The just renovated Riverside Convention Center is now among the most energy efficient public facilities in California. Energy Independence Magazine talked with the city’s contractor about the cutting edge lighting changes that will conserve energy and save money.
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Nothing of the old lighting design remains. The just renovated Riverside Convention Center beams with cutting edge lighting that uses less energy and saves city taxpayers money. Energy Independence Magazine talked with the city’s lighting project manager about the major changes that now make the convention center among the most energy efficient public facilities in California.
The whole building was demolished back to its steel frame, said Stan Dryden, Morrow-Meadows Corp. Project Manager. All the electrical gear is brand new throughout the building.
Automated systems now control the lighting in all the hallways and rooms. “All the lighting fixtures are LED (light-emitting diode) cutting edge technology with light control occupancy sensors in all the rooms,” Dryden said. The lights only come on when they’re occupied. The light output can also be adjusted with dimming controls.
The building was originally illuminated by florescent lights which use more power, have a much shorter life span and have a higher maintenance cost than LED technology. The LED lights will theoretically last 20 years, or 100,000 hours, Dryden said. “That saves you roughly $9,000 dollars a year, times 20 (years), is $180,000 dollars in maintenance and lamp replacement costs that won’t happen here.”
The light output was also set at 85%. That will allow the city to increase the light output a little every five years to compensate for a slight decrease in LED efficiency. “So after 20 years,” he said, “you’ll have the same output as you currently have here.”
Also, the LED heat output is less which means the air conditioning cost will be less than before. Overall, the LED lights will significantly reduce the city’s energy usage which translates into more savings. “We figure roughly $90,000 a year,” Dryden said.
The renovated convention center also gives the city more flexibility to adjust the lighting to improve the ambiance of an event.
In the main exhibit hall, for instance, all the incandescent chandeliers and metal down-lights were replaced with LED chandeliers and LED high bay output lights with dimming controls. Now, Dryden said, the lights can be adjusted to a bright atmosphere for a convention, or dimmed to a soft and more soothing light appropriate for a banquet dinner.
Efficiency and savings aside, the new lighting scheme has a definite “Wow” factor too.
In the main entry, you can’t help but notice a stunning and massive chandelier with an eight-foot base, and 24 LED lights with center cores around acrylic ribbons.
A feeling of warmth is projected from a line of 10 beautiful chandeliers and sconces with the city’s Raincross symbol running down the hallway to the main exhibit hall.
From outside at night, the convention center’s tower now emits a soft glow that can be seen blocks away.
The pathways up to the convention center are now softly lit until visitors get within 20 feet of a handrail, then movement sensors pump-up the output to full. LED step lights add more to the overall effect.
“We intentionally kept the outside lights subtle so you could see how striking the building is at night,” Dryden said.
— KJ THOMAS