Over 80 percent of the Sandy Grove fixtures are LED. The Cree® lighting solution includes LR Series LED downlights, the CR Series of architectural LED troffers and LEDway® street lights. The interior lights are powered by Cree TrueWhite® Technology, offering an exclusive combination of industry-leading efficacy, exceptional light quality and consistent color temperatures, creating a noticeably better visual learning environment that helps improve clarity, reduce fatigue and improve the sense of security. Buckman confirms, "Experiencing the building, when you walk through the building, you can certainly get a nice sense of the quality of light."
Because Cree LED lighting is covered by industry-leading 10-year limited warranties and doesn’t have to be relamped like other solutions, replacing traditional fluorescent fixtures with efficient Cree LED lighting allowed Sandy Grove to save on their maintenance expenses as well. According to Buckman, “Maintenance is always a key item for schools. There’s durability savings that are important when you look at lifecycle costs. Also, the ability to put lighting up high is something we wouldn’t have considered before from a maintenance and access standpoint — too much kickback from the maintenance department. But because it’s an LED light, you can overcome those fears of accessibility. From an architect’s perspective, with the attributes of Cree® LED lighting, on some upcoming projects we did put more drama back into the space. LED lighting offers you more design leeway and it certainly does offer a lot of maintenance savings.”
As Buckman explains, “Another benefit to Cree® LED lighting is the fact that the fixtures don’t heat the space. This has benefits for (HVAC) mechanical sizing and heat load, making LED attractive beyond just the initial energy usage benefit.”
“The controllability offered by the Cree® fixtures is another nice feature we picked up on,” says Buckman. “Especially when you start thinking about building energy use after occupancy — putting controls in place to step back the lighting when the building goes into less occupied or unoccupied modes. The dimming capabilities are actually pretty phenomenal too. Site lighting can drop down to a 40 percent lighting level using the same fixtures, but it’s using less energy.”
Buckman sums it up, "On a recent visit, one little girl jumped up and started going through the energy dashboard, actually pulling up all the different usages. It was a really exciting, powerful moment to see the kids actively breaking the information down in a way that showed they understood it. It’s a great teaching tool — a way of making these technologies and the reasons behind them accessible to a lot of different age groups.” A great lesson plan, well taught.