Commercial Lighting Program Success Story: Reformed Church

Reformed ChurchNew York Energy Smart Commercial Lighting Program (CLP) Business Partners can help find the right lighting solution for virtually any commercial space to provide reduced energy costs and better, more comfortable lighting appropriate to the activities performed in the space.

Project Profile:

  • Type of Space: Church
  • Square Footage: 4978 of Sanctuary and multi-purpose space
  • Objective: increase maximum light level while providing adjustable settings, maintaining church appearance and reducing energy costs
  • Benefits: higher light levels, system flexibility, attractive appearance, lower utility bills

A Room for Everyone

The Community Reformed Church of Colonie serves a large, suburban community near Albany. The facility features a general sanctuary area that is used for services as well as a multi-purposed space that is used for different purposes by a variety of groups including a day school, a nursery school, school groups, studying, and presentations. The leaders recognized they required a better lighting system to create the desired atmosphere in the Sanctuary area while allowing for sufficient lighting flexibility for other activities. They also hoped to reduce operating costs.

The large multi-purpose area could be separated in four separate areas with sliding partitions. The areas are sometimes closed off and sometimes left open even with different activities going on. Each quadrant requires individual lighting controls to allow flexibility and visual comfort.

The Right Light solution for this unique challenge included a dimmable system with the capability to control each section individually. Separate controls for accent lights in each area helps further create the desired ambiance. To save energy and make the system easy to use, occupancy sensors turn off lights automatically in unoccupied sections. The coordinated approach to the system as a whole ensures ballasts, lamps, dimming controls, and occupancy sensors are all compatible.

Accent lighting for the pulpit and choir areas feature dimming controls as well as the ability to be preprogrammed or adjusted on the fly. The staff finds the new lighting solution both bright and flexible enough to fulfill their needs.

The Bottom Line:

Thanks to this new and improved lighting system, the Community Reformed Church of Colonie has brought the energy use for the space well below the maximum allowed by the Energy Conservation Construction Code of New York State. General lighting is provided with only 1.25 Watts per square foot and accent lighting is accomplished with only 0.45 Watts per square foot. The savings from dimming controls and occupancy sensors exceed $3500 per year!

Technical Specs:

Original Lighting System:

  • Fifty 2×4 four-lamp recessed and surfaced mount fluorescent fixtures with F23T12 cool white lamps and magnetic ballasts; and
  • Ten 23-Watt recessed high-hat fixtures with screw-in compact fluorescent lamps

New Lighting System:

  • 42 low-glare, nine-cell, two-lamp T-8 Ubent parabolic fluorescent fixtures for general illumination
  • Eight two-lamp, 13-Watt wall sconces
  • Three eight-lamp, 26-Watt compact fluorescent pendant bowls
  • All lamps are high color rendering and come to a total of 1.66 Watts per square foot

For more information about the Right Light solution for you, contact one of our CLP Business Partners today! Read the full case study here.


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