Sustainable lighting system modernization

Eager to improve its energy performance, the Windsor Mill upgraded its lighting system in 2012 in collaboration with Hydro-Québec and a specialized lighting firm. The aim of the project was to replace the metal halide fixtures and T12 fluorescent tubes throughout the mill and offices with T8 and T5 fluorescent tubes or, in some cases, with Light Emitting Diode (LED) fixtures. The newer technologies use less energy and are more environmentally friendly.

In total, some 11,500 lighting units were replaced or modified. In addition to using less energy, the new fluorescent lamps contain 80% less mercury. Their lifespan is nearly 35% longer than metal halide lamps; they offer better color performance and maintain a constant level of luminosity throughout their active life. By contrast, the replaced bulbs gradually decline in power down to 50% before they burn out. LED lights were installed in the mill’s main parking area and around the administration building making the ambient light more uniform while using 15% less energy than before.

Manual and automatic controls were added to turn off lights in certain areas when they are not needed, which is another source of savings. The project also enabled us to recover space in the electrical room since we were able to clear out the ballasts used to power old metal halide lamps. In addition, the new lighting produces less heat which will reduce the need for air conditioning in the summertime but does mean more heat will be required in some areas during wintertime. The project will translate into annual recurring electrical energy savings of more than 13,750,000 kWh, enough to power 550 homes.

This project also had a positive impact on the community. Some lighting equipment that still worked well was sold to the City of Windsor for the symbolic price of $1. With this equipment the city will be able to light locations such as a planned outdoor skating rink that will be open all year and the local camping ground. The city now has extra parts to maintain existing lighting facilities. A small gesture but one that will improve the safety of community members while helping the city to save money.

What a luminous example of sustainability and community involvement!