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Group Relamping For Cost Savings and Better Lighting Quality

Vocabulary

  • Lamp: The standard term that lighting industry uses for  light bulb. Lamp is another word for light bulb.
  • Relamping: The act of replacing bulbs when they burn out.
  • Group relamping: Strategic maintenance practice where large numbers of bulbs are changed out on a predetermined schedule.
  • Fixture: The enclosure that contains the lamp(s); includes the reflector, ballasts, clear cover, etc.

 

Operating and burned out lamps in an arena

Lamp is another word for light bulb.

Group relamping is effective for large amounts of lighting.

Photo illustrates a mix of operating and burned out lamps in an arena.

Save time and money with group relamping.

 

 

Issue

Large facilities with many overhead lights constantly need to replace burned out lamps. Changing lamps takes time. One or two workers using a lift may spend a great deal of time changing lamps in high overhead fixtures. Small businesses may need to rent lift equipment to replace burned out lamps. Ignoring burned out lamps degrades the quality of a facility’s lighting and therefore impacts the work environment. Often, routine cleaning of lamps and fixtures is neglected. This compromises light quality and quantity.

 

 

Solution

Consider group relamping, a maintenance practice where large numbers of lamps are replaced at the same time. This practice can be used to efficiently maintain lighting in arenas, warehouses, production facilities, aircraft hangers, schools, office buildings, places of worship, and other large businesses. Group relamping is effective when lamps are the same kind (usually fluorescent). It is also useful when switching out all of one type of lamp to another (retrofit).

 

 

Economics

All lamps have a specified “average life” in hours. This is the point where 50% of the lamps have burned out. Lamps do not burn out at a steady rate over their lifetime – they tend to start to fail at once. For example, if 70% of the “average life” is chosen as a point in time, almost all of the lamps will still be working but getting near the time where many will start to fail.

 

The main advantages of group relamping are:

  • Fewer numbers of burned out lamps
  • Lower labor costs per lamp
  • Increased worker safety with less time on a ladder or lift
  • Easier and less disruptive lighting maintenance
  • Lower costs: Lamps are bought in bulk
  • Easier lamp disposal planning

 

Here’s how group relamping can save money…

Example: An office operates lamps for 3,500 hours per year. There are 400 fixtures with four F32T8 lamps per fixture (1,600 lamps total). Average lamp lifespan is seven years.

25,000 hours  ÷ 3,500 hours used per year  =  7 years

 

After a few years, lamps would begin to burn out and need replacing:

1,600 lamps ÷ 7 years  =  229 average annual spot relampings

 

 If we group relamp at 70% of average life, we replace more lamps at once but experience minimal burnouts and lower labor costs. Why? The lamps are replaced all at once before they start to fail.

 

70% x 7 years = 4.9 years (relamp all 1,600 lamps every 5 years)

 

 

Table: Side-by-side comparison of spot versus group relamping

 

Spot relamping

 

     

Group relamping 

 

 

Hourly wage

$20

Time per lamp

(access,replace, clean) 25 minutes

     

Hourly wage

$20

Time per lamp

(access, replace, clean) 6.2 minutes

 

Lamp Costs

229 lamps per year × $3 per lamp = $687 per year

Labor costs

229 lamps per year × $8.33 per lamp = $1,910 per year

     

Lamp costs

1,600 lamps every 5 years × $3 per lamp = $4,800 every 5 years

Labor Costs

1,600 lamps every 5 years × $2 per lamp = $3,200 every 5 years

 

   Total costs

Spot relamping costs (lamp + labor)
= $2,597 per year

This is equal to $12,985 every 5 years

  
     

Total costs

Group relamping costs (lamp + labor)
= $1,600 per year

This is equal to $8,000 every 5 years

Cost savings of group vs. spot relamping over a 5 year period: $4,985
Note: Savings may be reduced if there is a cost associated with disposal and recycling.

 

 

Soures:

  1. DiLaura, D. L., Houser, K. W., Mistrick, R. G., & Steffy, G. R. (2011). The Lighting Handbook (10 ed.). New York, NY: Illuminating Engineering Society.
  2. Doty, S., & Turner, W. C. (2009). Energy management handbook (7th ed.). Lilburn, GA: The Fairmont Press, Inc.
  3. ENERGY STAR. (2006). Buildings and Plants: 6. Lighting. Retrieved September, 2012, from http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfmc=business.EPA_BUM_CH6_Lighting#SS_6_8_1
  4. Pustinger. (2012). Lighting Management & Maintenance, 40, 34l35.
  5. US Department of Energy. (2010). Exterior lighting guide for federal agencies. Washington, D.C.: Author.
  6. Wood, D. (2004). Lighting upgrades: A guide for facilities managers.
    Lilburn, GA: The Fairmont Press, Inc.

 

Authors

  1. R. Scott Frazier, Ph.D., PE, CEM, Assistant Professor and Extension Energy Management Engineer, Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering
  2. Paulette Hebert, Ph.D., Professor, Design, Housing & Merchandising
  3. Gina Peek, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Extension Housing & Consumer Specialist, Design, Housing & Merchandising

 

Reviewers

  1. Dana Baldwin, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service
  2. Dan England, Oklahoma State University
  3. Recia Garcia, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service
  4. Jim Rhodes, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service
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