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30% More Light, 75% Less Energy for Senior Community Network

Brookdale Senior Living has completed its nationwide lighting retrofit throughout the company’s 546 senior care communities. The initiative is estimated to save $5 million annually in electric utility costs and deliver a return on investment over about one year. The project also provides energy savings of approximately 75% and gives 30% more light to the residences.

The facilities primarily used products from TCP Inc.’s range of compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb styles. The lamps have an expected lifespan of 10 to 15 times the incandescent products they replaced.

Brookdale was able to participate in utility rebate programs offered around the country, and selected some specific TCP lamps in order to qualify for the rebates, including many GU-24 base lamps.

Brookdale also used the “InstaBright” CFL line from TCP in bathroom vanity applications. Other TCP products that were used were Flat Face Par 20’s, 30’s and 38’s, decorative CFL’s and some LED lamps in night lights and nursing call applications. The installments focused on retrofitting existing fixtures in exit signs, corridors, bathrooms and resident rooms. The project also included signage and outdoor lighting when appropriate.

Whitehead & Associates, an Atlanta-based electrical manufacturer’s representative, specializing in commercial and industrial lighting, executed the lighting retrofit project in each of Brookdale’s communities over a two-year period using Brookdale in-house maintenance teams. About 95% of the lighting fixtures in the communities had a savings opportunity.

“The one common goal we had was to maintain the safest and most comfortable environment for our residents. Ultimately, we were able to accomplish this objective with the right lamp choices, which significantly cut lighting consumption and increased light levels by more than 30 percent,” Jeff Patton, Vice President of Procurement at Brookdale Senior Living.

Brookdale Senior Living owns and operates independent living, assisted living and dementia care communities and continuing care retirement centers in 35 states and the ability to serve approximately 52,000 residents.

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2 thoughts on “30% More Light, 75% Less Energy for Senior Community Network

  1. I am a new reader and commend your contributions to the cause of energy conservation. As Editor of Masschusetts Patriot, the newsleter of the Massachusetts Life Care Residents Association(MLCRA), I will acquaint both management and resident association presidents with your website.
    Recently, I found a light bulb that had been installed in a linen closet without an on/off switch. It had burned continuously, day and night, for three years!
    In skimming your website, I noticed a bulb that seems not to have turned on at all. I found no reference to the topic of contributing left over food to foodbanks. Of course, you may have previously covered this subject, or I may have missed it, or you may not consider it relevant to your focus on energy conservation.
    From my perspective, food is one of our most critical sources of energy and should be an appropriate subject for research and action, especially at a time when poverty is a major problem.
    By encouraging management to contribute surplus foods to local or area foodbanks, you could help to nourish thousands of impovershed people.
    Sincerly, Joseph H.Strain, Ed.D.

  2. Your the description of the economics of the project is unnecessarily confusing. They invested some amount of incremental funds (over what they would have spent for lighting had they not initiated the project)over two years in order to save $5 million per year in expenses. “Return on investment” is a percentage, not a time period. And since any investment offers a return (even if it is negative) after it is made, I assume you meant to say that the expected payback period on the investment made over two years was one year. That presents the question of whether that is a payback of $5 million from the start of the project or after the completion of the project. If a two year retrofit project has a capital cost of $5 million and an incremental expense savings of $5 million in the first year, then that is indeed news. If you could provide more better information on the economics of the project, I would be most appreciative. That way we can better encourage others to undertake similar efforts.
    Thank You

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