LED Lights Provide Better Light Quality While Reducing Costs

(Santa Fe, NM) - The State of New Mexico’s Wendell Chino Building, home of the Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) and the Indian Affairs Department recently installed Light Emitting Diode (LED) lamp fixtures throughout the building offering much better quality for state employees and significant utility bill savings for taxpayers.

“We are proud that the Wendell Chino Building is the State’s first building to be completely upgraded to LED lighting technology,” says EMNRD Secretary John Bemis.   “The 1000 lamps, together with output of over 500 solar panels atop the roof, shows our commitment to energy conservation using the latest technology.”
General Service Division Secretary Ed Burckle, responsible for operating state buildings, commented that “our operational savings from switching over to LED lamps represent an impressive 63 percent cost reduction. Maintenance goes down as the fixtures will last 18 to 27 years, which is 2 to 3 times the life of fluorescent lamps.  We save additional money as our staff need not spend time replacing fluorescent bulbs that burn out fairly regularly.”

Beyond cost savings, LEDs provide better illumination which improves safety and security.
“It’s such a positive for our department staff to work under high quality lights.  You can literally see the difference,” says EMRND Energy, Conservation and Management Division Director Louise Martinez.  “With an eight-year payback on the retrofit project, we hope other office building owners will soon see the light and also switch over to LEDs.”
The project was paid for with federal stimulus funding of $234,772 for materials and state funding of $25,000 for installation, for a total budget of $259,772. Cutting the building’s energy used for lighting by 54 percent, and factoring in the operating savings over 15 years of $358,600, yields an 8.1year payback, or a 12 percent rate of return on the investment.

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