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Reston Hospital Center

 Reston, Virginia  Outdoor lighting

Cree® LED Lighting bring healthy savings to Reston Hospital Center parking garage.


Chip Cooper knew there must be a better, more efficient way.

As project manager and master electrician at Reston Hospital Center, he'd been frustrated by "astronomical" (in his words) electricity bills and excessive maintenance costs in lighting the hospital's parking garage. The system comprised more than 300 metal halide fixtures – 175 watt bulbs burning 24 hours a day, seven days a week – reaching heat levels that would often melt the globes.

The material and labor costs of replacing five to 10 globes and 30 or more light bulbs a month was "killing us," Cooper says. The task took an entire day to complete.

So Cooper and Jim Sweeris, Director of Plant Operations and Security, evaluated their options and were soon attracted to the advantages of LED lighting. They took their findings to senior management, who concurred, opting to fund the re-lighting project.

Reston sought to work with vendors providing solutions that can clearly demonstrate they can meet their needs. Cree provided a solution that significantly improved lighting quality while providing excellent energy and maintenance cost savings.


The project involved a total of 325 fixtures: Cree® IG Series pendant-mount LED luminaires throughout the parking garage, OSQ Series area lighting on the roof parking deck and LS4™ surface ambient fixtures with Cree TrueWhite® Technology in the stairwells.

Properly lighting parking garages is a challenge, and the Cree IG Series was the clear solution. These LED luminaires feature Cree's WaveMax™ Technology, which offers low-glare illumination with high energy efficiency and rapid payback – two and a half years for this project.

Cooper calls the OSQ Series LED area luminaires on the upper level the most impressive lights he's ever seen.

"We previously had 1000 watt lights up there,"he explains," and we had dark corners and shadows. Now, it could be two in the morning, and you can see anything in any area up there. The dissipation of the light is excellent. The color is great. And you can look up towards the light and it's not going to blind you.

"It's a great improvement to that top deck." And the LS Series, Cooper says, brightens up the stairwells significantly.

"It's a different quality of light; everybody is very pleased with them," he says. "And, of course, they're not that old, bulky-looking light that hung on the wall. It's just a very nice looking light fixture."


Overall, Cooper attests, "We've got a sharper, crisper looking light."

He particularly likes the fact that the Cree LED lighting can be programmed from full brightness down to 10 percent. They're also motion controlled, with many of them shut entirely off during daylight hours unless needed, saving considerably on electricity.

When the IG Series picks up motion during the day, they come up to 25 percent brightness. At night, they stay at 15 percent, then come up to full brightness when needed, providing "extremely nice light" on demand, Cooper says.

The IG Series also provides enhanced security in the garage, in that there's no longer glare around the wall-mounted cameras and they offer improved visibility when officers are patrolling.

"Their input has been positive," Cooper says of the security team. "They like it. They claim that no matter where they are, once they get within 30 feet of a light, it comes up to full brightness at night, in all areas."

Cooper further reports that the implementation of the Cree fixtures "was a very smooth operation."

Reston Hospital Center anticipates an 81 percent reduction in energy consumption, for $60,455 in annual energy savings, plus the savings on maintenance. And in going all-LED, the hospital received a rebate from Dominion Virginia Power.

The Cree LED lighting is warrantied for 10 years. Given that Cooper hopes to retire before then, he figures his garage lighting woes are resolved forever.

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