As discussed previously here and here so eloquently by our own Chad Berndt, lighting retrofits are a major part of UHN’s energy reduction plans. Recently, a lighting project was completed at the Toronto Rehab Bickle Centre, so it’s time to share some of the positive results!

The primary focus of the retrofit was the upgrade of the lights in Bickle’s frequently used auditorium. Prior to the retrofit, the auditorium was lit by eight blinding 250W high intensity discharge metal halide lamps, as well as eighteen 26W CFL lamps. It can be difficult to convey light levels in photos, but I tried my best to get accurate before and after photos. The before picture doesn’t really do those fixtures justice – imagine eight suns beaming down on you to the point that you would literally be seeing stars when you left the auditorium, even after only a couple of minutes! The ballasts also churned out a delightful electrical buzzing sound, which I’m sure was appreciated by patients and staff during plays, events, religious ceremonies, etc.

Bickle Auditorium Before
Original lighting – Make sure not to look up!

The metal halides and CFLs were replaced by thirty 19W LED lamps, with a much more auditorium/theatre appropriate 2700K colour temperature. All the lamps are now fully dimmable, allowing room users to set light levels according to activity. The LED lamps are rated to last for at least 50,000 hours compared to 8-10,000 for a typical HID lamp, reducing the frequency of maintenance. The feedback from users of the room has been highly positive, so this project has contributed to energy savings goals while also achieving higher levels of occupant satisfaction. LED strips were installed on hand rails to replace existing fluorescent T8 lighting.

Bickle Auditorium After 1
New LEDs – one switch was off when I took this photo, leading to a couple dark spots
Bickle Auditorium After Handrail
LED railing strips to guide patients during low light activities

Also included in the Bickle lighting upgrades:
• Conversion of 100W HID mercury vapour lamps in lobby to 17W LEDs
• Conversion from CFLs to dimmable LEDs in patient TV rooms
• Replacement of 60W incandescents with 8W LEDs in serving areas
• Replacement of CFLs in refrigeration units with LEDs, which perform better at low temperatures

The bottom line: electricity consumption is expected to be reduced by almost 40,000 kWh, which equals approximately $4,000 in annual savings. Additional benefits, as described above, are 1) not blinding patients, 2) longer lasting lamps = reduced maintenance time, 3) improved lighting control with dimmers. The project is an example of UHN’s commitment to patient and planet centered care.  Also, a big shout out to Joe Lopes and the rest of the facilities team at Bickle for helping with the installation!