Case Study Details

LOCATION: Arlington Heights, IL


Chicago-Area School District Lights Up its Learning Environment with LED Luminaires

District 59

The Challenge

During the spring of 2014, Community
Consolidated School District 59 in
Arlington Heights, Illinois – a suburb of
Chicago – decided to make changes to
improve the overall learning environment
in its schools. After considering the
positive impact new lighting could have
on students and teachers, Superintendent
Art Fessler was excited to get behind
the project. Classroom by classroom, the
school district planned to make a dramatic
change with new lighting.

The schools throughout the district were
using T8 fluorescent fixtures, which
needed to be updated for controllability
and light quality. Providing teachers with
control of the classroom environment was
a top goal of specifying a new lighting and
controls system. And, if the district could
achieve energy savings as well, that would
be a bonus.

“We wanted to provide the classrooms with
a sustainable and energy efficient lighting
choice that would be standardized
throughout the entire school district
and yet able to be controlled on a
classroom-by-classroom basis,” said Tony
Rossi, executive director for facilities and
operations for the district.

The Solution

As part of the plan, the district re-lit 480
classrooms across 14 of its campuses,
including 11 elementary schools and three
junior high schools, with integrated LED
lighting and controls from Acuity Brands.

To activate, coordinate and manage
the project, Acuity Brands engaged
Graybar, a leading distributor and
supply chain management company.
Graybar effectively kept the project on
schedule and within budget so that by
summer 2014, more than 5,000 VT Series
LED luminaires from Lithonia Lighting®
were installed. The LED luminaires are
integrated with Acuity Controls nLight®–
which achieves controllability down to the
room-level like the district wanted.

The Result

With the new energy efficient lighting,
there was an immediate 40 percent
reduction in wattage used, which resulted
in dramatically lower energy costs – even
when classroom lights are left on. The
school district also reduced maintenance
costs attributed to lighting due to the
long-lasting LEDs, which do not need
to be replaced nearly as often as the
T8 fluorescents.

“Everybody loves it,” Tony Rossi
explains. “They find it to be a real,
eye-catching experience that is unlike
anything they have ever seen before.”