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Toledo Public Schools

 Toledo, OH  Outdoor lighting

Focusing on energy optimization, Cree makes the grade with highly efficient lighting that provides rapid payback and long-term savings.


The TPS Maintenance and Operations Department supports 42 schools. As the Director of Maintenance and Operations, Quintin Reynolds is responsible for finding new ways to save energy. Mr. Reynolds along with key staff member, Ron Miller, and TPS’s energy consultant, Palmer Conservation Consulting, worked to save energy by replacing 2,553 outdoor metal halide and high pressure sodium lights with Cree® LED luminaires.

In addition, TPS wanted to turn the opportunity into a teachable moment for students by building an interactive energy dashboard providing real time energy usage data.

“We are conducting energy usage programs within five schools, enabling students to monitor energy usage in real time, learn how to optimize it and compete for the lowest energy efficiency,” said Miller.


The Maintenance and Operations Department with Palmer Conservation Consulting chose Cree LED lights because of the product longevity, low maintenance and the 10-year limited warranty.

“Cree had a 10-year warranty when everyone else offered seven years or less,” said Miller. “The lighting quality is there and the fixtures are good quality — well built.” 

“TPS likes the performance, price point, and how it looks compared to other lights on the market,” said Ron Miller. “In addition, the lighting enhanced the look of the schools. Cree® luminaires come in many colors so we could choose colors to complement the architecture of each school.”

During the lighting project, outdoor lighting at 42 schools was upgraded in a one-to-one replacement with Cree LED lights. Using existing poles, OSQ Series luminaires replaced flood and area lights in the parking lot, CPY Series replaced canopy lights at the school entrances, Cree Edge™ Series replaced walkway lights, and XSP Series Wall Packs replaced existing accent lighting.

The crisp, white light of Cree’s luminaries can create a safe atmosphere for students, administrators and visitors. As important, the Cree luminaires are backed by Cree’s 10-year industry-leading limited warranty, providing investment protection.


By upgrading the outdoor lighting at all 42 schools with Cree® LED luminaires, TPS reduced energy consumption by 2.8 million kWh - equating to $254,000 annual savings.

Looking at Start High School, Cree is estimating that they will see a 69 percent energy savings based on watt reduction. Since Cree LED lights are virtually maintenance-free for 10 years, TPS expects a lifetime savings of $125,072 on maintenance costs by not having to send staff and trucks out to replace bulbs. Energy and maintenance combined, the savings equates to a 1.8 year payback period.

In addition to energy and maintenance savings for all 42 schools, TPS was able to secure $140,000 in utility rebates from First Energy, improving the overall payback.

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