environmental Systems Laboratory at Virginia Tech. Options for improving the performance of the Hokie light and reducing the uplight were experimentally tested and analyzed. Use of a non-perforated aluminum LiteLid® was selected as the most promising and cost effective solution after analyzing the performance of a variety of options.

For general interior lighting, the feasibility of using advanced lighting methods such as Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) was explored and analyzed. The performance of LEDs was experimentally compared with the existing fluorescent lamps. Performances of the fluorescent and LED lamps were analyzed for selected parameters such as the quality, color and quantity of the light. The annual energy consumption and utility cost of a representative building on the Virginia Tech campus with existing fluorescent lamps and the proposed LED lamps was estimated using E-Quest simulation software. The building chosen for this purpose was the newly constructed Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science (ICTAS). Low lumen output of the LED lamps and burnout due to heat dissipation and poor color rendition index (CRI) of the LED lamps makes them unviable for interior applications at this time.



LED, Downlight, Uplight, Hokie Light