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LED lighting and controls save London school EUR 25,000 annually

The Business Academy Bexley, a public school in London, has been upgraded with 8point3 LED lighting and Lutron adaptive wireless controls. The school reduced its lighting energy costs by 60%, which resulted in an annual savings of EUR 25,000 ($34,860). A seven-year financing scheme allowed zero upfront cost for the project.


Using 8point3 LED fixtures and Lutron’s controllers, sensors, and drivers, the artificial light in the Academy is automatically balanced against the natural light streaming through the windows. (Photo courtesy of 8point3 LED)

The Business Academy Bexley is housed in a predominantly glass structure, with a building around three atriums. Due to the high levels of natural light pouring into these spaces, the potential for energy savings with lighting controls was great. Following a series of energy-efficiency improvements to reduce the school’s overhead and maintenance costs, the lighting system was reviewed.

The management team emphasized the need for an energy-efficient lighting solution that could be installed with minimal interference to the school’s working day, and with little or no upfront cost. Lutron’s Energi TriPak wireless control system, which also has been used in universities and hotels, was selected due to its ease of installation and ability to be reprogrammed.

Keeping sustainability in mind, the existing metal truss infrastructure was maintained while custom-made gear trays, 8point3 light engines and diffusers, as well as Lutron’s 5 Series LED drivers were incorporated. The LED fixtures were then integrated with Lutron’s Energi TriPak retrofit solution. In all, 8point3 replaced more than 2000 light fixtures.

With the goal of automatically adjusting light levels based on the levels of natural light coming into each room, more than 150 Lutron PowPak load controllers, 280 Lutron Radio Powr Savr wireless occupancy/vacancy and daylight sensors, 100 Lutron Pico wireless controls, and 1800 Lutron 5 Series LED drivers were installed throughout the school. Again, many of these technologies have been used in hotels and other types of buildings.

Lutron’s wireless Energi TriPak system allows installation of lighting controls with minimal disruption. (Photo courtesy of Lutron)
Lutron’s wireless Energi TriPak system allows installation of lighting controls with minimal disruption. (Photo courtesy of Lutron)

The Academy worked with a European bank to set up a seven-year payback scheme that enabled no upfront capital investment for the lighting and controls. The bank is paid back out of the energy savings the school achieves from its lower lighting bills.

The LED lighting retrofit with adaptive controls resulted in an annual savings of EUR 25,000 ($34,860) and reduced CO2-equivalent emissions of 125 tons. The school will also save in lighting maintenance costs over the life of the LEDs and controls.