Dialight LED Lighting Proves Less is More at City of London Waste Transfer Facility
Its recent upgrade to Dialight high-efficiency LED High and Low Bay fixtures has enabled the City of London Corporation to slash energy use by approximately 70 percent, reduce total fixture count by one-half and virtually eliminate lighting maintenance, all while significantly improving visibility and overall operational efficiency at its quad-level Walbrook Wharf. With a change-out that took less than five minutes per fixture, the Corporation expects to see a positive return on investment in as few as just 3 years.
Small Space, big Responsibility
Charged with complete municipal operations for the City of London’s central business district, the City of London Corporation’s 2.59 square kilometer footprint may seem small, but there are some big shoes to fill. The Corporation is the sole public works provider for the zone, providing for all utilities, public safety, street maintenance and winter maintenance, refuse collection and complete facilities management for city-owned properties. The majority of these operations are run out of the Corporation’s Walbrook Wharf facility. Originally constructed in 1960, this bustling four-level parking and vehicle maintenance hub, houses the Corporation’s day to day operations.
For the last 50 years, the facility had relied on the original lighting fixtures put in place at the time of construction. Mostly five and six-foot fluorescents with a few 400W high-pressure sodium units, the fixtures had not only become obsolete but also a significant drain on resources—both in terms of maintenance time and costs and energy consumption. The 134W fluorescent and 275W SON fittings were hardly energy efficient and required frequent replacement, as they were often hit by truck drivers. Because of the inefficient warm-up time required, especially for the HPS fixtures, the lights in the facility were often left on 24/7.
The fixtures were also dirt collectors, which reduced visibility as diesel exhaust soot and dust from the constant traffic built up over time. To ensure safety and avoid frequent interruption of traffic flow, the Corporation underwent a complete facility-wide fixture cleaning and relamp project every 18 months—a costly and time-consuming process.
Dialight Upgrade Delivers Modern efficiency
Faced with a resource-intensive maintenance treadmill, the Corporation was determined to upgrade to a more efficient and environmentally friendly lighting solution, partly to save energy and money, but also to meet the Corporation’s Energy Reduction Action Plan (ERAP) and avoid being taxed on its carbon footprint through the UK’s Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) program.
As part of its commitment to achieving the ERAP and CRC energy and carbon reduction targets, the facility aimed to reduce electricity consumption by 15 percent by 2015. Realizing the high impact lighting had on its energy use, the facility immediately honed in on this area to offer the largest and quickest potential savings.
After learning about the success of Dialight’s fixtures at London’s ExCeL Centre, the Corporation quickly arranged for a three-month trial of Dialight’s LED Low Bay fixtures.
“The Dialight product met all of the criteria we were looking for in terms of substantial energy reduction, lower maintenance and durability,” said the project team based at Walbrook Wharf, Building Maintenance & Facilities Manager with the City of London Corporation. “Once we spoke with the facilities manager at the internationally renowned ExCeL Centre, it was a no-brainer for us to proceed with the upgrade to Dialight LEDs throughout the facility.” said the project team based at Walbrook Wharf.
Less is More: Better Lighting with Fewer Fixtures, Less Energy
The facility initially installed 25 80W LED Low Bay fittings for a 1-for-2 replacement of its existing fluorescent fixtures on the 2nd floor parking area. The Corporation immediately realized a dramatic improvement in visibility, thanks to the superior color rendering and specialized optics design of the low-bay products, and a real-time energy savings of 70 percent, all while increasing the lux level, even with exactly half the number of fixtures in place.
In phase two, the depot installed 19 Low Bay and two High Bay units on the ramps between the 1st and 2nd floors, and another 17 Low Bay fittings on the 1st floor parking level. By reducing the fixture count and electricity required to drive the system, the Corporation was able to cut the power demand from 16 amps to 5 amps per floor.
An additional 12 High Bay units are also now in place in the salt storage area, with plans to upgrade the vehicles workshop area with an additional 52 Dialight Low Bays in the very near future, bringing the total Dialight LED fixture count at Walbrook Wharf to 127 units.
Adding to the significant reduction in energy use, each parking deck has been equipped with occupancy sensors that detect motion and activate the fixtures only as needed. If no motion is detected, the lights automatically turn off after about 15 minutes. Requiring zero warm-up upon restrike, the Dialight LEDs’ instant-on capability has enabled this automatic on-off feature to cut “on time” by about 50 percent, saving a tremendous amount of energy compared to the previous 24/7 operation and significantly extending the life of the fixtures themselves.
“The Dialight units are rated for a minimum 60,000-hour life span, which equates to almost seven years of continuous operation without a single bulb change required,” said the team. “Since the occupancy sensors reduce operational time, they are likely to last much longer than their given life expectancy.”
So far, the upgrade to LED has reduced annual operating time of the fittings by 2,190 hours, saving more than 121,000 kWh per year, which equates to more than 8 percent of the facility’s entire energy consumption. Between the reduced energy use and maintenance demands, the Corporation expects to realize an annual savings of more than £15,000.
“And, with Dialight’s five-year warranty, we’re confident we won’t have to touch these fixtures, other than for an occasional washing, for many years,” says the team, noting the fixtures are IP66 rated, which makes periodic wash-down safe and easy. “We were also quite impressed with the fact that each fixture took only about five minutes to change out. Each came pre-wired with a simple hook and plug mounting system that made for a very easy and efficient retrofit.”
Dialight’s Durability, Sustainability Make for a Long-Term Solution Beyond the energy and maintenance advantages, the robust solid-state Dialight fixtures also offer superior durability and resistance to shock and vibration, which are critical factors in the parking facility where heavy truck traffic can damage less resilient filament- based lighting fixtures. Furthermore, because the LED units emit much less heat compared to conventional fluorescent or HPS units, there’s a much lower risk of fire due to overheating, especially as fine particles inevitably accumulate on the fixtures.
With a payback period of less than three years, the Walbrook Wharf Dialight LED conversion has provided an energy-efficient lighting solution that puts the Corporation well under its ERAP and CRC energy- and carbon-reduction goals long before the 2015 deadline. As the entity continues to look at ways to optimize operations and minimize its environmental footprint throughout all its facilities, Walbrook Wharf serves as a showcase for the potential energy, maintenance and cost savings made possible by Dialight LED lighting solutions.